Football Camps Start Slow to Minimize Risks
Coaches Need to Guard Against Injuries, Dehydration
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For Superior High School’s Bob DeMeyer, the first week of football camp is always the toughest.
“We get a good idea of where we’re at physically,” said the Spartans’ head coach.
“We don’t get to do a whole lot because we don’t have pads on. Until we can get pads on, we’re very limited in what we can do.”
Conditioning week was put in as a safety measure for schools in warmer climates than Superior. However, DeMeyer follows the rules to keep his Spartans safe.
“We are only allowed to be on the field a certain amount of time, we follow that to a ‘T’,” DeMeyer said. “We have to take a certain number of breaks, things like that.”
DeMeyer and his staff also teach the kids the right way to play.
“We’re always talking about proper fundamentals, technique in everything we do,” said DeMeyer. “We’re constantly stressing safety and how to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
That includes keeping the kids safe from concussions.
“It’s number one,” DeMeyer said. “It’s like other injuries, you have to let them heal before we allow them back on the field. We follow that as well and we keep them as safe as possible.”
“It’s really difficult to pinpoint one specific symptom with a concussion,” adds Dr. David Rust of St. Luke’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, who believes coaches need to err on the side of caution when it comes head injuries.
“We want to know is there an injury to the brain? If so, we want to hold that player out,” said Dr. Rust.
However football is a contact sport, and that means risk.
“It’s part of any game, there are kids that are going to get hurt,” said DeMeyer. “We try to minimize those times, and our trainer does a great job of treating, rehabilitating and getting them back on the field.”
Because in football staying on the field means staying active.