Early in the season, the Ohio State men’s soccer team faced a heat wave that affected its training and game performance. The solution in the high temperatures is to stay ahead of it.
Ohio State head coach Brian Maisonneuve said strong preparation in the days leading up to competition — physically and nutritionally — is the best thing one of his players can do for his body.
“You go to take care of your bodies, you got to hydrate the days before,” Maisonneuve said. “If you think you’re going to stuff a bunch of water down an hour before, that’s not going to work.”
Junior midfielder Jack Holland said being aware of fluid intake and nutrition is critical in staying hydrated and performing well on the field.
“The big thing is staying ahead of it,” Holland said. “The day before a game, let’s say, I’m way more cognizant of the water I’m taking in.”
With 90-minute long matches, soccer players feel a level of physical fatigue from playing in the heat that can affect their performance. In soccer, coaches must be especially prepared in the days prior, both tactically and mentally.
“Soccer is an interesting sport, because, even as a coaching staff, we do all our work during the week because during the game, we can’t call a timeout, we can’t roll multiple subs in,” Maisonneuve said.
Maisonneuve and his staff have to be concerned about the physical state of their student-athletes as well as the tactics they wish to put to action during the matches in the heat.
Ohio State is a team that likes to play aggressive and press the ball, but in a game with severe weather conditions like high-heat index, the athletes must pick and choose when they’ll press and when they’ll play more conservative.
“Just physically you can’t go at 100 miles per hour all the time, and you really got to pick and choose more so than when the temperature is good,” Maisonneuve said regarding tactics.
As the season continues to pick up and the heat remains a factor, Ohio State will strive to stay ahead of it, with the coaches continuing to prepare so the team can compete as well as they physically can.