Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Hard work in summer heat

Student-athletes experience summer training
Photo by Summer Fabsik
After a week of training in Michigan, Summer Fabsik (pictured fifth from the right) poses with some of the distance runners in front of the summer camp sign.

As fall sports begin their seasons, many athletes come together to showcase all of the hard work they put in over the summer. From sleep-away summer camps to school-provided summer camps, athletes have prepared well over the summer and are ready to start competing. Several highly committed athletes share their summer experiences and how they trained in order to be ready for a successful season.

Summer Fabsik, junior, decided to jump right into training after her sophomore track season came to a close. She attended a cross country overnight camp in Grand Junction, Michigan. Although she participates in distance running in track and does not compete in cross country, she was eager to keep up with her running and spend time with the rest of the distance runners. 

“I enjoyed spending time with my teammates while running and while not running. We did some super challenging runs together which included a bunch of stairs and some sand dunes which was super rewarding and fun as a team,” Fabsik said. “I also enjoyed canoeing, making bracelets, Nine Square, talking with my teammates, and getting to know them outside of running.”

Going to cross country camp opened up a lot of opportunities, according to Fabsik. The camp became about much more than just running and training.

“We had log sessions for many hours where we talked about running philosophy. We also had guest speakers come in and share with us their experiences and advice on running and on overcoming challenges in general,” Fabsik said.

Although training during the school season can be difficult, summer training is not without its challenges and inconveniences as well. According to Fabsik, she was definitely forced outside of her comfort zone during her time at camp.

“It was a tiring experience so it was a bit difficult to give my all while living off five hours of sleep and interesting camp food. I had to push myself hard to do the workouts the best I could,” Fabsik said.

Celia Blaylock, freshman, had to overcome her own challenges while juggling all of her activities. Blaylock participated in both a school-provided cross country summer training and a school-provided basketball summer training.

“During the camp I struggled with being able to balance everything. Between basketball, summer school, family and friends, it was definitely stress inducing,” Blaylock said. “Even though it was an extreme time commitment, I was excited because I hadn’t gotten to play basketball in a while.”

Two hours of practice for four days a week, with about six games a week can get very tiring, but according to Blaylock, the experience is worth it. The girls even received the opportunity to play a few games at a University.

“My favorite part about [basketball] camp was getting to go to Purdue University with my teammates. We got to learn about the college while also getting to play many games against new competitors. I liked the fact that we got the chance to show what we are capable of on the court in a more competitive and intense setting,” Blaylock said.

Summer training not only helps athletes stay in shape and improve their skills for the fall season but it also helps build positive attributes and closer relationships with their teammates, according to Blaylock.

“I learned that basketball is not only about skill, but confidence as well. Without confidence success is out of reach. I also learned how to manage my time. Camp taught me how to balance the load of being a student-athlete while also finding time for myself,” Blaylock said. “This camp has helped our team to not only become better individually, but also work together as a team to perform better during the season.”

During the short time she has been on the team, Blaylock has noticed that the dynamic between teammates can really impact the success of a season making it important that teams get the chance to bond. Alyssa Karstenson, junior, intends to do just that as she plays lacrosse as an upperclassman.

“I enjoyed getting to help new girls learn how to play lacrosse and begin to love the sport,” Karstenson said. “And it was really nice to play with my teammates that I was unable to see for the first part of the summer.”

While catching up with teammates, Karstenson notes how working on the basic fundamentals of the sport really strengthens each player’s skills and overall performance. 

“We did drills that taught the basics of the skills needed to play lacrosse like passing, catching, and shooting. After we mastered the basics, we would do more drills that would build off of those skills to learn more advanced techniques,” Karstenson said.

The more training a player gets, the more knowledge they will have about the sport, Karstenson says, so, it is important that each player puts in hard work even during the off-season. According to Karstenson, being able to train over the summer guarantees a strong, well rounded team who is ready for a successful season. 

“Most of the time that you are on the field in a game you don’t have the ball, so, there are many different assets that each player needs to know in order to play the game right,” Karstenson said. “A lot of our girls who hadn’t come to a lot of practices last year, showed up to camp and worked really hard. I also learned how to advance my skills even more so hopefully, that will make me a stronger player this season.”

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About the Contributor
Lindsey Bitzer
Lindsey Bitzer, Sports Editor
Coming back for her last and third year on the Bear Facts staff, Lindsey continues her role as the Sports Editor. As college approaches, she intends to savor every last minute with her staff and advisor, Mrs. Lungu. Though she wants to pursue some type of art in the future whether that be illustration, writing, etc., she is keeping her options open as there is still so much more to explore.

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