Some things come without surprise when Texas comes to mind: delicious barbecue, decadent cowboy boots, 10-gallon hats and grueling summer heat.
When summer practices begin on Aug. 1, water, electrolytes and overall hydration will be as important than the muscle players pack on before their team’s official season opener.
And while rounding passing routes or missing tackling assignments may be a culprit of “taking a play off” or lack of effort, it may not be the case for every high school football hopeful. Information gathered from the Medline Plus government website, too, may tell a different story about the Bulldog, Indian, Eagle, Hawk, Jaguar, Mustang, Panther or Yellow Jacket wondering why his body isn’t damp with sweat.
When a player reaches maximum dehydration, he or she can experience one of three illnesses: heat cramps, muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise; heat exhaustion, a precursor to heat stroke; or heat stroke, a life-threatening illness in which an athlete’s core temperature rises above 106 degrees in minutes.
Medline Plus also stated the risk of heat stroke rises progressively when temperatures exceed 69.8 degrees with 50 percent humidity.
The Waxahachie Daily Light asked Waxahachie’s Edrian “E.J.” Hairston and Midlothian Heritage’s Greg Goerig, two high school athletic trainers with more than 15 years of combined experience, pressing questions that could keep your child out of harm’s — and dehydration’s — way.
1. How important is hydration during summer practices?
Hairston: Hydration is important at all times. It is monitored more during summer and early fall practices due to equipment and the hotter climate.
Goerig: It’s extremely important — not only during the summer but at all practices year round. Proper hydration is not only important for preventing heat illnesses but also preventing sports injuries. For example, our muscles are made up of…