Making your Summer Skills Class a Success: Hydration is Key
It’s been a hot summer in the northern hemisphere and, in some places, is about to get even hotter!
We know that a BICP Instructors’ priorities are to be prepared and maintain group safety when conducting classes, therefore, as a coach or a guide, hydration should be a priority for you and your students. It can almost be an afterthought as everyone is excited for the class or focused on acquiring new skills; however, a lack of hydration can result in injury or can keep your students from learning at their utmost. Especially in the heat – but also it cooler temps – your body will be leaching water that needs to be replaced during exercise. It’s up to you, awesome skills instructor, to provide that guidance before, during, and after your event to stress hydration’s importance.
Set Proper Expectations
- Stress the importance of pre-event hydration to your participants in your event emails
- Include a “what to bring” checklist
- Check the weather and encourage light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
- On the day of your event, during your pre-ride assessment, check in with your students to see that they have brought water or have been hydrating prior to the event.
- Participants from out of town may need extra guidance as it takes at least 10-14 days to acclimatize to a new environment
- Take into account elevation, the age of participants, and medical histories
- As an instructor, bring extra water and electrolyte supplements in preparation for students who are not as prepared. Proactivity on your part is worth a pound of cure (i.e., reactivity) in time, safety, and fun in your classes.
Know the signs of dehydration and other heat-related illnesses and keep them in check
- Make stops along your ride to prompt students to drink or get electrolytes. Pick shady places to pause, wherever possible.
- According to NOLS (the National Outdoor Leadership School where many of us take Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder classes), an authority on first aid, you should familiarize yourself to the diseases and drugs that impair heat dissipation (including aspirin, alcohol, and hyperthyroidism, and review your waivers to make extra checks on students who are taking those medications or have those conditions.
- Checking in with your students regularly on the ride, doing your shoulder checks, look for signs of fatigue, confusion, muscle cramping, headache, nausea, and act quickly.
Remember: Heat stroke and heat exhaustion requires rapid evacuation
What other issues do you know of that dehydration can cause?
What tips can you share with other instructors in hot climates?
#inspirethestoke #hydration #highqualityH2O #firstaid #safetyfirst #reminders #mtb