As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to start thinking a little differently in terms of playing baseball in the HEAT. In Georgia, it is not uncommon for it to get to 80 degrees in April. Then, put a team of 9/10 year olds on the field in the direct sun during long innings, and you can have a little situation on your hands.
The players get extremely hot and sometimes overheated during times like these, so here are some tricks to keep your players healthy and cool:
*Make sure they hydrate 2 days before, as well as the day of your game. If you wait until the day of your game, by then it is too late. I heard this from Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves when he was asked, “How do you survive playing in 100 degree heat?” That was his answer. You have to hydrate 2 days before your game…If the body is well hydrated, your player will have a better chance of feeling better during the game, playing better, have less cramping, and a better chance of not getting overheated.
*NO DAIRY in the morning if they have a game before noon. I have seen a few players have some stomach issues because they had yogurt or other dairy products for breakfast before a 9:00am game in the hot weather. Not a good idea. Did you guys hear about the time that Justin Bieber threw up on stage during his concert because he drank milk right before he went on? Yuck! You get the idea….
*Have your child drink plenty of water, Powerade, Gatorade, etc. DURING the game….make sure your player has a full thermos of ice water and drink it every chance they get. Please remind them that it’s important to stay on top of it and drink BEFORE they get too hot or thirsty.
On really hot days, I will take ice packs or a sandwich bags filled with ice, put them in a cooler and let the boys put them on the back of their necks and wrists to cool them down between innings. They are so grateful that someone recognizes that they need this. I also have the little fans that can hang around their necks so they can feel some cool air blowing on their face. It’s not a bad idea to ask the parents to purchase a FrogTog towel for their player since it stays cool, it can go around the neck, and they can cool down in between innings.
Afterwards, I’ve seen my son play a hot game but not seem to be able to get his energy back in the hours following the game. His pediatrician had already told me to give him on Carnation Instant Breakfast to help him catch up with his weight… but… this drink also gives great energy since it is filled with vitamins and nutrients, so I decided to use it as a post-game recovery drink.
It works wonders.
I mix the Chocolate Carnation powder with 12 ounces of whole milk and he has a nice, cool, refreshing drink that helps him feel full, cooled down, and revitalized. I had already heard that Chocolate Milk is good for muscle recovery, and with Carnation being a Nutritional Drink, it got my wheels turning and I decided to make it into a smoothie.
It just hits the spot. I use it myself after a workout and it is perfect.
- 12 ounces of milk… for kids I use whole milk since my son is a little underweight, for myself I use skim milk.
- 1 Carnation Instant Breakfast Powder Packet – Chocolate or Vanilla Flavor–or Protein Powder for Adults
- Frozen Blueberries (a handful) if desired—acts as the ice cubes in your smoothie
- 1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
- For Fun: I just MIGHT put a scoop of chocolate or vanilla ice cream– just for my son, not for me. 🙂
- For Adults: I will put in 1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds and/or Flax Seed
Also, with smoothies it is suggested that you put them in your blender in this order:
- Liquid first—this will help your blades move easily when you turn on your blender
- Powders next—protein powder, cocoa powder, Carnation Instant Breakfast.
- Soft Foods—Bananas, etc.
- Hard Foods—frozen fruits, raw veggies
- Ice Cubes—LAST! They will help the blades pull all the other ingredients down.
I found a pack of Smoothie Straws that help drinking these a lot easier.
We play a month of summer baseball and it is an entire different “ballgame” in terms of staying cool. The heat index can easily get up to 100 degrees. I will post about “survival tips” in ‘Playing Baseball in the Heat-Summer Edition’ very soon.
In the meantime, Stay cool, friends, and have a great Spring!