Heat Wave Hits Sports Camps

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

How hot is too hot when it comes to enjoying activities outside?

Michigan State University is hosting lots of sports camps this week, and the weather can make things a little complicated.

Coaches at MSU said this is the hottest weather they've had yet, and they're having meetings every morning with the staff and young athletes to discuss being safe in the heat.

The most important thing is staying hydrated, whether you're on the field or in the stands.

"We get hot just sitting here, and I can't even imagine being out there running and throwing and having long pants, and everything like that on, but they do a great job," mother Jena Sparks said at McLane Baseball Stadium.

Practice makes perfect, but in these temperatures that can be difficult. Coaches are giving athletes water breaks every 20 minutes and monitoring them closely.

"We try to keep them as hydrated as humanly possible, and just make sure that when we take a break, they know they need to get a drink," MSU Baseball Coach Jake Boss said. "They need to take advantage of that opportunity."

Gatorade and water are available at every camp location, but athletic trainers say hydration should start long before athletes get on the field.

"A few glasses when they wake up, and then a few with each meal, and that usually covers it," MSU Athletic Trainer Ryan Deane said.

What many parents don't realize is they should be doing the same thing. A few of them have fallen ill just by being supportive spectators at the MSU camps.

"The sun beating down on you for a while is going to exhaust you, and you're not going to realize it until almost after you're on your way out," Deane said.

Deane said if you're thirsty, you're dehydrated, which could lead to heat exhaustion - feeling dizzy, sweating profusely, and in a bit of a daze. Those symptoms could turn into heat stroke very quickly, but water or a bit of shade could make all the difference.

"I take refuge under the bleachers with some of the other parents," father Mike Harden said.

But sometimes it is truly too hot. The MSU athletic staff checks the heat index throughout the day, and if it goes above105 degrees, camps move inside. Parents say their children aren't phased.

"He's been playing baseball since tee ball, and this is just part of the summer routine that he's going to go through every summer," Harden said.

MSU did have to cancel camps for a few hours in the afternoon Monday, but they were able to go back outside by 4:00 p.m. They said more cancellations are likely as the week goes on.

Athletic trainers recommend always having a bottle of water with you - whether you're running for exercise or just running errands.

If you're on campus, they recommend taking pit stops in some of the air conditioned buildings to cool off.

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