Prioritizing progress

Charlotte Glasser '25, Page Editor

Whether through cramming for exams, learning a new language, or spending hours in the gym trying to get ahead in sports, it’s a lesson South students all learn at some point: dedication. For student athletes, summer break is an annual refresh of that all too important lesson.

With sports seasons lasting only a few short months at South, there are huge gaps between any student athlete’s playing season. For a South cross country team runner, like Brody Fitzgibbon ’25, these gaps are crucial in the battle between regression and progression.

“(Over the summer), I run three to six miles, six days a week,” Fitzgibbon said. “I make a plan, and I keep in contact with my coaches.”

Fitzgibbon said finding the motivation to run over summer break rather than choosing to kick back and relax can be extremely challenging. It’s made finding a plan that works for him even more necessary.

“Being well rested and eating well (are most helpful for me in training),” Fitzgibbon said.

In addition to Fitzgibbon, many other athletes feel that consistency is key when it comes to summer training. Abby Brink ’24 plays for the Girls’ Varsity Field Hockey Team, a fall season sport, and is no stranger to out-of-season practice.

“My coach does Monday and Wednesday night conditionings, or we do sprints or long distance,” Brink said. “She usually puts out camps, so I do a couple at the University of Michigan or Michigan State. I also play club field hockey, so I have once a week or twice a week practices for that and (around) two tournaments over the summer.”

In addition to year-round camps and conditioning, Brink also takes advantage of her free time over the summer to get in extra practice. Consistency is the best tactic for her when it comes to training.

“I’m a lot more dedicated (than others),” Brink said. “I go every day, just to South, for like an hour (in the summer). If I want to get good at something, I just go and do it maybe 20 times. I think that works.”

Despite her love for field hockey, Brink says sometimes the endless practice she puts in can make the sport feel like a chore at times, but her love of the sport always pulls through.

“When that happens, I just take a week off or something to regroup and remind myself why I like it,” Brink said. “If you’re lucky, I think (you see it) more or less like fun. It’s kind of part of my relaxing vacation. I get to go outside and play.”