Skip to main content

How heat and humidity affect the mind

It’s 30 degrees, with 80 per cent humidity. Feels like you’ve been legging it around the pitch for 120 minutes, but in reality it’s only been 10.

You’re hot, sweaty, tired, dehydrated and desperate for the referee to blow the final whistle.

As you wilt in the heat, the opposition look like they’re getting stronger. How are you going to survive the remaining 80 minutes?

“Tiredness is a thought,” says peak performance coach, Tom Bates. “’This is too hot for me today, I can’t go any longer, there’s 80 minutes left of the game – there’s no way I’m going to get through this’. Those thoughts are the problem, not the heat.

“But you’re always in control and have the ability to reframe so you can snap yourself out of any thought that doesn’t empower you.”

Learn how with more from Bates in this video.

Tom Bates was speaking at the Science + Football Conference 2014. For more information visit

Also see:
Beat the heat
How to combat the heat
Prepare your body for playing in the heat
The effects of playing in heat and humidity explained