Cooperation and teamwork are considered integral components in any sport, but exactly how prevalent are they in individual sports like tennis or swimming?  Sports like rugby, soccer, and basketball are team sports, but sports like swimming and tennis highlight more of the individual talent than the teamwork of a team.

In these individual sports, athletes find it easier to master the sport, as they have more control. However, compared to team sports, these sports may be highly stressful; therefore, athletes must learn to adapt mentally and be comfortable in putting themselves under the uncomfortable spotlight.

Swimming star Luna Iai reveals that she “[gets] butterflies in [her] stomach right before every race.  It’s really a stressful moment, when all the pressure is just on yourself.”

Similarly, girls tennis captain Jasmine Ho exclaims,

Tennis is a really hard sport in the sense that all the tension and burden is placed on one or, at the most, two individuals during the onset of the entire game.

However, there is significant team synergy involved in these individual sports as well, because the efforts of the athletes and the wins they gain, serve as one of the many matches or races that comprises the whole team’s result.

Going Along 2Tennis player Carlos Palomino, who is also a member of varsity football, notes the similarities between team sports and individual sports, and expresses,

One definitely needs to develop self-reliance. But in the end, it’s just like team sports, because one will not just be playing for him or herself, but for their entire team.”

Overall, all sports involve an element of collaboration, even in individual sports like tennis and swimming.  As captain Luna nicely sums up,

What we’re doing definitely involves a collaborative element because we, as team, have to suffer through painful experiences together, and do our best for our team.

Article by: DeeDee Aeschliman, 11
Photographs by: Daniel Um and Ivi Ilaya

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