View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 6/7

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: June 7, 2012 - 7:00 AM

In case you haven’t noticed football has switched from the offseason to what I like to call the summer season.
These days I feel like football has three seasons. There is the regular football season when games are played, the offseason when conditioning takes place and the summer season where teams get their players ready to compete when official football practice opens in August.
It used to be players would spend the winter lifting weights and playing other sports, spend a couple of weeks in summer camp and then really start going after it in August. Now with more contact time in the summer you are seeing teams with full blown team camp scrimmages, workout days almost every week of the summer and camps that are spread through June and July.
It’s tough these days to compete for an athlete’s time. Every sport feels that offseason work is what will get you ready for the upcoming season. Some sports like baseball will tell you that the summer is its time and that is the only sport that should be played.
There is time for a little of everything over the summer. I am against specialization whether its football or any other sport. Playing multiple sports only makes you better and helps you learn a lot about yourself and playing on a team.
Football coaches have to work around other sports while dealing with the limits placed on them by their state associations. Here in Kansas City coaches do a good job of helping athletes find that balance. It’s not easy to schedule a camp or workout where everyone can attend but everyone is trying to do the best they can.
That’s why the summer season has become more interesting over the last few years. With constraints on time and money coaches have become more creative with team camps. A lot of schools are staying local and scrimmaging with four or five teams in quick two-day camps.
These small local camps give players a good chance to learn while not taking up a ton of their time and keeping them at home. Three days spent out of town can be good for team bonding but it can be cost prohibitive form many players and it doesn’t allow them to grab a practice or play another sport.
The other benefit of these early summer scrimmages is it allows coaches and players to start learning early in the process. Players are learning plays and how things are done while coaches’ get a chance to see how a depth chart is shaping up early in the summer.
This may sound revolutionary to some but there are all things that are done in the spring in states like Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. It’s just like college football for high school players in those states.
I don’t know if I am ready for football to intrude into spring sports because I like the balance, but I think the summer work is definitely finding its place among all of the other summer activities.
Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send email to