DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), currently ranked No. 8 in the Super 25 football rankings, clearly has a talent edge every time it takes the field. But the team also has an unconventional way of gaining a greater edge: yoga and Pilates.
The squad, led by coach Elijah Brooks, is in its second season of employing Bikram yoga and Pilates, which is when you perform the exercises in extreme heat—in this case, 104 degrees.
“I wanted to try it out before I got my team involved,” Brooks told WTOP. “Without a doubt, it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever participated in.”
The team has embraced the exercise, and players have said they’ve seen it pay off on the field. Their coach, too, has seen the dividends.
“Absolutely,” Brooks told WTOP. “We want to always give our kids an advantage, and being able to go out and play an August day or night and know that we’ve been in these temperatures, equivalent to that of hot yoga, gives our guys, we feel, a mental edge.”
DeMatha will open its season Friday against Virginia power Oscar Smith.