FNF Coaches Talk — Participation Numbers Down, Hog Chat Weight Loss Challenge

Happy Friday, Coaches. Enjoy these stories before you head into the weekend!

1. Football Participation Declines in California (Los Angeles Times)

Not great news here, football coaches.

An annual survey of high schools in California shows a marked decrease in football participation for a fourth consecutive year.

The latest numbers, released by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) on Thursday, showed that 91,305 of the state’s high school students played football last fall, a drop of 3.1%.

Statewide participation in football has dwindled steadily — by more than 12,000 — since 2014-15, when there was a high of 103,725 students involved. The numbers are down nationally, too, having dropped in schools with 11-man football teams by 27,865 in 2016 and 21,465 in 2017.

What can be done to offset the declining participation numbers in football?

2. USF studying heat, hydration habits of prep football players during preseason training (ABC Action News)

The University of South Florida is teaming up with local high school athletes to track heat and hydration during preseason football practices.

Thirty-two student athletes participating in a heat impact study, conducted by Dr. Rebecca Lopez with USF.

Each player is required to ingest a capsule four to five hours before practice everyday for 10 days. It helps researchers monitor body temperature, heart rate, sweat rate, fluid consumption, hydration and perceptual measures (how they feel).

The results of this project will be used to improve current heat policies for high school athletes and reduce the risk of heat-related illness. The results can be used by athletic trainers and other healthcare professionals to modify existing heat safety policies at the state association level.

What are you planning to do to track your players’ hydration levels this preseason?

3. More Than Half a Ton Shed in Hog Football Chat Weight Loss Challenge (FNF Coaches)

The Hog Football Chat is a weekly chat on Twitter geared towards offensive line play. During a chat geared towards health and nutrition, a challenge among the coaches to see who could lose the most weight emerged. With the guidance of Tymon Gilliland, offensive line coach for the Chaparral Pumas (Calif.), the challenge came alive with a spreadsheet and defined rules. The challenge ran from March 1 to June 1 with the winner being determined by the highest percentage of body weight loss. A total of 168 coaches from over 30 states, Mexico, and Canada signed up to participate. As a group, a total of 1,470 pounds were lost.

During the course of the three-month challenge, Garrett Tujague, offensive line coach at the University of Virginia, lost 71 pounds or 22 percent of his body weight.

What type of competition would you like to drum up with fellow football coaches?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!