ARLINGTON, Texas - Not even a heat wave can stop North Texas high schools from preparing for the upcoming sports seasons. Some players returned to the field this week with precautions in place.
It was close to 90 degrees already when the athletes began strength and conditioning drills at Martin High School in Arlington Monday morning.
Even though it wasn’t during the hottest part of the day, the athletes were told to prepare for the heat long before arriving.
"It’s going to be hot on Friday nights in August and September. It’s going to be hot when those cross-country runners are out there running two or three miles in the park. So, for us this is an absolute necessity," said Bob Wager, the head football coach at Martin High School. "Aside from hydration and diet and rest and those things, attitude goes a long way too. These kids want to be here, and the coaches want to be here and that goes a long way as well."
Arlington Martin High School holds a camp for athletes at every grade level.
They spend only about 40 minutes outdoors in the morning before returning to the air conditioning indoors to lift weights or work on other strength exercises.
Hydration is a major requirement.
"We try to make sure we have water stations set up everywhere. We split their time indoors and outdoors and try to limit the amount of time they’re out here," Wager said.
To the east in Mesquite at Horn High School, heat safety precautions are top priority.
The school’s head football coach, Courtney Allen, explains hydration and communication.
"One thing about heat, people think you can drink water that day and think you’re going to be fine. No, no, n. That thing happens days in advance. Keeping them consistently on the water every 20, 30 minutes. We try to break it up and let them get water," he said.
The student-athletes are dedicated with safety in mind as a relentless heatwave continues.
"The biggest thing is looking at the forecast ahead of time, staying in contact our trainers. They really help govern that a lot," Allen said. "So just being in communication with people that really monitor that, it helps us a lot."
Allen says they are beginning their sessions at 8 a.m. But as we move toward August and beyond, they will likely begin their sessions at 6:30 a.m.