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Paul Woody: Skins' trainers shine in the sun


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Skins' trainers shine in the sun

Protecting players starts with hydration night before practice



Wednesday, August 2, 2006

ASHBURN - When John Burrell, the head athletic trainer for the Washington Redskins, sees the temperature rising and practice starting, he and his staff keep close watch on players, coaches and staff members.

Water, Gatorade and wet, cold towels are plentiful.

The Redskins got through a practice yesterday afternoon that began at 4:30 when the temperature was 97 degrees and the heat index was at 104 without losing a player to a heat-related problem.

To Burrell, the reason for that success began the night before.

"We stress hydration before, during and after practice," Burrell said. "But the night before is the most important time.

"If you go on the field and your thirst mechanism is firing, it's too late. You've got to pre-hydrate, then drink in moderation during practice."

Yesterday, the Redskins not only got through their afternoon practice, they also worked through the heat in a morning practice.

How hot was it?

"It feels like the sun is on my shoulders and is rolling on my back, back and forth," said offensive guard Randy Thomas. "I don't even feel the breeze."

The Redskins try to protect players from heat-related problems. Every player is weighed after practice to see how much water-weight has disappeared.

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