As the spring sports season approaches, student athletes are starting to spend a great deal of time together. Teams have practices six days a week, normally lasting two to three hours. After weeks of these practices come the games, where they battle against county rivals for the right to go to the state tournament. While these students are around each other for a good amount of time, some teams do not spend even more time together for team bonding and team meals. Students participate in these activities to benefit the team on and off the field of play.
During these practices and games teams focus strictly practicing their skills for their respective sports. Certain teams, however set time aside strictly for team bonding. These teams will designate certain times after practice or games for events such as team dinners and team hangouts. During these meals, teams go to a team members house to eat and spend time with one another. Students like sophomore Ethan Kach enjoy these team bonding activities because they get to spend quality time with their teammates. “I enjoy being able to go to each other’s houses for team dinners and having dinner out at a restaurant after practice,” Kach said.
The job of a coach is to put their team in a position to win games, but people may say that just holding practices doesn’t completely help the team win. Benefitting the team’s morale can help them win because it will allow them to have fun while playing. Team bonding outside of practice or school can help a team by building chemistry amongst the team and to allow teammates to get to know one another outside of a practice or game environment. Coaches like David Bitler of baseball enjoy holding team bonding activities to help the team on the field. “Team dinners help build trust amongst the team,” Bitler said.
These team events can also help the team off the field as well. When teams spend extended time together, they can become better friends and build relationships that last longer than the season. Kach also enjoys spending time with his team because he believes it helps them become better friends. “Team dinners help the team become better friends because they allow us to spend time together,” Kach said.
While some teams have designated times for bonding, others don’t take the authority to schedule them for their teams. These teams don’t particularly believe that these team bonding events help the team’s performance on the field. While they don’t have specific times for bonding, the team members take time after practice to bond after their practices or games.These unofficial events are similar to the ones that are set up by coaches in other sports Students like sophomore Carli Mangum enjoy these unscheduled team activities. “I enjoy spending time with my teammates out of school because it helps us become closer,” Mangum said.