Training Camps typically operate from late July through August leading up to the start of the NFL season with many practices being open to the general public. Some teams choose to hold their Training Camp at their permanent home training facilities and headquarters. Other teams may use a college or university to hold their Training Camp. This requires their Athletic Training staffs to pack up and move their medical supplies and equipment, as well as organize medical and emergency care at those off-site locales.
The extreme summer temperatures and humidity NFL players are exposed to during Training Camp, can affect their performance and, more seriously, put them at risk of heat-related illness. ATCs check players’ weights both before and after each practice to monitor how much weight they’ve lost over a practice session. Monitoring and counseling players on their hydration and the use of Gatorade as a proper fluid replacement during Training Camp is a priority of every NFL Athletic Training staff.
Training Camp is such a busy and important time for NFL teams that they hire Athletic Training Interns to assist with daily responsibilities, such as player hydration, practice coverage, and treatment of player injuries. These are valuable opportunities for young students to learn about Athletic Training in a professional sports setting.
Training Camp also brings the challenge of being away from home for several weeks. There is very little time off while away, but every ATC knows the long Training Camp days are necessary for a team’s growth and preparation for the upcoming season.