As the summer heat shines down upon the asphalt court, beads of sweat drip down sophomore Annika Shah’s forehead. Instead of practicing with her teammates, Shah is training alone, constantly trying to improve her performance. She is one of the many student athletes who participate in private summer training sessions, working with another trainer to better her skills.
“The best memory of summer training is just coming in every day, getting better and working on the mind, body and skills that Annika and other athletes need to improve on,” private trainer David Moore said.
As the weather warms up and summer approaches, many athletes utilize postseason training as a method to prepare for the upcoming season. According to girls basketball coach Scott Peters, there are many reasons for implementing off season training. It can be beneficial in maintaining athletes’ skills throughout the summer and aid in the improvement of their performance in the upcoming year.
“We usually say players are made in the spring and summer, teams are made in the winter,” Peters said.
Sophomore Lulu Gaither has partaken in summer training sessions for both lacrosse and water polo. According to Gaither, training during the offseason has contributed to significant improvements in her skills for both sports.
“Not only is it beneficial to stay in shape, but from what I’ve seen, training over the summer makes you a much better player.”
Despite facing challenges balancing training and other extracurriculars, Gaither said she is still able set aside personal time during the summer.
Junior and varsity tennis player Despina Magouliou said she practices two to three times a week during the summer, a crucial component in being successful.
This summer, sophomore Hana Erickson plans to coach for the University Club Sharks swim team, as she has been a part of the team since she was 4 or 5.
“About 10 of us from the Paly swim team have been swimming together since we were 5,” Erickson said. “We all learned how to swim together, did club swimming, then junior-coached together, and did Paly swimming together. It’s where I have made my closest friends, and it is always the highlight of my summer.”
Erickson will also participate in two water polo clubs, NorCal and Mayfield, to prepare for the fall season. Although there are several positives to summer training, Erickson said athletes often have to sacrifice enjoyable aspects of the break to improve.
“You can always improve your skills and also practice the stuff that did not work during the game.”
Taking an alternative approach to summer training with the varsity girls basketball team, Annika Shah works privately with trainer Moore. Having a private trainer, which can come with a hefty price tag, is a privilege that many do not posses.
“My parents have always been in full support of getting me a personal trainer especially with the full cost,” Shah said.“I am very lucky to have parents that support my dreams even if my goals seem almost impossible.”
While Shah is grateful for the full support that she receives from her parents, it can often take away from her summer experience.
“Many times, we cannot go on as many trips as other families because I have club basketball or tournaments that I can’t miss,” Shad said. “When we do go on trips, I am still able to enjoy them, but I just have to get my workout sessions in.”
Another challenge that Shah has faced during her private summer training is staying focused on her goals.
Moore said, “The hardest part of summer training is making sure that Annika is maintaining a well conditioned and healthy body. When having more time off from school, it is easy to slack off and forget strength you have built in your body.”