Athletes: more than just teammates, they are family

Athletes: more than just teammates, they are family

Seniors Shira Rodman and Chrissy Kennedy met on CHS soccer their freshman year and have been friends for the past four years.

By Katie Gauch, Production Editor

 Besides working extremely hard in practice, many athletes consider being like a family one of the most important parts of a team’s success.  Bulldog athletes, on large or small teams, not only build strong friendships, but also, an indestructible “family” alliance.

“When we get together and play cohesively, it’s really great,” varsity soccer player Conner Quigley said.  “Having some individual talent is nice, but it’s hard to achieve anything without everyone doing his part.”

Both big teams, like cheer, and small ones, like volleyball, have activities to promote team bonding. Team activities can include many things such as going to Ocean City or a pool party. Anything that helps players get to know each other on their respective teams.

“This year for our team gathering we went over to a teammate’s house who had a pool to cool off in,” varsity football player Alan Ha said.  “After most games we would go to Wing Stop to grab some food.”

Along with grabbing a bite to eat with one another, the cheer and poms teams also have team dinners before football games to get everyone pumped up for the big game.  Poms and cheer also have camps over the summer where most of the relationships are built.

“We have team dinners, lunches and sleepovers,” senior poms captain Rachel Glick said.  “Also, everyone has a pom buddy on the team that they bake for every time we perform at a football game.

Although they do not have the same practices or game sites, some sports with JV and Varsity squads bond with one another by giving gifts to their “little sisters,” who are on the JV teams.

According to cheerleader senior Katie Byrne, the cheer team also hangs out at cheer camp, where they work on their skills and bond.  With all the time that they have at cheer camp, they really get to know each other by working well together and expressing ideas.  Also, the varsity team bonds with their little sisters by baking cupcakes and cookies for them, while the little sisters do the same for their big sisters.

To many athletes, it is also important to form a strong relationship with their coach by inviting them to team dinners and holding captains meetings with the coach.  Coaches try to create friendly activities to promote team bonding, because they see success when the team has a close relationship.

“I create a family-like environment within my team by encouraging team bonding, cheer camp, dinners, sleepovers and even getting together and going to the fair,” varsity cheer coach Margo Hopkins said.  “We play games to say positive things about the person standing next to them on the progress they’ve made so far this season.  We even do fun games like wheel barrow races with one another.”

Without having a strong relationship with the coach and other players, CHS athletes will not have the successful season that they hope for.

“Everyone gets even closer during the season because you have to work as a team and individuals have to figure things out,” Byrne said.  “Accomplishing something together creates strong ties and relationships on the team, making us feel united.”