Would you prevent your players from breathing? Then why use hydration as a reward or punishment for your players. This blog will not cover the pros and cons of water versus sports specific drinks. It will not cover how much you should drink, or pre, mid and post hydration techniques. I’ll leave that for another blog. It’s more about the mind set of coaches controlling their players’ health by denying them a drink of water. Water accounts for around 70% of your body weight, the loss of even a tiny fraction of this water can significantly reduce your performance, which is why maintaining good hydration is vital for all serious athletes.
I’m old, old enough to remember that in order to get a drink of water during school I would have to raise my hand and ask for permission. Today it is common for students to have a bottle of water on their desk. Which method is more humane and less disruptive? Do you really want that much control? Do you really want to answer the question “can I get a drink of water”? I have three children. Those parents with multiple children know if you have to explain something once, surely you will have to do it for as many children you have. The same holds true if you are the type of coach that needs to grant permission for a drink of water. Don’t you want your players to learn how to manage that, as long as it doesn’t affect or delay your practice?
Need ideas on how to get his done? Well there are probably many ways, but here is one suggestion. In between each drill, I have my players shoot two Free Throws and record their makes and misses. They can also get a sip during this time. They can also take additional Free Throws if they want, as long as they don’t disrupt or delay the practice. Boom! Your players are managing their own water intake, they are recording their own scores, and they are time managing so they can smoothly get into the next drill. As a coach you have the extra bonus of getting game-like Free Throws into your practice. Shooting two Free Throws when your players are tired from a drill is just like a stop in play where you have to shoot two Free Throws in a game.