Pre-Competitive Coach’s Corner – November 2011
The importance of proper hydration.
Water is one of the basic nutrients necessary for overall health and athletic performance. Fluids are necessary for two primary reasons: to stay hydrated and to provide the body with fuel. Even for Junior 1 and Advanced Stroke practices that are only 1 hour in duration, it is still very important to have sips of water every 15-20 minutes throughout the practice. We encourage all swimmers to bring, at the very least, a 16 fl. oz. water bottle for a 1 hour practice. Junior 2 swimmers can benefit from a bigger quantity.
But that’s just half the battle. We have a good amount of swimmers bring water bottles or sports drinks to practice, but also a good amount leaving practice with their bottles full! A water bottle sitting on the side of the pool is not beneficial if it is not used. Swimmers should not wait until they feel thirsty to drink, better to drink periodically to ensure optimal hydration and energy throughout practice.
What’s just as important as hydrating during practice is replenishment AFTER practice. This is where parents can be lifesavers. When picking up your swimmer, have a sports drink or water ready to help them recover after a hard practice. This will ensure that they start the next day of school and their next practice with a full tank of gas.
USA Swimming has great resources for swim parents and more info from this coach’s corner can be found here.