(WYTV) – Heat acclimatization week started in Pennsylvania Monday. That means the first five practices for high school football players aren’t in full uniform as they get used to the heat. It’s policy the PIAA put into play back in 2013.
With temperatures soaring into the 90s Monday, coaches were focused on hydration.
Heat-related illness is a big concern in these conditions. Players practicing were taking frequent water breaks.
But these coaches don’t just want their teams drinking water when they get to practice though. They want them coming hydrated and ready to hit the field.
“You don’t want to wait until today at practice to say, ‘I’m going to drink a lot of water.’ It’s a little too late for that. You gotta start before that 48 hours before at least and drink as much water as you can and make some sports drinks and go from there,” said Farrell Head Football Coach Amp Pegues.
“As coaches, we have to be smart with how we structure our practices, like our first practice won’t be a little harder. We’ll go a little lighter and then get into our second practice, and it’s just about being aware of that, and as the week wears on, there’s different things we can do, implement walk-throughs. You can go without pads in certain periods just to kind of lighten that load, but the good thing is you also want to test them though. So, it’s good to have that heat during heat acclimation,” said Hickory Head Football Coach Bill Dungee.
In Pennsylvania, the minimum amount of practice time each day during this week for players is three hours. The max is five.
If a team plans on practicing all five hours, they must have a two-hour rest period.