Summer practices push athletes to new heights


John Romer

Hereford girl’s XC team runs on the NCR trail at a summer practice. The trail’s flat surface helped the runners focus on pace for the upcoming season.

Hailey Streckfus, Reporter

With the summer season steadily approaching, most students are pushing the stress of the school year behind them. Athletes, however, are gearing up for another type of stress.  

Before the school year starts, fall sports must come into consideration for students. The preparation for the season starts as soon as the school doors close. To prepare for the fall season, practices are held for students over the summer in the form of summer camps and captain’s practices.  

Whether it’s perfecting a hockey swing, passing in soccer, or mastering an overhand serve, these extended practice sessions allow athletes to focus on specific aspects of their game. 

The importance of these practices is dependent on the dedication of the student athlete as well as the coaches. Athletes will find every coach views the importance of attendance differently. 

Autumn Gilmore (‘25) takes her practices extremely seriously. She goes into every practice she can with a positive attitude, ready to improve and refresh her skills.  

“Duvall has captain’s practices and I think this year we are even going to do a 12-day camp,” Gilmore said. We work on skills, endurance and use the weight room. It really helps the team prepare for the fall.”  

Coaches emphasize the importance of spending time practicing over the summer for many reasons. 

Without the pressures of academic commitments or the constraints of a regular season, athletes can dedicate themselves to mastering specific aspects of their sport. Summer training sessions allow for experimentation without posing the risk that would be present mid-season.  

Summer practice not only focuses on physical aspects of the game but also helps athletes prepare mentally. The supplemental practices give athletes the time to slowly convert to the training schedules hosted in the fall. Additionally, summer practices give athletes the opportunity to set goals and develop strategies to overcome challenges. 

 Attending practices, clinics and camps displays athlete dedication, and goes a long way in the mind of coaches. While it is important for students to enjoy their summer, school sports require commitment.  

“Generally, our seasons go better when we have a higher attendance rate over the summer,” Girl’s soccer coach, Mr. Brad Duvall said, “I am not certain it’s because the players got better over the summer necessarily, I think it has a lot to do with the fact the more dedicated athletes that attend summer practices are more focused.” 

Spending time over the summer practicing for the fall season can also be an enjoyable experience. Dedicating extended periods of time towards the same, universal goal can really help the team bond.  

“Summer practices really set the precedent for my skills during the season because it’s very important to get in the milage before you can start building on the speed and I think it’s also a great time to get closer with the team,” Ridley Lentz (‘25) said.  

This year, practices will be hindered by the new additions being added to the school over the summer. Summer practices will be held off campus until July 10th