Football practices start very soon for high schools across the United States. Football accounts for the largest percentage of deaths from exertional heat stroke in sports. Deaths almost always occur in July, August and September. They often occur in the first week of practice, sometimes on the first day. It’s important to make practice changes to prevent heat stroke.
It is critical that athletes adjust to the heat. They must slowly prepare their bodies as they train in hot and humid conditions.
Fortunately, many states now have acclimatization guidelines for the first few weeks of summer practices. These guidelines aim to get young athletes ready for the tremendous heat they will face in summer practice.
While I discuss football in this video, these guidelines can be modified to better prepare for any sport or exercise in the summer.
Adjust summer practices to prevent heat illness
4 tips for training and competing in the heat
In this video, I present the basic adjustments to the first few days of practice. I also discuss rules for wearing equipment. I then argue that these guidelines take guesswork and judgment out of the picture, so coaches aren’t tempted to run a few more drills or make kids come back for an extra practice later in the day.