High School athletics in Dawson County came to a halt last week. The Georgia High School Association's dead week encompasses all athletics throughout the state.
The period from June 28-July 4 is a time where players don't have to do a single thing.
All fields, weight rooms, and facilities are closed to all athletes during this time. No organized activities and conditioning in any sport are prohibited.
It is a time for all high school athletes to plan family vacations or just relax. For coaches, it is a time to be with their loved ones or take a quick breath before the long football season, cross country, or softball season begins.
"Dead Week is a really good thing that was put in by most all states to give all athletes a break from all school activities for one week during the last week in June," said Dawson County varsity boys basketball coach Thad Burgess. "Although it was intended to give athletes a down period, I think coaches and even parents more than the athletes, enjoy this week. Without this, coaches would fill the need to not fall behind other programs, so very few days were ever given off."
Many families with students that play sports plan their summer vacations around the off week.
"I like to let my basketball players have most of July off to get away and be kids," he said. "I think it is important to also step away from it a couple of weeks, get rejuvenated, get some rest, spend some time with my family, and then be ready to go at things full blast."
Summer workouts resumed Monday after the week-long rest.
Football will continue morning workouts to avoid the afternoon heat of summer weather.
Cross country has workout sessions in the morning and evening.
The softball teams prepares for another state run with tryouts just around the corner.
Most football coaches structure their workouts around the dead week period. The preparation is essential in order to be ready for the season opener in August.
Even though dead week is a time for rest most Tiger athletes still use this time to stay in shape. Whether running miles, hitting a softball or lifting for football, they can't afford to stay out of shape during the dead week.
One disadvantage of stopping team activities for a week is the disruption of routine. When teams come back it takes a few days to get back to the normality of things.
Most coaches rely on the student athletes to do the right thing during their off-week.
High school fall sports will be upon us soon. This dead week period was designed to give athletes a little rest. Now it is time to go back to work as each squad prepares for the upcoming season.