In high school many students sacrifice their time and energy in order to better themselves mentally, physically, and socially by playing a sport.
Besides the physical benefits, many athletes say that their involvement in sports also gives them opportunities to meet people and relieve stress.
In school sports, the make-up of teams is everchanging as seniors’ positions are filled by incoming underclassmen every year. When it comes to putting together a team for a new season, team bonding becomes essential to help build camaraderie and trust.
Bonding over meals is especially popular among the basketball and canoe paddling teams at HBA. Basketball center, senior Logan Takeda says, “Sometimes before games, the team will go out somewhere to eat a quick pre-game snack so that we don’t starve to death when we are running up and down the court. We spent a lot of time eating food and those were some of my favorite moments of basketball.”
Senior steersman Isabel Wiemken recalls similar moments as a member of the varsity Pac-5 canoe paddling team. She said, “Our team bondings usually involve food. We like to carbo-load at Buca di Beppo or Spaghetti Factory a day or two before a big race.”[one_third]
“[A strong team chemistry] also pushes you to work hard for each other so that you can accomplish your goal together as a team.”
Varsity basketball senior forward Keisha Ching[/one_third]
The sharing of quality time is the most important thing about team bonding, more than the activity itself. “We usually just head to the movies or the mall to hang out,” Pac-5 air riflery shooter Alexa Yoo wrote to the Eagle Eye, “but we [also] like to say that our practices are team bondings because we just have fun and really talk a lot.”
“I love our team bondings!” HBA varsity bowler Shelby Suzuki exclaimed during an interview. “We usually have [them] at Kaitlyn Matsushima’s house…it’s like an arcade because they have everything! It’s honestly really fun and it really helps to get to know each other better.”
Yoo and Suzuki both participate in sports where individuals compete against members of their own teams within their division. Yoo said, “Although air riflery is an individual sport in terms of how we actually shoot, scores are also counted by teams, so teamwork is pretty important … We have the most eclectic mix of people, and they all come from different backgrounds and schools, but all of that doesn’t really matter when we get together as a team and just do what we love.”
The positive chemistry between members of a team at practices becomes an asset during meets, games, or races. This past year, Yoo and Suzuki were honored as ILH players of the year, earning the top individuals scores in their respective sports. According to Suzuki, team bonding creates a competitive environment that motivates students to better themselves while also feeling accepted by their peers. “If we didn’t have our team bondings, I don’t think we’d be the close team that we are,” Suzuki explained. “Matches would feel either really boring or really competitive if you’re just trying to beat your teammate. But since we’re all pretty close, we focus on beating the team we’re up against.”
Varsity basketball senior forward Keisha Ching also believes that bonding produces positive results. “I think it is very important for a team to have [a] strong chemistry on and off the court because if a team is comfortable with each other, it makes playing with each other more fun. It also pushes you to work hard for each other so that you can accomplish your goal together as a team,” she said.
Yoo points out that the love of competition isn’t the only reason why students join a sport. “Maybe some will go on to play at a collegiate level, but for those who do it for their personal enjoyment, it wouldn’t really be fun unless you loved everyone on your team. We spend about three hours a day for five days of the week together [and] I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t love them.”