HC Dirk Koetter is used to the Florida heat but he is not a huge fan of it when it comes to effect it has on his players. So, Tampa’s HC has decided to move practices to the morning, this change will last all the way until the final preseason game. Tampa had studied the temperature between the morning and the afternoon last season and noticed that there was a significant difference. “We did a little study, and in August when we’re out here, it’s on average 11 degrees cooler at 8:45 than it is at 2:45. I did quick Idaho State math and said, ‘Geez, 11 degrees cooler! Why won’t we practice in the morning?’ ”
Coach Koetter believes that practicing in high temperatures has a negative impact on the body that can ultimately affect the players through the season. “The last 10 years I’ve been coaching in the South, and I really do believe there’s a cumulative effect over the course of the season, from August until the end of the year. When you’re out here, even if it’s for walk-through and it’s 12, 1, 2:00 and it’s 95 degrees and the sun’s beating on you. I just think there’s a cumulative effect, and we’re going to try to do everything we can to chip away at that.”
GMAC is one who definitely welcomes this change, but at the same time, he also believes that mother nature has a mind of her own and that she may not be willing to let up on the heat index. “I feel like the weather has a personality and it knows when we practice. The heat is always there. It’s like, ‘We’re going to practice in the morning, guys.’ Great. And the temperature is like going to be 175.”
Practicing in the morning will help to save the guys from dehydration, which causes cramps and could lead to muscle pulls, and it will give their bodies more time to recover, which is the most important thing in avoiding things like hamstring injuries.