Many high school student athletes are already taking the field and the gym to prepare for fall sports such as football and volleyball. But the wilting temperatures and extreme heat indexes of the past few weeks have presented extra challenges for players and coaches alike.
Thanks to a special agreement with several school districts, the Sports Medicine and Performance Center at The University of Kansas Hospital is providing a full-time, board certified, Kansas licensed athletic trainer at each of those high schools. Having the same trainer on-site day in and day out, rather than just game day, is a huge advantage because the trainers get to know the players and can see when something isn’t quite right. The trainers also get to know each player’s hydration needs, which is extremely important during the sweltering heat of summer football practice, or inside the hot and stuffy gym during volleyball practice.
Several area trainers for the Shawnee Mission School District, and the girls’ volleyball coach at Shawnee Mission Northwest, talk about why dedicated trainers are so important, the importance of hydration and eating…even for indoor sports, how trainers, coaches and parents can recognize heat problems, how knowing the athletes can help with concussions, and the best advice trainers have for parents.
EDITORS/PRODUCERS: Video interviews with Dan Fletcher, Shawnee Mission Northwest trainer, Sarah Sliva, Shawnee Mission Northwest volleyball coach, Kevin Stalsberg, Shawnee Mission North trainer and Megan Burki, Shawnee Mission East trainer are available for use by all news outlets. Also included is b-roll of football practice at Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission North and volleyball practice at Shawnee Mission Northwest.