Last month's camps took place at Cal Poly and CSUB

In order to get better, athletes will use the off season to sharpen their skills.

Taft High girls soccer player Bethany Fitzsimmons has been doing just that last month by taking part in a pair of soccer camps.

“They’re really good,” Fitzsimmons said of the camps.  “The coaches and everyone have been helpful.”

Fitzsimmons, who will be entering her sophomore year of high school this fall, attended the Cal State Bakersfield camp first before attending the Cal Poly camp second.

According to Fitzsimmons, the two camps were different in a couple of different ways. The Cal State Bakersfield camp, which was in early June,  was one day with 22 players attending.

The camp went three hours before the campers took a break. They returned for another three hours in the afternoon including a game.

Meanwhile, the Cal Poly camp, which had 30 participants, was a two day event on a weekend in late June. On the second day, participants worked in the morning before they played a game in the afternoon. Fitzsimmons found out about the camp through her grandfather who found it for her.

At the same time, the camps didn’t teach things that Fitzsimmons already new.

“They don’t explain a lot of new things,” she said. “I am getting to learn a game in a new way.”

There was a benefit in both camps that was for those 14 years and over that included players from places like San Francisco, San Jose and even one from Germany. According to Fitzsimmons, the oldest girl was 18.

“You got individual time but you got time with your team,” she said.  It’s preparing me for when I play college. They’re rougher.”

While Fitzsimmons was taking part in the Cal Pol camp, she was also checking out the campus.

“I like Cal Poly a lot,” she said. “They really, really have a nice campus.”

Fitzsimmons may not be done with summer soccer. She is considering taking part in the Surf Bowl at the coast.

However, her focus is turning from soccer to volleyball with the start of volleyball practice two times a week recently on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

She will start two a days this August with the volleyball team.