Fort Lauderdale, Fla., September 29, 2015 - Florida is nicknamed the “Sunshine State.” With warm temperatures and clear skies, the state has lived up its reputation at the inaugural SWATC FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals.
Given that temperatures are expected to rise about 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), the players have been taking additional precautions. The medical staff has advised players to drink extra water and take advantage of ice towels.
For coaches, heat preparation starts before the match begins.
“You have to shorten their warm-up time,” said Jason Lochhead, who is coaching Canadians Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk. “You don’t want them to get too tired before the match starts.”
Then during the match, players plan on trying to slow the pace of play to allow time to rest and recover.
“You have to take your time between points,” Saxton said. “We will push our 12 seconds as far as we can.”
Beyond drinking extra water, the player are also preparing in the cafeteria.
“You need to make sure you’re eating,” American Jennifer Kessy said. “In this heat, you don’t feel like eating anything, but you still need to get some calories in.”
American Nick Lucena grew up in Fort Lauderdale. He still has to remind himself to drink extra water when he plays at home.
“I don’t think you ever get used to the heat,” Lucena said. “It’s still tough.”
The players are not using the heat as an excuse.
“Everyone is tired as we are,” Saxton said. “You just have to play through it.”