Working in the offseason


Photo by Photo used with permission of Ella Gilbertson

The basketball team poses for a picture during their annual summer camp. The athletes work four days a week to improve individually and as a team.

Sophia Babcock, Staff Writer

Multiple student-athletes choose to go above and beyond over their summer break and dedicate part of their time to their athletics.

Andy Lambert, athletic director, oversees the athletic program at Lake Zurich. He believes there are positives and negatives to student-athletes training over the summer break. 

“Do our student-athletes have time to be kids? Or [are sports] like a full-time job? And so [in] the summertime, the same questions come about. Is this a situation in which kids have time to be kids to relax and unwind? So that’s always a conversation piece that [the athletic board] is having,” Lambert said.

The camps are optional, and it is up to the athlete whether or not they decide to dedicate part of their summer to their sport. However, as athletes begin to play on higher levels the camps aren’t mandatory, “but they’re mandatory,” Ella Gilbertson, senior basketball player, said. Multiple athletes participate in more than one sport so the athletic board tries to make sure the camps do not overlap, Lambert said

Gilbertson has been attending sports camps every year since she was in third grade. She believes the camps are beneficial to both individual athletes, as well as the team as a whole. 

“The camps in general, [allow] us get to know our team better instead of just during the season. We get to know the entire program. I would recommend [the camps because] getting a chance to play with your team outside of the season is really important,” Gilbertson said.

The camps are an opportunity for athletes to build relationships with their coaches and teammates, and “stay engaged during a time of break,” Lambert said.

However, not all sports have the opportunity to offer a camp. Golf and bowling do not have camps over the summer due to facility availability.

“We’re at the beck and call the golf courses if they have space or not. Same thing with bowling because they’re off site. [Other sports don’t have camps because the coaches] know there are kids that participate in their programs and play on travel or club teams. That takes a priority over high school camp. They don’t want to force kids to have to make a choice,” Lambert said.

Dylan Howell, sophomore, plays golf. He says he would go to the camp if it were available because “I think it would really improve the golf team, and bring the team closer,” Howell said. “It is difficult [starting the season] without prior work [over the break].”