Athletes turn to summer sports to have fun and further athletic development

Ryan Hodinko, News Editor

With summer right around the corner, many athletes will continue many athletes will continue participating in sports as a fun way to compete as well as develop leadership skills that will help when school starts again.



Most neighborhood pools offer recreational swim teams available to youth pool members regardless of skill level. Many high school swimmers take part in this activity for an enjoyable and less competitive way to stay in shape.

“Both [high school and summer] teams are fun, but summer is fun in a different way,” junior Eli Rothleder said. “Unlike high school, I get to interact with everybody a lot more and I get to work with some of my good friends, so it’s pretty fun.”

Unlike high school swim, the focus of the summer team is primarily having fun and helping younger kids improve their skills.

“Summer swim is way more about fun and less about winning,” Rothleder said.

In terms of preparation for the next high school season, neighborhood swim teams are not as helpful as swimming for a competitive club team, but the experience with neighbors is a great one, cherished even by swimmers of high levels.



Travel baseball is played by almost all high school baseball players who dream of playing college or professional baseball in the future. For summer baseball, players are on teams that are usually independent from high schools, and they play in tournaments or showcases with the intention of getting seen by college coaches. Many appreciate the less competitive nature of summer baseball as a break from the intensity of the high school season.

“Playing travel baseball is a lot of fun because it’s not as stressful junior Kyle Pasquale said.  “I enjoy traveling to play tournaments in front of college coaches.”

Playing travel baseball is the primary method for stronger baseball players to get seen by college coaches and eventually commit to college baseball programs.

“Playing summer ball, as well as reaching out to college coaches, helped me find a place to play college baseball,” Senior and Marymount University baseball commit Chris Pitura said.



Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball serves a similar purpose to high school basketball players as travel baseball for high school baseball players. AAU is known for helping high school athletes get seen by college coaches.

Generally, AAU basketball teams enter weekend tournaments to play competitive games.

“I play AAU basketball because I enjoy going to tournaments and playing more basketball with my friends,” junior Jon Tammaro said.

Similar to baseball, basketball players join AAU programs that are independent from high school teams. The focus is more on player development and an enjoyable experience, rather than winning as a team.

Many players appreciate the break from the intensity of the high school season by playing less stressful games in AAU.

“We try to win every game, but it doesn’t really matter if we don’t,” Tammaro said. “Our main focus as a team is not our record.”