Spring break: not much of a break for some athletes in upcoming season
by Robby Panos
For most students, spring break is a time of relaxation; a time to rejuvenate in order to make it through the final two months of the school year. For many of those playing spring sports, however, it is a time of improving and maintaining all that has been built thus far. With no specified school or county guideline regarding spring break athletic activities, the decision is left up to coaches. These coaches have come to take many different approaches, ranging from tournaments to routine daily practice to nothing at all.
If available, tournaments have become an ideal option for many coaches to keep their teams on the ball because they provide an opportunity for players to continue to learn through game situations. Tournaments also benefit teams because many are in other locations against different and often better opponents. The baseball, softball, and girl's soccer teams have all opted to attend such tournaments during spring break. The baseball team and softball teams are both attending tournaments in Myrtle Beach, S.C. while the location of the girl's soccer team's tournament is yet to be determined. Senior baseball player Jeremy Burger, said, "Having a tournament over spring break isn't that bad, especially when it's in a place like Myrtle Beach. Traveling and getting away from Robinson makes it feel like a real break."
The major argument against spring break tournaments is that families have to travel long distances in order to watch them. Players are also more likely to get injured in a game situation than in practice which could put them out for the regular season.
The girl's lacrosse team will be traveling to Camp Highroad over the break to help build team unity. Kelsie Dodd, a senior and member of the girl's lacrosse team, said "[going to Camp Highroad] helps everyone on the team to bond together which really shows out on the field." Camp Highroad is located near Middleburg, Va. in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Many coaches, including those of the boy's and girl's track and field teams and the boy's soccer team, have decided to stick to regular practices throughout the break. "We don't want opponents to gain an edge with the extra week of practice," said Lucas Heck, a senior and member of the boy's soccer team. Continuing practice is especially necessary for the track and field teams because the runners get out of shape, even after only a few days off. Primarily just the competing athletes of the track and field team practice over spring break, however.
The final and most questioned spring break option is to give the players the entire week off. The boy's lacrosse, boy's tennis, and girl's tennis teams plan to take this approach this year after having success with such a schedule last year. The philosophy behind this decision is that a week off from practice gives athletes time to recover so they can make the final push heading into playoffs. This is the time of the year in which players start to get burned out, so a week of practice while friends are at the beach can dampen spirits further. In giving the teams the time off, coaches still expect players to keep up on their skills and work on their own. Senior boy's lacrosse player Josh Kelaher said, "It's not like we completely take a week off from the game. We all know we still need to work hard over the break, either on our own or during captain-held practices."
In an area with such competitive athletics, there is little room to do anything but move forward. No matter what route is taken, the fundamental message from every coaches seems to be same: continue to get better.
By Stephanie Axelrod |
March 23, 2007; 8:32 AM ET
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