Safety a Top Priority for Athletes Practicing in Heat

Posted at: 08/26/2013 11:05 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- While most Minnesota schools aren't in session, their sports teams have already started practicing, and with the heat and humidity comes safety concerns. The practice fields were full at Century High School Monday. ABC 6 stopped by both the soccer and football practices to see how those students were handling the heat.

"The first two weeks of practice were gorgeous for the kids to train in, and now all of a sudden, we've hit three really hot days that are coming up that are going to make a difference for us," said Century Athletic Director Mark Kuisle.

It's already tough to get in the swing of things for the season, but on days like that one, it's just downright miserable."Yeah, I didn't want to come," said one of the football players. However, many players there said they've toughed it out in conditions like this last year. Another reason why practice wasn't cancelled.

“As far as when we're out here, it’s going to be short and sweet, then moving onto the next things," said Century Football Coach Jon Vik. The coaches say they've kept an eye on the forecast and have planned ahead this week. “The first thing that you’re going to have to do is limit the outside activity, maybe get a little bit more mental reps, some things we can do inside. Then I think, the other piece is limitation of equipment. As you can see in the background here there’s no helmets, no shoulder pads, just going through, and making sure we're running and getting things in the right spot," said Vik.

They are keeping the time outside brief and making sure these players are drinking lots, and lots of water. "You can’t hydrate right before practice. It has to start 12 to 24 hours in advance," said Kuisle.

"As long as we're safe and observe the correct protocols, we should be fine," said Vik.

Kuisle says they plan to push back practices for the soccer teams so they can practice at a cooler time of day, and the football teams plan to practice in the morning sometime this week too.