West Texas coaches taking extra precautions to keep players safe from the heat

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 4:43 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Symer and Levelland are just two of the hundreds of Texas football teams prepping for the Friday night lights this year, but coaches say with the heat there is more to worry about than just X’s and O’s before this season.

Head Coach at Levelland High School Lyle Lelong says, “I think a lot of that is just education, getting those guys educated to know before they come, they got to eat, they got to drink and then we try to practice in the morning and allow them to have unlimited water breaks, so we know how hot it is. This is a different hot. We got to be able to get everything we can out of these kids, but we also want to make sure that we are being safe. Safety is more important than anything else.”

Many teams have swapped two-a-day practices for one early morning practice to beat the heat. Coaches, trainers, and players are taking precautions to stay healthy before the season. Taking water breaks, allowing players to sit out a play if they aren’t feeling well, and moving practice times out of the heat of the day are all ways coaches are protecting their players.

Smyer Head Coach Scott Funke says, “We are going once a day, we are meeting a little bit more, too. We meet in the morning because we lift, we do a couple of sprints while it’s cool outside and then we go back inside and meet again. So, we have a couple of meetings to make sure we are not out here for a long time. We are out here two hours at the max in the heat.”

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the upcoming football season and coaches are expecting players to give their all, but the top priority is to ensure the players don’t suffer injuries related to heat during practice.

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