Prep athletes fight through summer heat to get an edge on the field this fall

Sports

PECULIAR, Mo. — Some high school football teams shine their brightest under the Friday night lights. But the grind begins long before kickoff in August.

“You want them to feel like they paid their deposits, done what they’ve had to do over the summer time, as you lead up into your season,” Raymore-Peculiar head football coach, Sean Martin told FOX4.

Missouri’s reigning 6A champ, Ray-Pec, started working out in early June, four days a week. The Panthers feel it gives them an edge.

“All coaches in the area and your competition is very strong, they’re all doing the same thing. They’re telling their kids the same thing,” Martin said.

Conditioning before the official first day of practices is the norm for many athletes. Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System say it should be routine for every athlete.

“So preparing to return for the fall sports including football. So not just showing up at practice thinking that’s going to be your conditioning. Conditioning to be football or sport ready when you begin that fall camp in August,” orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Paul Schroeppel said.

The biggest benefit? The possible prevention of injury.

“We know that’s a consistent problem when we return to sports. Hydration plays a part in that. So really maintaining a hydration status and making sure you avoid dehydration and heat injury,” Dr. Schroeppel said.

With some of the toughest conditioning days behind them, Ray-Pec’s Sean Martin is looking forward to the season ahead.

“The work the kids are trying to put in and do put it, and their willingness to come in and work hard. We talk about it. To be uncomfortable the a lot of times the easier thing to do would maybe to be to stay home and take it easy,” Martin said.

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