When football coaches from the top college programs in the country hear the name Max Wright their ears perk up. As a high school freshman, Max received his first Division I offer. Now as a junior, Max has offers in the double digits from major programs such as Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M. He’s worked hard year-round to maximize his abilities, but there are two weeks out of the year Max won't be found training and those are his two weeks spent at Pine Cove.
Athletic competitions have heated up over the past ten years, particularly in the great state of Texas. With greater competition comes increased pressure on parents and students to spend summers taking extra lessons and training opportunities. However, many athletes, like Max, find their time at Pine Cove to be an important part of their overall training program.
Trainers and coaches are starting to see the benefits of athletes taking a break in the summer. One coach shares, “Young athletes need time away to recuperate mentally and physically. We’re getting more injuries when kids are training 52 weeks out of the year.” Parents also see the benefits of camp on their child athletes. Cydney Wright, mom to Max, says, “The benefits of Pine Cove far outweigh any workout he would miss. Kids need camp. They need to unplug.” In fact, several ministries report that it is common for students to walk away from their faith in college and never return. It's a heartbreaking statistic. Possessing a solid relationship with Christ before leaving the nest is critical now more than ever before.
Still, many parents worry how missing a week of training may impact their child's chances to advance. When asked about taking time away from football to attend camp Max said, “Camp will keep you in shape by itself. You can run around here. Club is a workout alone, but if you want to get bigger they have a workout room too.” At Pine Cove's newest high school camp, The Ridge, plans are underway to build a state of the art sports complex where students can choose to work out.
Max expressed that Pine Cove prepares him for the temptations that are sure to come when he plays college sports. It helps him to remember to keep his faith grounded in Christ and know how to have his own relationship with God. “I won't be able to go and talk to my mom. I've got to be able to talk to the Lord.” Pine Cove prepares kids like Max to be alone in the real world.
Max's message to other high school athletes, “Don't think that coming to camp is going to make you a worse athlete. Missing one or two weeks isn't going to change the world. It gives you a new perspective on everything. It's a place that really prepares you for those trials that will come through sports and can really help you through it.”
Max shares that during his sophomore year he tore his ACL, forcing him to miss the majority of football season. It was one of the hardest times he's faced. During his struggle, he turned back to his notes from camp the previous summer. “This place can give you so much to help you fight through life and help you fight through sports too.”
Pine Cove's desire is for all high school students to continue to make time for camp. Perhaps, like Max, when asked why Pine Cove is still the best part of summer, they too will answer, “(It's) just a chance to be surrounded by like-minded people, people who love God. It's a cool setting to be in where there's no electronics, no phones. You get to detox from all that. It's kinda cool.”