With April drawing to a close, travel baseball season is certainly in full swing. As the calendar shifts to May, and June and July not long after (you know how the calendar goes…), those travel tournaments are going to get a lot hotter. Whether it’s one of those surprise 85º, super-humid days in early May or a weekend-long heat wave in August, it’s important for your kids to stay cool and avoid heat-related illnesses while they’re playing their hearts out. As part of our efforts to bring you the best and most important travel baseball tips, here’s some advice for fighting the heat this spring and summer.
Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness
This can be as simple as dehydration, or as scary as heat stroke. Rather than creating a long and scary list here, we want to redirect you to the “what’s wrong with my kid” encyclopedia; WebMD. Here’s their list of the progressing stages of heat illnesses along with the warning signs of each.
Keep in mind that the chances of these illnesses greatly increase when the temperature is above 90º and the relative humidity is above 60%. The heat drains energy faster, while humidity blocks sweat evaporation — the body’s natural cooling mechanism.
Travel Baseball Tips to Beat the Heat
Early in the season, 80º can feel like 100º when our bodies are still used to the chill of winter and early spring. Before you head out for your next tournament, keep some of these travel baseball tips in mind to avoid heat-related illnesses out on the diamond.
- STAY HYDRATED!! This is by far the most important thing you can do to stay healthy during hot travel tournaments. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the game. This is also where sports drinks come in, to replenish electrolytes and other important nutrients as they’re sweated off. Water-dense fruits and veggies are also great for this — try orange slices, watermelon, or canteloupe. On the other side of that coin, too many sunflower seeds can speed up dehydration thanks to all the salt intake.
- No Shade? Make Your Own: There are far too many youth baseball fields that don’t take this into account and have open-air, uncovered dugouts. Bring a giant tarp with you to stretch overtop of the dugout to give your players a break from the intense sun when they’re on the bench. Shade alone can make it feel 10º-15º cooler.
- Fans, Mist Sprayers, and Ice Packs: Fans and misters can help reduce the air temperature by up to 30º, and will be a godsend for players after a long inning or an intense hustle around the bases. Have your players put ice packs on their wrists and backs of their necks to help drop their body temperature quickly and efficiently.
- Smart Team Management: From choosing lightweight and breathable uniforms before the season even begins, to making smart lineup changes to give players rest on super-hot days, make sure your coach is keeping his players’ health prioritized above the outcome of the game.
More from Sandlot Swag
While you are here, please take a moment to browse our entire line of Baseball Shorts. And don’t forget, we also offer custom baseball shorts, perfect for travel teams, slow pitch softball teams, flag football teams, and more!