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Michigan coaches working to ensure athletes stay safe and hydrated ahead of upcoming sports season

Posted at 6:33 AM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 08:27:58-04

(WXYZ) — High school athletes will be taking to the field, track, and other athletic facilities in the coming weeks, and coaches like Tom Milonov with Warren Mott High School are ensuring that athletes stay safe and hydrated.

"It's important to have heat acclimation so the players get used to wearing helmets," Milonov said. "I mean they've worn helmets in 7-on-7's some. But no matter how much you prepare, you're still going to get a few kids that haven't done a whole lot. Most of our guys have worked their tail off but you get a straggler here or there."

During the first two days of practice, the Warren Mott High School football team can only practice with helmets. Later on, they'll be able to add shoulder pads on and then full pads.

Players like senior Blaise Armstead say they can't wait to play in full uniform.

"Full pads is just like it's almost a Friday night feeling. Like you can just feel it, you get ecstatic. My hands start shaking because it's a different feeling with football," he said.

When it comes to full-contact sports like football, concussion protocol is just as important as hydration.

Michigan athletes go through baseline tests on a computer with a series of tests to see where they are at. When they get a concussion, they take the test again.

"The length of concussion-like symptoms is pretty lengthy and every athlete responds differently to that type of trauma," Director of Sports Medicine at Beaumont Health Jeff Kline said. "Athlete[s] could easily have one of those symptoms or they could have all of them."

Symptoms of concussions include balance problems, headache or “pressure” in the head, confusion, concentration or memory problems, and feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.

Head coach Milonov says the school's trainers do a great job throughout the season to ensure that players stay healthy and hydrated.

"There's very specific guidelines and parameters. The days of getting your bell rung and going back out there are over. You have to take it seriously and we do," he said.