Steamboat Springs Jessie Dunlop showed up for her first Speed, Quickness and Agility Camp at Steamboat Springs High School on Tuesday unsure of what to expect.
The nine-year-old was a little concerned when she discovered that she was the only female but the drills that coaches Andy Reust and Mike McCannon designed for the young athletes put Dunlop at ease.
"I knew a bunch of boys would be here," Dunlop said. "And I would be slower, but I think it's really fun."
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, Reust and McCannon help youth of all ages work on their speed, agility and quickness at the high school.
Using the weight room and track, coaches take participants through drills that can improve everything from footwork to strength.
"I wanted to get faster and better conditioned," said 12-year-old Zach Dunlop. "I have never even tried these drills at home. They looked easy. They are a lot harder than they look."
The first SAQ camp session runs from 9 to 10 a.m. The second session is from 10 to 11 a.m.
Children are starting to participate in organized sports at earlier ages.
While Reust and McCannon aren't interested in pushing athletes into training routines too advanced for their age, each sees the benefit in younger children participating in age-appropriate drills.
Perhaps the most beneficial lesson the coaches teach younger athletes is the proper way to run, Reust said.
"We're getting them ready for high school or middle school athletics," Reust said. "A lot of things we do with these kids we do with the high school athletes."
High school athletes are also encouraged to attend.
But Tuesday's second session was a time for younger participants to continue their summer workout.
Zach Dunlop and Ben Landusky are getting ready for seventh grade, where they will compete for organized athletic teams for the first time, traveling in the Western Slope area representing the Steamboat Springs district.
Landusky participates in football, basketball, baseball and wrestling and is interested in running track next year.
He believes younger athletes can learn good habits regarding technique and discipline by attending these summer camps offered by Reust and McCannon.
Ben Feld, who is in town visiting the Dunlops, is 16 years old and has been taking part in offseason camps in Denver for years.
He believes anyone, regardless of age, can benefit from offseason work -- even if it's two days a week -- as long as they are committed to attending.
"A lot of it has to do with consistency," Feld said.