Student Athletes Hone Talent During The Summer


With summer right around the corner, many Gunn students plan on attending prestigious summer camps, taking a well-deserved vacation or just staying at home. For students more invested in sports, however, summer serves as a time to hone their skills: some compete on a team or attend sport camps to train under a mentor while others may prefer practicing with local matches.

One such athlete is Gunn varsity tennis team captain Raghav Jangbahadur, the 90th ranked player in the nation, who plans on spending a considerable part of his summer training and practicing his sport. 

While he has previously gone to training camps like Eagle Fustar and Blue Tennis Academy, this summer Jangbahadur will attend Saratoga’s Tennis Training Academy. “There are a lot of coaches, good resources and a lot of hours dedicated to hitting per day, which to me are important, especially in the summer when tournaments are longer and matches are harder,” he said.

Initially inspired to play tennis by his older brother, Jangbahadur started playing tennis at recreational training camps in India. Once he moved to the United States, he enrolled in higher-intensity tennis camps to continue playing the sport. “[The camps] helped me a lot to get in touch with coaches and other academies,” he said. “That’s how I got into [tennis] over here.” 

Another way to train over the summer is to participate on a travel team. As a baseball player, junior Quinton Sterling will travel around the country to cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego and Arizona with his team this summer to get more looks from college recruits. 

Sterling has played baseball for many years and made the choice to continue pursuing his passion after high school. “[Because] I really enjoyed the sport, I made a decision in high school to play it in college if I had the chance,” he said. 

Spending a lot of time training for a sport requires sacrificing a considerable part of summer and foregoing many other activities. Sterling has a few activities he wished to have done on top of playing baseball. “I wish I could have done more community service hours,” he said. “I could have also done some internships.”

For people new to a sport and considering a summer camp, Sterling believes that  attending a camp can be excessive and suggests alternatives. “If you’re new to the sport, going to camps is not how you should approach it,” he said. “Because camps are to gauge where you are skillfully compared to other people your age, if you’re just starting out, then you’re going to be at the bottom and you won’t be able to grow”. Instead, Sterling recommends other ways of training. “If you’re starting out in high school, I would say maybe try to play for a local team,” he said.