Eyeing fall in summertime

Published 8:02 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Beach trips and excursions on the Pamlico River, late nights with friends, and vacations with family are just a few things that students look forward to doing during their summer break. Many students also spend their time working or interning.

Beaufort County’s athletes will get chances to enjoy their vacation, but they’ll be hard at work more often than not. Football, volleyball and other fall sports have already began hosting preseason workouts. They’re putting in the work now to fine tune the final product that fans will get to see in roughly two months.

It’s a tough lifestyle. Football teams usually opt to hold summer workouts during the morning or later in the afternoon and evening. The eastern North Carolina heat can be grueling at any time of the day, but it can be especially dangerous in the morning. Physically, it can be hard to overcome. From a mental standpoint, though, teenagers would likely worry more about applying enough sunscreen at the beach than making sure they’re hydrated and their three-point stance is proper late in a practice.

Overcoming that mental roadblock now can be the difference in winning and losing months from now. Being committed to the work they’re putting in now shows during games to come, from a season opener in August all the way until a late-playoff game in November or December.

Washington football coach Jon Blank calls it “embracing the grind.”

By all accounts, Beaufort County’s athletes have been doing just that. It’s one of those keys that few take into account. Not many are following early-preseason training compared to the fourth quarter of a Friday night game in the fall.

It’s worth a hat tip. It’s not always easy for an athlete of any age to put his team and school before his own desires for how he wants to spend his vacation. Even so, that’s exactly what competitors around the area are doing, and it should manifest nicely come August.