H.S.football players still practice in blistering heat

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PHOENIX - All the heat has not stopped a Valley high school football team from practicing outside.


H.S. footballers still practice in severe heat - azfamily.com's Ryan O'Donnell reports the extreme heat has not stopped a Valley high school team from practicing outside.

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The sun was down and it was still over 105 degrees.

Doctors are asking coaches and players who have to be outside to drink a lot of water. Screams, cheers and grunts were heard at times louder than the loud music in the weight room.

It is the varsity football team at North High School that is swelling up for this upcoming season. They are working out in the weight room because it is so hot out there.

Coach Gary Cook says, "You're telling them they've got to drink water throughout and you've got to try to get them away from other drinks that they might be inclined to drink as teenagers."

Coach Cook tells 3TV they still run drills outside in the evening when it is a bit cooler but he says he still keeps a close eye on his players. "It's reality here and if you don't do that, you're asking for trouble."

Several teams in the Valley are out practicing right now. Dr. Michael Levine, with Banner Good Samaritan Hospital, explains, "You can certainly lose well over a liter worth of fluid per hour, so you need to stay well hydrated, you definitely can sweat a lot." Dr. Levine says the average person carries five to six liters inside them so you can see how losing one of those can be dangerous.

Players should listen their body's warning signs. Dr. Levine suggests, "Know if they're starting to get cramps or starting to get nauseous, they're getting vomiting or feeling really fatigued, that they need to stop and take a break and ideally go inside into a cool environment."

Many coaches agree a practice on the field in t-shirt and shorts must happen if they want to survive a game in full pads later this month.

Coach Cook says, "They're going to have to go through this in August and up through half way through September, they're going to have to play in it, so you have to get them acclimated into it during a course of the summer and you just have to be careful how you do it."

While some of us like drinking Gatorade or Powerade when we get thirsty, Dr. Levine actually recommends mixing it with water because he says it is better for the body.