ROCKFORD (WREX) — Football season has officially begun for Rockford area schools. August practices have kicked off with intense drills and technical training.
“It’s an hour and a half for lifting and agility training and once we get onto the field, we’re not out there for more than an hour and a half,” said Hononegah High School head football coach Brian Zimmerman.
Players at Hononegah are expected to practice for three hours, sometimes two times a day. If a player were to get injured or have symptoms of odd behavior, a physical trainer is on site and can assess the player’s condition right away.
“If we do see any situations where a young man is struggling physically on the field, even sometimes you know we’ve got young men that have a mental situation, that we want to help them out as best we can,” said coach Zimmerman.
Even though August is the hottest month of the season, doctors say most injuries that occur this month will not be related to heat conditions.
According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, players are more likely to experience overexertion and heart-related issues when practicing in the month of August. Doctors say injuries most likely occur when players are not used to the physical activities that are demanded of them.
“As in all things, moderation is the way that you start with. You don’t go do a three-hour practice right away you do a half an hour see how everyone’s doing. You take lots of water breaks,” said Dr. Christopher Rhyne, family physician at SwedishAmerican Hospital.
Doctors also say in order to perform at the highest level, both coaches and players should be educated and take note of performance and behavior.
Dr. Rhyne said, “If there is any possibility that you think something’s different take them out of the game and to see a doctor like me.”
Coach Zimmerman said while it’s fun to coach and play football, the health and safety of his players is most important.