Area high school football coaches taking extra precautions in extreme heat

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by Mike Colombo

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 15, 2010 at 12:37 PM

(WHAS11)  Being out in the scorching heat can be tough, especially if you’re doing something active; like at Ballard High School, where football practice wrapped up just before noon Thursday morning.  We asked if coaches were taking extra precautions to keep the players safe and were told yes, from proper hydration to cutting practices short if temperatures get too hot. 
 

The coaching staff and trainers at Ballard High and throughout the area are taking this scorching weather seriously with the safety of their players in mind.  And the coaching the Ballard High football players were receiving was as much about the proper ways to stay safe in this heat, as it was about the Xs and Os.
 

With the memory of PRP football player Max Gilpin, who died in August of 2008 from the effects of heat exhaustion on the gridiron, fresh on the minds of coaches and trainers, Ballard High football coach Mike Jackson said his staff won’t take chances when practicing in the heat.
 

“We’ve got water stations in three different areas.  We moved the practices.  We either practice early in the morning or late at night.  We never practice in the afternoons for that reason,” said Jackson.
 

Coach Jackson said legal liability is also an added priority in monitoring player safety.  “We’ve got a saying around our coaching staff: when it comes to quitting early, etc., it’s “is it worth it?” The answer is always no; we always stop drills when we have to,” added Jackson.
 

The training staff is also active in keeping coaches and players informed of heat danger.  Matt Kendzior, Ballard High athletic trainer, said “If you have a heat index over 105, you have to move practice indoors if you have an air conditioned facility.  If you don’t, you have to postpone practice”.
 

The staff at Ballard has implemented mandatory water breaks and should conditions warrant, will have players take off pads and helmets doing drills in a cooler and safer fashion.
 

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