Over the course of the last year, Game On has been challenging young athletes to do The Great Hydration Challenge. It is a great way to help players stay hydrated and focused as well as break sugar and caffeine dependencies. Sound good? Here's how it works
LEVEL ONE: Players drink a glass of water before they drink anything else.
LEVEL TWO: (For those who are ready for the next level) Players only drink water all week. No juice, milk, smoothies, soda, tea, etc. They can take a break over the weekend, and then start with the challenge again on Monday.
Here is what it does:
The Great Hydration Challenge is a great revealer of addictions/dependencies on sugar and caffeine and a quick way to begin to break unnecessary habits, flush out toxins and, most importantly, get more hydrated. It leads to better sleep, more energy, more sustainable performance levels and less fogginess, impatience and irritability during the day. And, since they aren't drinking lots of packaged products like juices or sodas, it ends up saving you money at the grocery store! Score.
Here is what to expect:
Day 1 is usually awesome. Kids are excited and motivated. Day 2, the novelty of the idea fades and the sacrifice and struggle begins. Prepare for some irritability and even loss of motivation as their routines are having to transform and their go-to drinks (juices, sodas, etc) are off-limits. You may not enjoy being around them that day due to irritability, impatience and complaining, but the results will be worth it!
Here's How to Help Your Player Succeed
We all have our drinks of choice--the one we go to out of habit for comfort, energy, motivation, peace, escape or reward--so think about what your's is and let them know you get how hard it is. Consider doing the challenge with them or even before them so you are able to understand what it's like and coach them through it. Set an end date and have rewards for reaching milestones and save the best reward for when they complete the challenge. Though it may be harder for some players to do this than doing sprints or planks, in the end it will help them be more aware and selective of what they are drinking and hopefully will have trained their bodies to start craving water several times a day.
Dare them to do it!