It’s no secret, Florida’s weather can be brutal and fickle, particularly in the summer time. Athletes, in particular, can understand the struggle of determining if the weather will clear the game out or affect the way they need to play the game. There are three struggles in particular in Florida: heat, rain, and lightning. Queenscast has some advice for how to best handle playing in each of these categories, or if you should be playing soccer at all.
Florida temperatures have been soaring this summer with days reaching temperatures in the low 100s. In addition to the pure heat, we also deal with the sweat-inducing humidity that leaves you feeling like you just went swimming. How can you deal with this overwhelming heat safely while playing a game? We recommend ample amounts of water available for all athletes, in addition to water breaks every 30 minutes. Ice towels should be handed out to cool down during breaks. Never push yourself too hard in the heat, and most of all, listen to your body!
A downpour of rain presents its own problems for soccer athletes, too. Between the ball being weighed down with water and slippery turf, it can be a dangerous time for athletes who’ve never played in these conditions. Take certain precautions when playing in these conditions, like lighter kicks and keeping footwork simple to ensure you don’t fall and lose the ball to your opponents. Although you may not be so hot in the rain, remember to still stay hydrated and drink a lot of water. In the colder seasons if it rains, bring a change of dry clothes to wear during half time so you don’t get too cold; it can leave your body more prone to injury.
In Florida especially, nine times out of ten, rain will lead to lightning, particularly in the summer. Lightning is extremely dangerous, and any signs of it should immediately put a game to a halt. Make sure someone is monitoring the weather conditions consistently to communicate to the coaches, players, and parents. Use the Flash to Bang method for determining how far a flash of lightning is from you, and if it’s 30 seconds or less, disperse immediately.
While there is inherent risk in any sport an athlete plays, lessen chances of injury with knowledge on what to do in each of these different weather circumstances. If you want to keep playing soccer for a long time, keep yourself safe, and most importantly, listen to your body! For more tips on making your soccer experience the very best, whether as fan or player, listen to the Queenscast podcast.