Jeff King

I played high school sports in the early to mid-80s. During those years, there were very little summer activities, workouts/weightlifting, basketball leagues, and baseball games, that went along with high school sports.

In today’s world, every sport requires some type of summer commitment. Football requires workouts, weightlifting, seven on seven practices and competitions. Basketball requires practices and summer basketball games. Baseball requires practices, and summer baseball games. There are also various camps that these athletes either are sent to or participate in on their own.

In the early 90s, coaches started to require a lot more out of their athletes in the summer. When just a few coaches started implementing these summer workouts/competitions, the rest of the coaches felt the need to do the same. They felt like they needed to work harder in the summer to keep up with the other teams so they would not be left behind.

As a former coach, I agree that summer work is necessary to compete at a higher level. Most coaches/schools only compete against other schools in June. However, workouts, weightlifting, agilities, and other activities continue during July.

The MHSAAA has declared a week in July as a dead week. It is usually the first week of that month. I really believe this is a great idea to give the athletes and coaches a much-needed break from the summer grind. I do think some coaches go to the extreme in the summer and require too much out of their athletes. It is their down time from school, and they should be able to live some too.

I often think what it would have been like to have these summer workouts for all three of the sports I participated in while in high school. I think I would have really enjoyed them, as it would have given me more to do. But, I am also sure it would have been demanding and exhausting at times.

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