High school football is getting underway, but two-a-days are becoming a thing of the past, particularly in Texas.
Because there have been 40 heat-related deaths since 1995, many states are cutting back on the two-a-days. Here in Texas, Klein Oak football coach David Smith says schools can only hold them every other day.
“We cannot have two days in a row, and we have to be very sensible to the time and weather,” Smith tells KTRH News. “We may be outside an hour in the morning and maybe a couple of hours in the afternoon, but you have to split it all up.”
Two-a-days were implemented to get players conditioned for the upcoming season after spending the summer off. Smith says that's no longer the case with today's high school athlete.
“They're training in different programs around us, then they're training with private trainers, so they're always training,” he says. “They're never totally out of shape, its not like the old days.”
Still, there were five heat-related deaths in 2011 alone.
Dr. James Pinckney says hydration before, during and after practice is key to avoiding possible heat stroke.
“Drinks with electrolytes in them, like the low-calorie, low-sugar Gatorade G2 are great for re-hydration and replacing that potassium that is lost by sweating,” he says.
Pinckney says both coaches and parents should know the warning signs of heat stroke and now how to treat it immediately.
“Get them in an ice cold immersion to lower that core temperature as fast as possible because heat stroke truly is life threatening,” he says.