BY SARAH ROUSSELL
Can you remember the first time that you rode a bike? How about when you were learning to add and subtract? As you grew, you began to accomplish these things with ease, but back then, how complicated did they seem? For the high school student striving to be valedictorian of their class, or the basketball player who aspires to play in the NBA, practice is a crucial element to perfection. This summer, many student athletes at Cooper City High School participated in a variety of sports training camps to prove that practice does indeed make perfect.
Football,water polo, swimming, cross country, lacrosse, and basketball are just few of the sports teams at CCHS that participated in summer training. Throughout the sports season, student athletes devote their time and schedules to training for games. Whether it’s during conditioning and practices or on the field at game time, an athlete’s passion can clearly be seen. However, it’s during the off-season that true dedication is shown.
“Being involved in sports is not just a seasonal thing,” junior Abby Kaufman said. “It’s a year round commitment that you have to stay fully dedicated to.”
This was the mindset that CCHS athletes had as they dedicated their summer vacation to many hours of training. For example, this summer many students from the CCHS cross country team went to Brevard Distance Runners Camp in Brevard, North Carolina to train. During camp, the team was instructed on new ways to train and improve their endurance and speed for the upcoming season.
“We ran a lot of hills at camp,” junior Tara Butler said. “This improved my endurance, helped me build muscle, and increased my ability to run faster and better in the races.”
Not only does involvement in summer training camps improve an athlete’s personal performance, but it also has the power to advance the overall performance of an entire team. While most CCHS students were relaxing at the beach or strolling through the malls this summer, the Cowboys football team dedicated a majority of their days to three-a-day practices. Starting at dawn, the football players worked out and practiced with two, two-hour breaks in between until dusk. Though it was hard work, the players conditioned and were able to prepare for game situations.
“Since summer training, our team has improved 100 percent,” senior Steven Day said. “We were brought together as a team and learned to play as one.”
Many student athletes have agreed that along with their physical strength and endurance, their confidence levels have grown as well while training this past summer. Some athletes were even involved in recreational sports teams. Maintaining game shape and speed were major benefits, but they also experienced improvement in self-esteem when it comes to their abilities.
“My summer experience in the league has had a great impact on me,” senior Josh Garica said. “Great performances and constant improvement have allowed me to gain greater confidence in my ability and skill level.”
To maintain great sportsmanship on and off the field, athletes must constantly fuel their determination by conditioning their bodies. Training during sports season and the off season alike will not only keep an athlete in shape, but it will push them to succeed. In the end, true hard work and motivation will be evident when the winning touchdown is scored, that lay-up shot is perfected, and a previous home run record is broken.