Varsity Kansas

High school athletes, summer, taking a break

I didn’t really have a better idea on a headline for this. So I went for the basics.

Here’s what I want to know: Do you think it’s necessary to enforce a break for high school athletes (or, frankly, even younger athletes, still)?

A parent of an athlete who has made an oral commitment for a Division I scholarship said that he insists that his child take a break — and it’s a fairly lengthy break — to guard against burnout. I was fascinated. I have wondered if such parents existed anymore. I see parents of kids the same age as mine who have their kids in two sports at the same time all year long. I think it’s crazy.

I know this parent can’t be alone in this decision. And I’ve talked to other parents in the past who have insisted on just such a thing. Take Moundridge’s Laurie Koehn, who played at Kansas State. I remember well Koehn talking about how it was so hard to go on that weeklong family vacation without a basketball. Couldn’t even bring a basketball.

To me, this is important. Especially on the mental side. There needs to be a way for people to rejuvenate, become refreshed. It’s why we as adults take vacations. Why some take mental health days. Kids need the same thing.

But how long is enough? What’s too much? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.