North Alabama high school football programs changing practices due to heat

Coaches are staying on the lookout for fatigued players and are allowing them to take more water breaks.

Posted: Aug 12, 2019 6:27 PM
Updated: Aug 12, 2019 7:33 PM

With the first high school football season game just a week away, football coaches are having to change how their players practice during the heat advisory.

WAAY 31 visited a football practice at James Clemens High School to see how they're implementing these changes.

The football players still took the field in full pads even with the heat index at about 107 degrees, but coaches and trainers were all around to make sure they were keeping their players safe.

"This is a full padded practice on the hottest day of the year, so it's a needed day, but it's definitely one we got to make sure we're taking care of our players with," the head coach, Wade Waldrop, said.

He says on hot days like this one, coaches and trainers come up with a game plan to make sure they're keeping the players safe. This includes stopping practice to let them take water breaks, letting them take their helmets off if they aren't doing a drill and keeping a close eye out for kids who look fatigued.

"The heat's not gonna keep us off the field, but what we will do is we will modify our plan. We'll modify the amount of time that we give them to rest. We'll modify the amount of time between the reps that they get and then the amount of hydration that they get," he said

Steve Busch, whose son is a junior wide receiver on the football team, said he doesn't worry about his son practicing out in the heat because he's confident the coaches know what they're doing, and he and his wife also make sure their son is taking care of himself even when he's not on the field.

"He stays cool, hydrated and stays in the air conditioning, you know, when he's not out running," he said.

The heat warning goes into effect Monday evening, and it sticks around until 6 Tuesday night. These players will still be out working hard and gearing up for their first game on August 24th.

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