High School football teams practice in heat
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
Cape Coral, Fla. - High schools all over Southwest Florida are deep into their preparations for the upcoming season which starts in just three weeks.
But, as we found out today, "X's and O's" and beating the opponent is not the only thing they're preparing for, they've been preparing for this brutal heat! With the heat index well into three figures, schools have to take care to make sure the athletes don't over heat.
"I keep a close eye on em," says Trevor Elliott, the Athletic Trainer at Cape Coral High School. "I have to check their vital signs and make sure everything is fine. If they seem like they're in danger I make them sit down and rest for a little while."
Nowadays high school football programs do a lot of things differently. "A lot of them carry their water throughout the day during school and they know they have to intake not just in practice but throughout the day," said Head Football Coach Larry Gary. He also says their preparation hasn't just started in this heat. "In our off season strength and conditioning programs we work our kids out outside so they can try to somewhat get accustomed to the heat."
Gary says they've also been preparing for the heat......in the air conditioning. "We also educate our kids on what heat exhaustion is all about and we're actually going online. Each one of our football players will have to engage in taking a course in trying to educate them more. Its all about prevention."
"I'm actually glad he's outside," says parent Michelle xxxxxx. "I know that it does get hot but so many kids are just inside all the time. I think it's actually good for them. I'm glad they're out here sweating."
Years ago players were told to 'toughen up!', and to 'suck it up!'. Times have changed. "Nah, that's gone a long time ago," said Elliott. "We had to stop doing that. You don't want to have them doing that in this kind of weather." Coach Gary agrees, "Don't try to do that old time, old school, thing and 'suck it up, you'll drink water later'. Give those kids water throughout their practice."
As with many schools, Cape Coral High School starts its season August 23rd. Fortunately, they play the games at night so the heat won't be as big a factor.