CATEGORY: COL Columns (Journal)
HED:David Wheeler: Coaches and players struggle with how to deal with the heat
How to beat the heat?
That’s a question many coaches and players are asking this week as practice begins for the 1999 high school football season during one of the hottest summers on record. But perhaps the better question should be how to cope with the heat?
“Practicing this time of year is very tough, especially if they haven’t been out exercising in the heat yet,” said Chris Troyer, a certified athletic trainer and Sports Medicine Coordinator for the North Mississippi Medical Center. “But those athletes who have been going to pre-practice conditioning or have been working outside should have an advantage.
“How they handle the heat depends on how climatized they are.”
Because of how early Mississippi high school football begins – Aug. 27 this year – practicing in the heat is unavoidable. But Troyer does have some thoughts on how to avoid serious medical trouble despite the warm temperatures.
“Fluid pre-placement and replacement are key,” says Troyer, whose department serves 12 high schools in Northeast Mississippi. “By the time you feel thirsty, you’ve already begun to dehydrate.”
Troyer also feels that while sports drinks have made great strides in recent years, water is still the “cornerstone” of surviving summertime workouts.
“A positive aspect of practicing right now is that to play in the heat, you have to practice in the heat,” Troyer said. “You’ve got to get your body use to playing in the heat.
“But some of the negatives include that the heat really stresses the body’s ability to regulate itself. The good thing to do is to ease into it, and that helps your body handle it better.”
There are many early warning signs to being overheated, but Troyer also says these signs are also a natural part of being physically active outdoors. But more serious signs include a change in the body’s sweating patterns, and an even more serious sign is when the body stops sweating completely.
“The body protects its internal organs first,” Troyer said. “The advanced signs, we hope we never see.”
North-South All-Star report
Due to a bout with pneumonia, some notice of the efforts of area athletes during the recent All-Star weekend, July 23-24, were delayed.
Letting ladies go first, it should be mentioned that Lesley Lewis of Alcorn Central was selected to both the North tennis and basketball squads.
“It wasn’t too bad doing both,” said Lewis, who will be a freshman at Northeast Mississippi Community College this fall. “To be chosen among the great athletes in North Mississippi was a great honor, and I had a great time.”
In tennis, Lewis won her doubles match, but lost in singles competition. On the basketball court, Lewis hit her first shot attempt – a 3-pointer – in the first quarter, but was unable to connect again in the North’s 60-57 win.
Also that day, Ingomar’s Trent Adair scored 10 points in an 81-73 loss to the South.
“I was just trying to battle those big men, those trees,” said the 6-foot-3 Adair, who played center against the much taller South squad. “They’re a lot stronger than you usually see in 1A, and it was good experience for Northeast.
After being 18 points down in the second quarter, Adair, a Northeast signee, scored seven points in the fourth quarter as the North made a nice comeback after the game appeared to be a rout.
With the beginning of school fast approaching, we at the Daily Journal would greatly appreciate coaches sending in schedules for football, softball, volleyball, cross country and swimming.
D.E. Wheeler covers high school sports for the Daily Journal