As the season comes to a close, young athletes everywhere feel a weight being lifted off of their shoulders. 

Recovery time has finally arrived and just in time for school to start. 

Priorities start to shift while these young athletes get their mind right for the school year. Many are rushing to finish up honors summer work while others are taking this time to relax and relieve all of the stress that built up from the season. 

Being a young athlete is not as easy as we make it look – countless hours being put in behind the scenes that no one else knows about, precious time being given to the game just because you love it, and most importantly the hard work and dedication throughout the season. 

Not only does the end of the season mean no more games or traveling all over the country until next season but it means preparing for this season of high school softball and making it memorable. High school softball may not get you recruited or earn you scholarships, yet it will help you gain more friendships for the rest of high school. 

High school season is also great because the people you spend it with understand you and share the same values and goals as you. 

We may say that the season is over but it is not officially over. Camps fill the remainder of the summer and finish getting you in front of different schools. This is the best time for coaches to see young athletes because it shows them who is strong enough to push through with everything they have left – the 1 percenters.

These athletes are the ones that make it big because they are stopping at nothing until they succeed. For them the season is just beginning. Champions are made in the off-season.

So yes, for some, summer is all about hanging by the pool and getting a tan, while for others it is about getting faster and stronger while being the best you can possibly be. 

All that matters is that at the end of the season you can look back at all the hard work you’ve put in and look at all the improvement you’ve made and be able to say, “I made it.”

Riley Phillips is a sophomore at Lansing High School. Any questions for Riley can be sent to sports@leavenworthtimes.com