SHORELINE — With fall sports turnouts just a month away, the Shorecrest High School weight room is becoming a little more crowded with each passing week.
Athletes of all ages — and sizes — go through their morning lifting routines as hip-hop beats blast through the sound system.
“People come out of the woodwork in August,” Shorecrest girls soccer coach Gary Harris said.
For the ninth straight summer Harris has been running his Triple-D conditioning camp for athletes who have the “Desire, Determination and Dedication” to keep in competitive shape during the offseason.
More than 120 students signed up for this year’s training camp, an increase of about 40 from last summer.
“Attendance is huge in the beginning. Everybody’s interested and eager,” Harris said. “It falls off in the middle of the summer. Either the weather’s too nice or people go on vacation.”
Harris designed a challenging regimen of weightlifting, plyometrics, sprints and foot speed drills that helps athletes gain some momentum — and avoid preventable injuries — heading into the fall sports season.
“This isn’t meant to help them make the team,” Harris said. “It isn’t a tryout process. It helps them physically get ready. It doesn’t help them with their skills, but they come (into fall) in better shape.”
The camp started as a training program for football players, but as of late has attracted a large number of girls and younger athletes who are more interested in staying fit than bulking up.
“They don’t need to be lifting heavy (weights),” Harris said. “They need to learn how to do these lifts. They’re not used to the free weights.”
Harris has found that those who have shown the most commitment over the summer tend to transition smoothly into the grind of fall practices at the end of August.
“You can show up and get nothing out of this,” Harris said, “but I think those who work hard can get a lot out of it.”