CHELSEA, Ala. (WIAT) – With excessive heat comes added dangers to outdoor sports practices. The Alabama High School Athletic Association has rules posted for teams to follow in high temperatures with specific guidelines laid out for football teams.
The Chelsea High School football team took quite a few precautions for practice Monday afternoon, like pushing practice start time back by an hour, taking five minute water breaks every 20 minutes and not practicing in full gear.
“Gives you a real feel what it’s going to be like Friday nights at 7:00 p.m. when the sun’s shining right in your face then when it comes to nighttime, it’s the perfect feel,” says Sloan Deweese, a senior on the team.
Staying hydrated in extreme heat is important to help protect against heat exhaustion and stroke, especially for athletes like football players out on turf.
“I think a lot of kids who get heat injuries, heat illness injuries, it’s because they’re dehydrated,” says Todd Cassity, head coach of the Chelsea High School football team. “They don’t eat anything. So, we made sure we had some parents come up here and fix some sandwiches for the kids and stuff like that so that helped a lot.”
The team started practice in shoulder pads and helmets but as practice went on they shed their gear.
“Doing more of non-contact drills today, trying to take care of the bodies a little bit better so we’re not having to get so much sweat out of us throughout the day so that’s the biggest thing,” says Cassity.
Hydration stations were set up around the field for the team as staff made sure players were staying cool and drinking water.
“The big things we worry about is all these caffeinated drinks. You know, the preworkout drinks, things like that, energy drinks,” says Cassity. “We tell our kids do not because that’s the worst thing. It actually dehydrates you and we try to get them away from that type stuff.”
The Chelsea High School football team is gearing up for their first game, a jamboree against Northridge, this Thursday.