About 8 years ago, I took a Summer trip with some of my college buddies. We went and saw the Yankees, O's, and a few other teams play ball. It was a great road trip. Along the way, we went to South Bend and hung out there for a day and a night. One thing struck me while we were there, other than the beauty of the campus, we kept running into Notre Dame football players. I'm not talking about guys who were partying, well at least not mostly. These young men were doing hard work. I saw them in the library, coming out of classes, and even getting tutoring sessions, and we were not looking for them there were just so many you couldn't miss them.
Admittedly, if you go around Tech during the summer you will see much of the same thing. It just never crossed my mind that while most college kids are enjoying their summer and working as little as possible, these guys are giving it their all just to get a little (or a lot) better than they were before and the best time for that is when there are fewer distractions on campus.
This is the silent work that shows up in the Fall and it shows in multiple ways.
If you are diligent and so inclined, you can get your hardest classes taken care of in the summer. That Physics class that you knew you needed to get out of he way, summer is the perfect time. How about the Mechanical Engineering class that you heard a few people failed, this is the time for it. I'm no saying that during the Fall you take Dance, Golf, Pottery, but not having study for your Aerospace Engineering midterm might be helpful.
The second way hard Summer work pays off is in the gym. This is the time you can slim down or bulk up. It's also the time to work on flexibility, something that can help prevent all the injuries Hokie fans have become used to in recent years. We aren't talking 50lbs one way or another, but a good 10-15 can mean that extra inch on the football field and that is the difference between winning and losing. (Thank you Al Pacino and Any Given Sunday).
The third and final way you see the work that is done in the Summer on the football field in the film room and studying the playbook. This could not be more important this year for the Hokies. These guys are no only learning a new system on offense, but one with a massive number of different complexities than most of them have ever seen. Every hour spent reading that book and learning that film will mean more completed passes, fewer missed assignments, and could well be the difference between 10 and 35 points in the scoreboard because once this offense gets going, it will be prolific. (Thank you Justin Fuente).
Therefore, take a little time to think about our young men this Summer. If you see them around town or on campus, say hi and give them an extra smile. For if things go right this Summer, we will be having plenty to smile about in the Fall.