Teams going the extra mile to improve

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The process of building a successful team often takes much more than the number of practice dates allowed by the state high school athletic association.

Coaches must be willing to instill an attitude in their players that carries over into how the players approach school and everything else in their lives. Players must be willing to go beyond what their coach asks them to do. The best players—in any sport and at any level—are the ones that have made a personal commitment to do whatever is necessary to excel.

This often includes daily training. While that is too much to ask of high school athletes, who should also be allowed the time necessary to develop healthy academic and social lives, many local teams are indeed putting in extra work this summer in order to be successful next school year.

A great example is the Verbena basketball team. The Red Devils have hosted three “play days,” in which squads play what amount to practice games, and traveled for several more. Actual practices aren’t allowed, so these events are the only way for teams to better themselves.

Chilton County High and Thorsby will participate in the University of Montevallo’s basketball camp Friday and Saturday.

Anyone looking for another example of teams working to improve in this unbearable heat we’re having should stop by CCHS Thursday, when the Tigers football team will host a team camp. Other local squads attending the camp include Billingsley, Isabella, Jemison and Maplesville.

Linemen will go through drills from about 8 a.m. until noon, and a passing game tournament will be held in the afterward. Three hundred or more players will brave the sweltering heat for a chance to learn something—and for the chance to compete against one another.

That’s another thing about the best athletes—they crave the chance to prove themselves. Those chances don’t come along as often in the summer, so they have to be taken advantage of.