My title might sound a little dramatic, and failure is probably too strong a word to describe the learning experience. Recently I got the chance to help my son learn from making poor choices. The best learning is not when the parent tells the kid you should have to done this. Its when you suggest another outcome and a light bulb goes off in the kids head, and they actively adjust their choices based on the previous poor choice.
Athletes need hydration and nutrition
Like a lot of kids my son get easily distracted with his phone, his computer, or his friends. Time goes by where he is mentally engaged in an activity and forgets to eat and drink. Proper Hydration is important, and even more so for athletes. On this particular day, he got up, packed his lunch, and off to school he went. At school is didn't drink any water, just the protien RTD he packs in his lunch. Normally when we pick him up from school we bring a 32oz bottle of water with a Liquid IV packet. He woudl chug it down, and get home and not drink anything else the rest of the day, before going off to swim practice in the evening. On this particular day we were not able to bring him his drink, and told him to make one when he got home. Of course when he got home, he got distracted. He made a drink but only drank maybe 6 oz of it. At swim practice that night, he lacked energy, and even had to switch lanes to swim with the slower kids just to keep up. Normally he keeps up with the kids in the faster lanes. He left practice upset and stressed, claiming he is plateauing.
I asked him what did you drink, what did you eat today, or better question what did you not eat or drink today. He decided the next day he was going to over hydrate. 32oz before school, 2 x 32oz during school, and 1 x 32oz after school. The next day he did just that. At practice that night he had a ton of energy. To the point where he was leading the harder intervals by several seconds. After practice he was happy about his training and was convinced that hydration made all the difference. Today his is going to try 3 x 32oz during school.
Keep in mind this is not just water. He is adding a Liquid IV packet to every 32 oz. In the past coaches and parents have been pushing water. But water doesn't replenish all the electrolytes your body needs.