How Do NFL Teams Handle Training in the Summer Heat?
But while football players push themselves to train in the hot summer heat, they also must be mindful of the potential for heat-related illnesses to set in.A recent article from AS.com spoke with some NFL sports medicine professionals about how the top football players in the world prepare to train in the summer heat.
Below is an excerpt from that AS.com article.
NFL players go into training camps knowing that they have to learn how to manage the heat index and follow all the protocols religiously to restrain from heat illnesses or heat-related issues.
The first three to five days are usually when players’ bodies get their first shocking reactions to the heat, but once they make it through those days, their bodies are “acclimated and prepared to take on the heat,” according to Reggie Scott, the Los Angeles Rams’ vice president of sports medicine and performance.
Several water breaks, cool-down tents and cutting back on practice times when needed are all necessary actions in the ramp-up period.
Additionally, performance and physical measurement collected and analyzed by computerized devices has become routine for NFL players at training camp, which greatly aids in keeping the players out of the danger zone.
And because heat-related stress is a big substance of extreme heat, the medical staff present at camps always keep an eye on their players. These individuals are trained to react when a player is dizzy, cramping, confused or nauseous, with an emergency action plan.
Just like the medical staff and the coaches have a responsibility of taking care of their players, so do those big boys themselves.
The more a player is physically prepared ahead of these camps, the more they can adapt to the tough conditions. A good level of fitness allows players “to acclimatize to the heat a little more efficiently,” as John Norwig, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ head athletic trainer said.
Not to mention that players have to stay properly hydrated at all times, of course. Practicing without their leggings and taking helmets off whenever taking a break are also ways of allowing sweat to evaporate, helping the body to better adapt.
To read the full article from AS.com, click here.