Article by: Abhi Kottamasu

In chemistry, there are many types of molecular bonds, from metallic to covalent to ionic, but one thing remains constant: all release energy. Bonds between people are no different. A team with a strong connection to each other will consistently release more positive energy on the court or field, and trump those without. Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Team building refers to the process of establishing and developing a greater sense of collaboration and trust between team members. Such qualities in a team are of paramount importance and are imperative to ensure sporting success. ISM sports teams recognize this and frequently organize team bonding activities from team dinners to even beach trips.

Stefan Suarez, IASAS Golf and Tennis athlete, believes that team bonding activities aim to unite the team outside of the sport itself and create lasting friendships and memories that can be translated into success in sports and competition. Sami Um, three season IASAS athlete, believes that team bonding allows players to get closer to each other on a personal level. She says that the team builds chemistry, which allows them to be more connected on the field as well as spurs the team to create an overall better IASAS experience. Team bonding generally embraces a multitude of activities. Bonding activities are extremely effective as well as enjoyable as teams often swim or play cards, talk strategies or create team cheers and even film their IASAS send off video. What better place to film a send off video than the beach right? Selina De Dios, IASAS basketball athlete, believes that a team sport like basketball heavily relies on communication and working as one unit; things which only team bonding can strengthen. She adds “The more comfortable we are with each other off the court, the better our chemistry on court.” Perhaps, such chemistry and team bonding between the girls basketball team was the secret to their silver medal at IASAS last year. IASAS softball and football athlete, Sammy Westfall says that “Athletes are completely different people off the field than they are on the field” and believes that team bonding allows the team to know each other better as individuals and strengthen friendships between people you must spend your whole season with.

However, many people might think that there is no purpose of team bonding for individual sports like tennis or badminton. This is in fact quite a misconception; the truth is quite the contrary, Stefan says, “Tennis players are mostly alone on the court and being cheered on by teammates is a great feeling and can give you that extra push towards success.” Hopefully, this season’s team bonding activities were effective and Bearcat athletes can bring back the gold.

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