High school football players, cross country runners, and boys soccer players are gearing up and ready to take their practices outside and the heat and humidity could make for warm practices, which puts water and hydration at the forefront.
Before the Friday night lights can be turned on, or before the runners take off with the sound of the gun, grueling practices in sweltering heat will have to be completed. The chances of dehydration and heat-related illness are higher if the athletes are not preparing themselves for the practices, especially by drinking water. How can the players do that? Door County Medical Center Athletic Trainer Jason Linzmeier talks about how the athletes can prepare for the high temperatures, and the difference water makes against drinks with electrolytes, like sports drinks.
Linzmeier stresses the fact that events like practices could potentially be moved inside, depending on what the heat index would be at that day. He also mentions how different sports impact the decision to move the event to a different area, as sports like football include helmets and shoulder pads, which can heat up the body faster. However, alternatives would be looked at before putting shoes on gym floors, such as a later practice, or an air conditioned strength and conditioning day.
The first high school sport to begin practice officially is football, as they began August 1st for 11-player teams. Eight-player football, girls' tennis, girls' golf, and girls' swimming start the following week with cross country, boys' soccer, and girls' volleyball starting on August 14th.