The kick off to high school football is fast approaching, as most Lubbock ISD high schools prepare to begin their two-a-day practices next week. Frenship ISD began their's this week. However, the two-a-day practices won't be the same as they've been in years past, because the UIL has handed some new mandates that coaches must follow.
Frenship High School athletic trainer, Kimber Rodgers, says most of the mandates relate to the extreme heat outside and keeping kids from over-exerting themselves. One rule, in particular, limits the players from wearing full gear during the first four days of practice.
"They have to have four days of acclimatization, where basically, they're just getting used to being outside practicing again." Rodgers said.
The goal is to get players conditioned to the heat before they throw on their pads.
"So that they're used to that, so when they do have their shoulder pads and full pads, they're not just in shock working out like that," Rodgers said.
Another rule in place this year, is no back to back practices. LISD's head athletic trainer, Ronnie Kirk, says that's to make sure kids don't over do it.
"They can't have back to back 2 a day practices. One day, they can have two practices, the next day they can have one," Kirk said.
Kirk says his coaches take the new rules very seriously and exercise good common sense when their players take the field.
"Our number one priority is the health and safety of our kids. So, we allow them to have water whenever they need it," Kirk said.
Both Kirk and Rodgers say their coaches pay close attention to the athletes to make sure they are safe, no matter how hot it is outside.
"They're at every practice and help keep all the athletes hydrated and let them have as much water as possible," Kirk said.
For more information about the new UIL rules, go to www.uiltexas.org/athletics
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