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The Crucial Connection: Hydration and Young Footballers

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

In the world of football, young talents often dream of glory on the pitch, striving to emulate their idols. However, amidst the rigorous training sessions, tactical drills, and intense matches, there is one vital aspect that can often be overlooked – hydration.

As young footballers pursue their dreams, understanding the importance of proper hydration is key to ensuring both their immediate performance and long-term health. In this article, we delve into the significance of hydration for young footballers, seeking insights from professional sports scientists and the perspective of Tekky Sessions coaches Lance and JF.

The Science Behind Hydration

Professional sports scientists unanimously emphasise the critical role that hydration plays in an athlete's performance. Dr. Sarah Mitchell, a renowned sports scientist, states, "Hydration is more than just drinking water; it's about maintaining a delicate balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body. Dehydration can lead to decreased endurance, impaired cognition, and increased risk of injuries."

For young footballers, the consequences of inadequate hydration can be particularly pronounced. Their bodies are still growing and developing, and they are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, muscle cramps, and fatigue. Dr. Mitchell continues, "Proper hydration is essential for young athletes, as it supports optimal muscle function and helps regulate body temperature during intense physical activity."

Tekky Sessions Coaches' Perspective

Coaches Lance and JF of Tekky Sessions have firsthand experience working with young footballers. They emphasise the importance of instilling good hydration habits from an early age. Coach Lance states, "Hydration is a non-negotiable aspect of our training program. We educate our players about the significance of staying hydrated and encourage them to drink water consistently throughout the day."

Coach JF adds, "In the heat of training or a match, players can lose a significant amount of fluids through sweating. Proper hydration not only helps maintain physical performance but also supports mental focus. A dehydrated player is more likely to make mistakes on the pitch."

Practical Tips for Young Footballers

  1. Pre-hydration: Start hydrating well before training or a match. Aim to drink at least 500-600ml of water 2-3 hours beforehand.

  2. During Exercise: Take regular water breaks, especially during intense training or in hot weather. Consider sports drinks to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.

  3. Post-exercise: Rehydrate after exercise by drinking water or sports drinks. Monitor urine colour; pale yellow indicates proper hydration.

  4. Listen to Your Body: Thirst is a sign that your body needs fluids. Don't ignore it. Pay attention to your body's signals.

  5. Electrolyte Balance: Along with water, focus on maintaining electrolyte balance with foods like bananas, oranges, and sports drinks.

Hydration is an often underestimated, yet indispensable component of a young footballer's journey. It impacts performance, recovery, and overall well-being. As professional sports scientists and Tekky Sessions coaches Lance and JF stress, understanding and prioritising hydration should be an integral part of a young player's training regimen. By instilling good hydration habits early on, young footballers can lay a solid foundation for their future success, both on and off the pitch. Remember, staying hydrated isn't just a choice; it's a game-changer.

Steve Halls Consultant for Tekky Sessions NexxtGen Football


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