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.