How a Basketball Coach's Body Reacts to a Heated Game

Michigan State's coach Tom Izzo allowed "Nightline" to track his vital signs under stress of a loss.
3:00 | 03/19/14

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Transcript for How a Basketball Coach's Body Reacts to a Heated Game
It's part of all of our lives. Some of us believe we need it in order to maintain our edge, in fact, but any doctor will tell you too much stress is down right toxic. And so tonight, an experiment. We're going to wire up one of the most stressed out guys you have ever seen. A big-time college basketball coach gearing up for March madness. Dr. Oz says the results contain lessons for all of us. Host of "Sports science" on our sister network on ESPN has the report. Reporter: This is coach Tom iz Izzo. A jumping jack and a double Axel. One of the highest paid coaches in college basketball. In the heat of game, the pressure gets the best of him. It looks like he's enjoying his afternoon. That's how I feel. . Reporter: It's all part of a long tradition of coaches who appear to be going mad. You're a liar, earl! Reporter: He looks like he wants a technical. . Reporter: And some go straight into full tilt metdown. You piece of . Just broke a stick over the ice. He lost his mind. Reporter: Coaches are no stranger to health issues. As seen in this dramatic video, NFL head coach Gary Kubiak suddenly collapsed on the field last season. A few years back, duke coach Mike krzyzewski fainted in the middle of this game. But what is all this hair pulling, foot stomping and hand wringing do to one's health? I'm going to wire you up. To find out, "Nightline" was granted unprecedented access top wire the Michigan state coach during an actual game. Tracking his breathing rate and heart rate. I just got to pop this in. Pop that in. Reporter: And we even had him swallow a sensor that tracks his core body temperature. So what do you expect to find out? I don't think anybody understands all the things that you go through. Maybe the biggest one is stress. Reporter: Right. And it's probably one of the harder ones to measure. Reporter: Tom's wife Lupe knows the drill. But what will our experiment reveal? Is her husband's stressful job putting him at risk? There's so much that comes into the basketball program. So yeah, he's very stressed. We recruited two doctors, Dr. Redford Williams, who joined me court side, and Dr. Oz back at the "Nightline" lab, one of the nation's top cardiologists. One of the number one reasons for stress is you don't control the world outside of you. Reporter: It's game time. At the start, coach Izzo seems pretty calm, breathing easy. 14 breaths per minute. Heart rate, 68 beats per minute. But as things get going, nerves kick in. His heart rises even from just hearing his own name being announced. Tom Izzo! Reporter: When the imposing team scores the first basket, his heart immediately starts racing. If you suddenly jerk your heart rate up, things can happen. Irregular heart beats that become permanent. They can be dangerous because they can cause strokes. They can make you faint. Up to 122. The second basket. Coach Izzo's team is losing big time and it's having an impact on his body. There's definitely a correlation between the number of points they're down and his heart rate. His core body temperature has actually gone up. It's approaching 100. Your body temperature isn't supposed to vary that much. It means that his body is feeling not only stress, but being fatigued by that stress. Lays it in. Reporter: Izzo's team starts to rally. Finally, Izzo's heart gets a break. If things are going poorly, his heart rate goes up. If things are going well, his heart rate comes down. Reporter: When the game starts up again, it doesn't look good for his team. He just blew his stack. 9:14 to go in the game. Slammed the table. Reporter: The referees start calling fouls. And Izzo gets mad. Really mad. Izzo, Izzo, Izzo. Reporter: In the control room, the crew finds Izzo's reactions down right entertaining. But Dr. Oz says this is potentially dangerous. Dealing with a quick sudden burst of anxiety like someone called you up and scared you about some news is one thing. Having chronic stress that never gets better, that's even more detrimental. His heart is up to 130 now. Reporter: His core body temperature climbs to 100 degrees and his heart rate spikes to a game high 135 beats per minute. That's 70% of his max heart rate, which is the same percentage experienced by a marathoner. And Izzo hasn't even left court side. This is definitely not a laboratory experiment. I mean, this is in the real world. Reporter: When it seems winning is out of reach, coach Izzo's heart rate and body temp begin to taper off. Almost as if his body is conceding defeat. The giving-up process allows your body to come down to a Normal place. But that's, of course, what happens no matter what. Whether you win or lose, your body quits. Izzo's team, Michigan state was supposed to win this game, but they lost by seven points. We met up with him the next day to show him the results of our unique experiment. Hi, coach. A little bit of a tough game, but probably the ideal game for us to wire you up and take a look at what's really going on, right? Upted to see disappointment, you know, maybe my heart stopped because of some of the things that went on. Reporter: Another play where you got a little upset, and this time you physically did a jump SP spin. You were very passionate. I loved gymnastics in the olympics. I wanted to see if I could do one of those 360s. It was kind of a poor version. I definitely thought there was a foul called on that critical, critical moment. Reporter: Coach Izzo didn't seem surprised by the data we found during our real-time stress test. The Italian in me, maybe emotions are worn more on the sleeve. If you came out with something positive, it might make my wife happy, my maker sad. The insurance policy is paid up. Reporter: Every time coach Izzo's heart rate spiked, it quickly returned to a more Normal level. This shows that his heart is in good shape. But it's this kind of internal roller coaster dangerous for your long-term health? The kind of chronic appearance can lead to longer term with your immune system, problems with blood pressure. The body feels it's always under attack. Keeping calm isn't exactly in a coach's job description. Stom is really passionate. He doesn't mix words. He says what he means, he means what he says. I don't try to hide my emotions very often. It gets me in trouble sometimes. Most coaches have their moments, but I think that they've gotten this far because they can handle things, you know? Because there's stressful things that happen each and every day in these jobs. Reporter: For "Nightline" in east Lansing, Michigan. Speaking of basketball and pressure, it's time for March madness. Tonight, many of you are filling out your bracket, including the first fan, president Obama. Who is naming Michigan state as well as Louisville, Florida and Arizona to go to the final four. For all of ESPN's bracketology including the president's pick for the national championship, tune into "Sportscenter" starting Wednesday at 9:00 A.M. Eastern.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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