Originally created 06/20/06

School athletes use summer break to enhance their skills



Summertime is filled with opportunities.

Teens make promises to find a job, volunteer or stay healthy. Others use summer to improve athletic skills.

Spots on high school athletic teams are never guaranteed, and working out in the summer helps your chances.

I stay busy by traveling on the weekends with a competitive softball team from Augusta. We practice on weekdays to prepare us for the tough weekend competition.

Playing and practicing help keep me active while out of school.

Lindsey Jones, 15, my teammate on the North Augusta High School varsity softball team, also likes to work on maintaining an edge over the summer.

"Summer definitely gives athletes a lot more time to improve on our strength, agility and our overall skills," said Lindsey, a rising sophomore.

Lindsey stays busy practicing two or three times a week with her varsity basketball team and participating in summer camps and workouts.

"In camp, we try to focus on our teamwork and team unity," she said. "I think summers help us to get to know each other better, which helps us play better in games."

Lindsey also travels with a competitive softball team in the summer.

"Playing in the summer with a good team makes me a better player, which I use to help my high school team in the spring," she said.

Motivation can be a problem, though.

"Summer is hard to work during because of vacations," said Tripp Warrick, a 15-year-old rising sophomore at North Augusta High. "You want to hang out with your friends outside of sports and you don't always have the chance."

Tripp, who played on North Augusta's junior varsity and ninth-grade teams, also points out the positive aspects of summer workouts.

"Summer really gives you the opportunity to step up your game," he said.

But, Tripp warns: "You have to stay focused and motivated."

Hannah Burleson, 15, is a rising sophomore at North Augusta High School.