As we start to hear the rumblings of pre-season football yet another anniversary passes. While it seems we hear a new story of a young athlete falling ill on the field at a rate far greater then we should, teams are making an effort to keep players safe both on and off the field.
Outside the Lines Video Link
Heat Stroke kills athletes suddenly, tragically, and indiscriminately. Over the past decade as the public has become more and more aware of the dangers to athletes during the hot summer months we have gained knowledge through the unfortunate deaths that have occurred. One that was both highly publicized and extremely heartbreaking was that of Minnesota Vikings lineman Kore Stringer. With his wife and kids lounging around in the air conditioned home that all his hard work on long hot days on the football field provided, Kore Stringer succumbed to a number of factors while at a practice with the Minnesota Vikings.
One of the facts that were stated on the Outside the Lines piece was through the Kore Stringer foundation they have found that 1/3 of all high school football teams do not have a trainer on staff at this point. Since the Stringer death unfortunately happened his widow has been at the forefront of the movement to enlighten the public about the dangers of heat stroke. Heat Stroke is something that can be prevented.
Everyone from children participating in youth sports like football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, to high school kids and even professional athletes can fall prey to being a victim of the heat. As athletes we have everything from our own personal ego to a sense of competition involved. Sometimes we can't be the ones to make the right choices when it comes to things like water breaks. When the temperature rises outdoors and it's combined with pushing our bodies to the absolute limit there can never be enough "water breaks". Drinking water during practice shouldn't be something scheduled, players need to be encouraged to replenish their system continuously if they want to keep their bodies in top shape and condition.