Of the fall sports, football is certainly the most time consuming during summer vacation. Programs like Reed High’s met Monday through Thursday for a few hours a day to work on lifting and running and review offensive and defensive schemes as well as special teams play.
Reed coach Ernie Howren felt it was important to give his players’ the weekends off in order for them to enjoy the summer.
“We always try to keep the weekend off, so it still feels like summertime even though we are getting a lot of work done,” Howren said.
Reed is off until official football practices start on Aug. 14.
Football squads have the opportunity to attend camps also. The Raiders attended the University of Nevada football camp because Howren prefers to stay local. Other teams choose to go out of state.
Another option is the passing tournament, which has been held at Sparks High the past two summers.
Other fall sports take it easier in the summer since the players tend to play on club teams.
Reed girls soccer coach Jason Saville started his team’s offseason conditioning Tuesday night and will get together three nights a week until the first official practice on Aug. 18.
“Most girls nowadays are playing year-round, and I think it’s important for them to get at least a good solid month off to spend with their families and hang out with friends to recharge their batteries,” he said.
Saville said conditioning isn’t just about cardio. He works on speed, plyometrics and core strength.
Sparks boys soccer coach Frank Avilla doesn’t hold summer workouts, but he relies on assistant coach Joel Martinez to keep the players in shape with conditioning two days a week in June and part of July. Avilla also has the added benefit of culture on his side.
With the Railroaders primarily coming from Hispanic backgrounds, soccer is practically bred into his players and it doesn’t take much convincing for them to go out and play the game they love.
“We’ve had great success at our place because it’s their culture, and they’re playing year-round,” Avilla said. “We just put on the finishing touches and give them a little more conditioning, but we can do that within a three- or four-week period. It’s not an issue for us because we’re blessed. The kids all play. I don’t have to worry about them playing.”
Summer is also a key time for new coaches to get to know players and introduce their coaching styles to the players.
Spanish Springs’ new volleyball coach, Frank Sandomenico, set up a similar summer school class that he used when he was the Cougars’ football coach. Forty-six girls showed up for the class. His volleyball players earned school credit for attending the summer workouts three days a week, but the time might have been more valuable to Sandomenico than the girls.
“It was good for them and for me to get out there and get going,” Sandomenico said. “It was real important. I think I learned as much or more than the girls this summer just to see how things roll. We set up some scrimmages to scrimmage our football coaches just to get into competitive situations and work on lineups and rotations. That’s stuff I’ve never had to do before, so it was helpful.”