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'It makes me feel a lot safer honestly,' Players and coaches react to heat preparedness law in effect next month

Thanks to Indiana lawmakers, new legislation will provide athletes with another layer of protection.

Posted: Jun. 20, 2018 10:31 PM

BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) - It's another day of competing against a summer sunrise. 

"It's really hot out here, but we just have to keep drilling, and drilling and drilling," said Braden Nevins.

Nevins is going into his senior year at Northview High School, where he plays on the football team.

"It's my last year," he said, "I want to get out there and perform as best as I can and have fun out there."

For Nevins, the early morning summer practices are a way to prepare for the upcoming season. For Head Coach Mark Raetz, the early start time is a way to keep players cool during the hot days.

"We practice in the mornings, try to get everything done before it gets too hot," Raetz said, "Something else we do is we give them plenty of water breaks. Last year we purchased a big water hydration system, so the kids can get water at any time. Another thing is we take our pads off. Like when we run, or different times, we'll take pads off and try to get them to cool down as much as possible."

Thanks to Indiana lawmakers, new legislation will provide athletes with another layer of protection.

Starting July 1st, Indiana school and intramural coaches must pass a heat preparedness course and be recertified every two years. The goal is to help coaches better detect heat related illnesses and exhaustion in their athletes.

Though the heat preparedness training has already been offered and taken by other coaches, the new law will make it a requirement.

"Really through the Indiana Football Coaches Association, we've been doing this. I think we're going to be in our third cycle this year doing the heat preparedness training," Raetz said, "So it's nothing new really to us, but it's just good education. It kind of gives people the warning signs for us to look for out here on the field and gives us strategies to help keep players cool."

While the first game for the Northview Knights is just a couple of months away, players and coaches say the training makes practices and game days a little bit smoother. 

"It makes me feel a lot safer honestly," said Nevins.

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