By Kate Cahill / USTA Texas
In the brutal Texas summer, players must learn to beat the heat before the heat beats them.
Hydration is crucial for each player on the court because dehydration can take a toll on the body in less than an hour. When a player is dehydrated, their performance is likely to reduce and more mistakes are made.
In fact, when the air temperature is above 95 degrees, a player can make up to 60 mistakes per hour. That’s a mistake every minute! As a player continues to get dehydrated, they also increase their risk of getting serious heat related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
In order to keep players safe, preparation is key. Athletes must be aware of ways to prevent themselves from falling to the elements. The USTA and the USTA Texas Sports Science Committee would like to pass along this link for recommendations on “10 Steps to Succeed in the Heat.”
When players physically prepare, drink fluids, don’t rely on thirst, increase salt content in food and drink, use ice and other cooling mechanisms, fuel their bodies, wear the right clothing, use sunscreen, acclimate and reduce contact with direct sunlight, players give themselves the best chance of performing at their peak abilities in extreme heat and humidity.
More information on heat and hydration for tennis is available here: “10 Steps to Succeed in the Heat.”
This information that includes other topics such as Sports Drinks vs. Water, Nutrition During Tournaments, Signs and Symptoms and general dehydration guidelines is provided by the USTA Texas Sports Science Committee. USTA Texas supports the safety and health of all our athletes and wants everyone to be educated and prepared on and off the court.
For more information about the USTA Texas Sports Science Committee contact Paige Schumacher at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (512) 443-1334 ext. 211.