Summer Workouts Prepare Athletes: Pro
For a fall athlete, summer isn’t summer without timed miles and trips to the weight room.
Preseason workouts are prime opportunities for athletes to bond with teammates and condition themselves for the upcoming season. This year, tryouts for most fall teams began Aug. 9, and players were expected to attend all practices following tryouts as they should be.
During the summer, almost everyone falls out of a typical routine, allowing lazy habits to take over. Waiting until the season has officially started to begin getting in shape is precisely how a team fails.
“You’re never gonna get better unless you practice,” boys lacrosse and football coach Jesse Rutter said. “If you play for three months and then stop for nine months, you’re gonna have to start right back from the beginning at those next three months.”
Summer workouts are not too heavy a burden for most players. Vacations can be scheduled around the mandatory dates and most coaches are understanding when a player absolutely must miss a practice.
Summer training is a critical time for those who are new to the system and have never played on a team before. As a freshman, going to workouts can be the best way to learn about the team’s routine and a coach’s expectations.
“Preseason helped me adjust to high school because it gave me a chance to meet new people that would be in my classes and would end up being my teammates,” freshman field hockey player Victoria Padgett said. “It gave me a chance to learn the basics and condition myself. I think that the expectations were reasonable because it was a version of what we have to do at practice every day in the regular season.”
Some would argue that requiring athletes to spend a month of their summer training is too much to ask. However, the expectation placed on athletes to show up and prove their dedication during August is not too high, and is in many cases the perfect way to separate the ones who truly care from those hoping to beef up their college resumes.
A team could be stacked with the most talented players, but if no one gets along, the team is doomed. With summer training comes team bonding and with team bonding comes a more cohesive group of players.
“Having workouts and practices really help the overall performance of the team in our actual season and I think that they’re really important to go to,” sophomore varsity soccer player Monica Blassou said. “When lots of girls show up to workouts, we have a better connection off the field which only helps us on it.”
Summer training is just as crucial as any other offseason during the school year. Preparing to be a strong player and team for the upcoming season is what August is for.
Summer Workouts Prepare Athletes: Con
A student athlete’s school year is already consumed with weekday practices that limit time for school work, family activities, socializing and relaxing. Their summer shouldn’t be too.
This year’s fall sports tryout date was Aug. 9, making the possible preseason nearly a month long. A student athlete should be able to have freedom to do what they want the whole summer, not just the first month and a half. Having almost daily practices for the last month of summer is unfair and unnecessary.
Sports teams starting tryouts Aug. 9 in addition to having two hour practices every weekday means an athlete experiences 38 hours of practice even before the school year starts. Summer is one of the few times in the year when students can to go on vacation, spending time with family away from the school’s responsibilities. Minimizing this time by extending the fall preseason leaves an even smaller window of available vacation time for student athletes.
Some argue that the dates of tryouts come out months in advance, giving families of athletes time to plan vacations around the tryout and practice dates. However, they fail to recognize that parents have jobs, siblings have activities and vacation spots are only available for certain days. There are many other variables besides one student athlete’s availability when it comes to planning a vacation.
Varsity field hockey coach Ray Trail agreed that a month of preseason was too long and recognized that students should have more time to enjoy their summer. He decided to have this year’s tryouts Aug. 14.
“It’s way too early,” Trail said in response to tryouts starting Aug. 9. “Given family vacations and stuff, we would have been missing a lot of people.
Senior field hockey captain Julie Gage was one of the players who experienced a conflict between her family vacation and a summer sports practice schedule.
“I am so glad Coach Ray Trail pushed back the tryouts because if he hadn’t then I would have missed the first few days of tryouts and been behind or I might not have made the team,” Gage said.
Gage is one of the lucky ones; some athletes are forced not to go on vacations or else they could be cut from the team. This leaves many students with a difficult decision, going on a vacation or risking the future of their fall sports season. This should not be a decision student athletes have to make.
Even though practices and tryouts during the summer are essential to doing well in the season, they pose additional problems besides scheduling conflicts. If the preseason is any more than two weeks long, it becomes redundant and boring.
For most students, their summer ended Sept. 4 as student athletes’ summers are cut far too short with a superfluous sports preseason.