Over the course of the past week, a single phrase has been stuck in the back of my mind: “School’s out for summer.”
Can it really be true?
Has another school year already come and gone?
I quickly page through my planner only to find my potential fear has been confirmed — the summer lull is finally here.
For the first time in 10 months, I’m not cruising around on autopilot. My planner isn’t bursting with sticky notes, schedules and coaches’ and athletes’ phone numbers.
Over the next two months, there won’t be any rivalry games, district tournaments or road trips across the state.
And I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. It’s a strange feeling not knowing what I’ll be covering three weeks from now.
Sure, I enjoy the break. It’s nice to take a step back and recuperate from the hectic grind of the prep seasons.
But, for the most part, summer is when the hard work really begins.
Another reporter asked me the other day how I find athletes now that the school year is officially over.
I thought about it for a second, chuckled to myself and realized it’s all about being creative.
Summer is the one time of the year when I actually have the time to think outside the box or to begin to tackle those in-depth stories I’ve been meaning to start.
It’s a chance for me to go out to the youth baseball and soccer fields and actually just sit and watch what’s going on, both on and off of the field, without having to focus solely on taking notes, keeping score or capturing the play of the game.
Of course there are those games and tournaments, such as the Little League All-Star tournaments, which are already set in stone and provide some sense of stability and certainty into my daily routine — well, unless a summer thunderstorm rolls through — and then all bets are off.
Summer — it’s a change of pace. A welcome one, but a change of pace, nonetheless.