Tackling high heat and humidity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tackling high heat and humidity

DIKE (KWWL) -- High temps and humidity can't keep local football teams from tackling high-intensity practices. Many players are in the middle of "two-a-days," training early in the morning, and then coming back for a second round of drills in the afternoon.

At Dike-New Hartford High School, along with blocking and tackling, Coach Don Betts drills an important message into every player.

"We talk a lot with them about getting plenty of water," he said.

Along with the standard football gear, many of the guys bring along giant gallons of water to practice. Their coach recommends they stay hydrated all day long, although some of them take it to the extreme.

"I've got my refrigerator stuffed with Gatorade and water and juice," said Senior Michael Weidemann.

Coach is happy to see at least few players gulping down that much water. He admits, many of the guys struggle to stay hydrated.

"I think that's a difficult thing for everybody to do is to drink that much water. Probably, myself and the other coaches are in the same boat, that we don't drink as much as we really need to," he said.

Players also struggle to maintain their body weight in the heat. Senior Troy Irbin said he's generally not hungry when he's practicing in high temperatures and humidity. But he knows it's important to get the calories and nutrients he needs to perform at his best.

Another tough call is balancing when and how to practice when it warms up.

"We generally start at four, we've moved them back to five," Coach Betts said. "Pads go on on Thursday, and we'll have to take a good hard look at that."

"That gets a lot hotter, that's a lot more important to get hydrated then. Cause you sweat a lot more under the pads and everything. It just takes it out of you, drains you," Irbin said.

Coach Betts is aware of the difference between drained and dehydrated. And he's relieved to report, the team has never had a player pushed further than he can go.

"I've been very fortunate, knock on wood. I've never had that situation, and I hope I never do," he said.

Online Reporter: Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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