Eighteen Dallas ISD football teams are hitting the gridiron this week for the start of practice, and each team has the same end goal: win the State championship.
Though most football programs no longer participate in two-a-day practices, football teams go through strategic daily workout schedules that incorporate strength training, conditioning, and fundamental position.
“Two-a-days practices are virtually a practice concept of the past and very few schools practice twice a day any longer,” said Phil Francis, Dallas ISD’s head athletic trainer. “It is now widely understood that the excessive duration with exposure to the ambient temperatures and humidity can cause heat-related illness.”
The University Interscholastic League instated a four-day acclimatization period that mandates teams cannot practice more than once per day during the first four days of outdoor practice activities. During those first four practices, contact activities or equipment, including the helmet, are not allowed. Teams are advised to limit practices to no more than three hours and walk-throughs, or teaching sessions, to two hours. This adds up to a maximum maximum of five hours of team activity per day.
In addition, the UIL has instated the “No Fly Zone,” which prohibits teams from practicing between noon–6 p.m. during the first two weeks of organized practices. The No Fly Zone is a precaution against heat-related illnesses that can result from practicing in the intense heat of the Texas summer.
Skyline, South Oak Cliff, Samuell, and Adamson start football workouts next week. The schools start football workouts a week later because of their participation in a UIL spring training option given to class 5A and 6A programs.