I know many high school student athletes have been working extremely hard this summer getting stronger, faster or improving their skills in a particular sport. It's long been said that championships are won in the "off-season."
With that said, is there really an "off-season?"
In this day and time you can just about play any sport year round.
Select, travel and AAU teams make it possible to play just about all summer along with "open" workouts and summer camps for high school and middle school teams.
I wish more of our local athletes would take advantage of the opportunities I mentioned above.
With the economy the way it is I know many student athletes have to work in the summer, but others simply don't see the importance to stay active or they just don't care.
I've been covering sports long enough to know that the players and teams that work the hardest are usually the most successful.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, the governing body of high school sports in the state, has placed a number of "dead periods" throughout the year to give the student athlete a break from the everyday grind of practicing, working out and competing.
According to the TSSAA handbook, the definition of "dead period" is, "No coaching, observing, or contact between coach and players in sport involved. There is no practice, no open facilities, and no weight training / conditioning."
A dead period for all sports this summer runs from June 26-July 9.
Even though there is a dead period, that doesn't mean that the athlete can't continue to work out or condition on their own.
Every athlete should have some down time and take a break but I also think that if more of our local student athletes worked harder throughout the "off-season" we would see a lot more championship banners hanging in our local schools.