August 13, 2010
Heat dialed up for early fall practices
MADISON - Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema probably couldn't have asked for better weather to open fall camp. With the season opener set to be played in the middle of the desert in less than a month, the Madison weather is definitely cooperating.
"There is no way we can simulate Las Vegas heat," junior safety Aaron Henry said. "It's dry heat and it's going to be a different feel. But anytime it's hot like this, it's not similar but it's on the same playing field."
Henry[/db] grew up in the heat.
As a South Floridian, Henry spent his formative days, and high school days, laboring away in the humid air surrounding him.
Through four days of fall camp, though, the heat in Wisconsin has drawn his ire, even though it's good preparation for the season opener.
"It's extremely hot," Henry said. "They said they have a heat advisory warning."
On Thursday, temperatures crept into the mid-90's with heat indexes reaching triple digits in Madison. If you stepped outside at any point during the day, the humidity and heat didn't wait long to hit you.
It was surely uncomfortable for the common person. Try practicing in it for three hours.
"Coming from Florida you would think I'm adjusted to this," Henry said. "I've been living here for three years so when I tell you it was hot, it was very, very hot. Everywhere we move it felt like the sun was following us."
While some may look at the heat as a deterrent, the coaching staff and players are treating it as a welcome addition to the practice plan.
When the Badgers head to the desert in three weeks to take on the Runnin Rebels it's going to be hot.
"Vegas is going to be hotter than this," junior defensive tackle Patrick Butrym said. "That's why we mention it and that's why we practice at this time of day. It's the hottest time of the day and you have to embrace that and realize that this is how hot it's going to be in Vegas.
With heat advisories in effect and forecasted temperatures still hanging around the 90-degree mark, it's obvious the heat factor is important. At times, it could be dangerous for players to be exposed to the conditions for such a long time while exercising at such a high rate.
But the coaching staff is smart about it. They aren't going to force the issue during the peak hours of the day. Rather, if the situation warrants it, the coaches will change the start of practice to earlier in the morning or later in the evening.
But so far the heat has been manageable. So until they start switching practice times, the players will need to find ways to cope.
"You get used to it by the end of practice," Butrym said. "I think we've been out here for two and a half or three hours. By the end of it you're just so soaked that I don't think you can sweat anymore.
"You get pretty immune to it by the end of the day."
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