HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – High School athletes across the valley are spending hours outside as part of their strength and conditioning workouts this summer. But the valley heat can pose dangers leading coaches and athletes to take precautions.
“It gets to your head sometimes but you know you just have to push through,” said Harlingen South Basketball Player Steven Ortegon. ” I just think I have one more run I’m almost done it’s all mental.”
Athletes from all sports at Harlingen South High School are spending six weeks of their summer practicing outdoors as they prepare for the upcoming season. While they are training in the intense heat, the athletes are making sure to take care of themselves and each other.
“One of the things we do is we edify,” said Harlingen South Football Player Caleb Anya. “If we have a teammate getting tired, putting their hands on their knees or fatigued, we tell them we got this let’s go.”
“They got the water cows, the trainers are here the coaches are watching nearby making sure that we are okay,” said Carlos Mossboss.
With up to 200 student-athletes training under the hot sun, Harlingen South Athletic Coordinator Isreal Gonzalez told ValleyCentral it takes a team of coaches and trainers to make sure everyone is safe.
“We do a halftime where we give about a 20–30-minute break we just got to let the kids cool off sometimes we will go into the AC we make sure we force hydration,” Gonzalez said. “Then we’ll have water stations rotated.”
So fat this summer Harlingen South has not had any athletes undergo a heat illness. But Gonzalez said his staff is prepared.
“As soon as we feel a kid is reaching a point of exhaustion our athletic trainers take over,” Gonzalez said. “They separate them and get them inside, follow our protocols make sure parents are notified, and get them hydrated.”
While these practices may be intense, student-athletes are up to the challenge while staying safe from the heat.
“Just to get better as athletes physically, mentally, just to become a stronger player and just to be the best you can be,” Ortegon said.