The Payson High School weight room is undergoing a much-needed facelift.
Last week, the Payson High Football Booster Club began renovating the facility by removing all of the weight-lifting equipment. Volunteers then painted and reupholstered the equipment in purple and gold school colors.
Also, the weight room was painted white with a purple stripe around the four rectangular walls.
Brett Huddlestun, of Huddlestun Construction Inc., shored up walls and a ceiling that were in need of reinforcements. The renovations caught the eye of PHS Athletic Director Dave Bradley.
"This is going to look really sharp," he said.
The room also will be outfitted with additional weight-training equipment that has been donated by Payson Athletic Club owner Keven Rush.
During the summer months, the PHS weight room is used by athletes to train for next season.
Once school begins, the room is used by PHS physical education classes.
Bradley praised the efforts of the of the booster club members who, he said, have spent countless manhours revamping the facility that had seen better days.
Time to train
Make no mistake about it, there are some local coaches who are frustrated by the lack of participation in summer training programs.
Coaches work their tails off trying to establish rewarding off-season programs only to have some young athletes refuse to turn out.
Some of the best advice I've heard about participation in off-season programs comes from coach Dick DeVenzio of the Point Guard Basketball College.
He tells young people: "in the off-season, you have the best chance to have a huge impact on your future success."
His knowledgeable tips are directed mostly at high school basketball players, but they could apply to all athletes.
All good coaches, including DeVenzio, recommend that in the off-season, athletes should commit to lifting weights and improving skills with systematic practice and repetition.
Once an athlete commits to the off-season, it's contagious among teammates.
"It's a team game," he said. "You can't afford to mind your own business and hope for excellent, motivated teammates. You have to motivate your teammates and inspire excellence. Go by their houses, call them up, pick them up. Talk to them, work with them, and share your dreams with them. There is so much you can do, and every day counts."
Years ago, an assistant football coach of mine at Show Low High School, Digger O'Dell, was approached by a player who was frustrated with his playing time and lack of success. He asked coach O'Dell why he wasn't more successful.
Coach O'Dell replied with a question, "What did you do in the off-season?"
"Nothing," the young player said.
An old football coaching adage, that's applicable to most every sport, is that great teams are built in the summer.
The Sixth Annual Pioneer Title Agency Golf Tournament to benefit Payson Area Habitat for Humanity will tee off at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 at Payson Golf Course.
Tournament directors are Pam Mitchell, Mark Monty and Dale Gonzales. The trio have rounded up some great prizes and raffle items.
Entry fees are $70 per person ($50 for Payson Golf Course members).
Entry forms are available at Pioneer Title, 421 S. Beeline Highway, or at the PAHH office, 1012 S. Goodfellow Road.
Call Monty or Gonzales at 474-3235 for more information.