Four Words You Don’t Want Your Athlete to Say!

You’re doing your lesson and everything is fine until your athlete says “I don’t feel very good”, “I feel kinda lighted headed”! This post will discuss what to do to prevent this from happening again.

Background Information

It’s the middle of July with summer heat blaring, we’re indoors with no air conditioning and unusually high humidity for Colorado. The athlete didn’t bring any water…hadn’t had lunch, it was now 2 pm and we have been jumping and hitting for an hour.


Of course in hot, humid conditions the body loses water a lot faster than in cooler, less humid conditions. Water is the body’s coolant and when the body is low on water the body’s ability to regulate temperature and cool down is compromised.

As the body heats up, sweat forms over the skin to cool the body down. If the athlete didn’t bring any water, their ability to cool their body and to continue to train is limited.


Glucose is the form of sugar that food is broken down in the blood vessels. Glucose provides energy, the fuel, for the muscles to exercise and most importantly it’s the fuel for the brain and nervous system.

Without adequate levels of glucose in the blood stream (the blood sugar level) the brain can’t think, can’t remember and the exercising muscles can’t continue to work and train!

Don’t Feel Good & Feeling Dizzy

These are both common signs or symptoms of an athlete who body has 1) over-heated and/or 2) whose blood sugar level has fallen and the brain is getting too hot and doesn’t have enough fuel.

A Teaching & Learning Moment

So we of course immediately sat down and [should have had some water and possibly some quick form of energy (sugar) if the athlete would have brought some]. This became a great teaching moment for a young athlete to learn how to better train.

I asked the athlete if she had eaten anything today and she said she had eaten breakfast and then had some type of energy product on the way to the training session.

What to Do Next Time

With the parent, we talked about the importance of bringing water and possibly some type of energy drink to every session. Then we quickly got into a brief but simple discussion about what to eat and when to eat if we are going to continue to train at 1 pm.

I explained that if the athlete hadn’t eaten lunch and then just had an energy product before coming to the session, that her blood sugar may have quickly went up too fast and that there’s a good chance her blood sugar then dropped too fast.

Protein & fat help slow the rise and fall of glucose in the blood.

We discussed that she needed to eat a healthy sandwich around 11:00 or 11:15 am if we were going to train at 1 pm; and that she needs to bring water and an energy drink with her. We also talked about how she needs to have some form of protein within 30 minutes after the training session ends to help her recover.

We discussed drinking chocolate milk after her sessions, because it would provide both protein and some sugars to help restore some sugar and get some protein in her blood stream as well.

A Good Lesson

Today’s session was supposed to be all about rotational power using her core to hit harder…the real lesson became about how to better prepare for training and how to recover from training. A practical session on sports nutrition & hydration.

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