How coaches and athletes are beating the heat during summer training

TULSA, Okla. — A potentially dangerous situation is when athletes are outside training in this heat. FOX23 spoke with a local coach on how the heat is impacting his athletes.

Football practice starts August 8, but student-athletes are starting their summer strength and conditioning workouts. And these extreme temperatures are here to stay for at least the next 10 days.

Dan Newman, athletic trainer for Union High School, said heat has a huge impact on student-athletes. To avoid the heat, most training happens in the morning or in the evening.

He said being educated on the heat is key.

“Hydration is key, always having to carry a water bottle. We have a lot of kids who carry empty milk jugs of water, but we always encourage mixing in a sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade mix in there. A good healthy diet, no junk food, eating at least three or four meals a day and getting plenty of rest,” Newman said.

Otherwise, health issues can come about.

“Definitely cramping is one of the most common things we see, whether it’s just in the calves or kids go full body cramps and their bodies are just running dry. Our biggest worry is heat stroke, when your body temperature is rising above 102 degrees. That’s basically full system shut down. We try to tell kids that’s when you’re boiling your brain. We have to get them cooled down immediately,” he said.

Newman said Union is fully staffed with trainers and coaches while players are practicing or doing strength and conditioning training.

“We have two emergency water tanks ready. We keep water in them and ice ready so if a kid does go down, we get him in the tub and making sure core temp stays under 102 and send him to emergency care,” he said.

Newman added that it’s good for student-athletes to get out during the hottest parts of the day with plenty of water so their body can get use to the heat. If they hide in air conditioning until August, he said they may hurt themselves or get heat-related illnesses and not perform to their best ability.