Saturday, March 19, 2016

Protect yourself when playing under the Scorching Sun!

Word has been going around that the temperatures in the afternoons over the next fortnight might approach 40 degrees. NEA refuted these claims, saying we might hit 38 at best. Yah. Ok. That makes a whole lot of difference.

Seeing that my team plays under the unforgiving 11am sun, I felt, as the (self proclaimed) team supremo, it's my job to educate them, and myself in the process, on how to best protect ourselves from the harm of the unrelenting sun.

Fluid Intake

This is really obvious. Ensure all the players are adequately hydrated before the game, at halftime, after the game and anytime in between. Remind the players to drink up before the game, almost army style, where everyone stands together and bottoms up. If you are part of the team management, try, if possible, to buy an extra carton of water to bring to the games. Noone will complain that there is too much water to drink. Really. And remind the players not to use the drinking water to pour on their heads. Go to the loo/bathroom to do that.

Water is essential and if the budget allows it, get isotonic drinks to help replendish lost electrolytes.

Cover Thy Heads / Wet Thy Heads

Bring along a cap. Yes you might look like an uncle playing football, but it is better than getting heatstroke and looking like a dead animal lying on the grass. A cap or a bandana will keep the heat off your head and there is a lesser chance you will get a headache or feel giddy due to the bbq going on on your rooftop.

Vince (pictured above) sporting a bandana that does more than accessorize his head

Another option for the vainpots out there (like me), is to go into the shower and wet your hair before the game. Besides looking like Cristiano Ronaldo (kinda), the wet hair helps to alleviate the heat from your hair. Cue O' Level physics, where heat is extracted from the body via the evaporation of the water on thy head. If you are really hardcore, you can just drench yourself in the shower prior to the game. Just beware that wet socks may lead to slippery feet, which leads to blisters.

Wear Long Sleeves

Only crazy teams order long sleeved jerseys! Or are they really crazy? If you have played in long sleeved jerseys in Singapore, you will notice it isn't as hot and as suffocating as it looks. The long sleeves actually protect your exposed skin from the sun and after the game, you will notice that your arms don't have that burning sensation as it would have if you had worn the short sleeved jerseys.

Getting proper compression wear can help to ensure efficient use of energy, a valuable commodity when playing under the hot sun.

If, like 99% of the teams, your team jersey is short-sleeved, then get a long-sleeved rash guard, or if you are sibeh rich, get the long sleeved compression tops. They make you look pro, they make your midsection look smaller by squeezing it, and they protect your skin the way long sleeved jerseys do.

Ask the Ref for Water Breaks

I think most referees do that these days. If the weather is hot, take a short water break every 20 minutes. If the toilet is nearby, run to the toilet and wet your hair again to keep your scalp cool.

At the end of the day, learn to protect yourself and your teammates. If you feel giddy, ask for a substitution and leave the field to freshen up. There are countless injuries that can occur when we are tired or unwell, and we are not even taking into account heat injuries. If you see your teammate looking giddy, quickly bring him off the field for some first aid. The refs will understand.

Take care peeps! And play safe.

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