Strength in community

Varsity softball’s bonding activities enhance their performance on the field


Addison Haas

(from left to right) Sophomores Helena Kegley, Alyssa Stalzer, and Addison Haas cradle a goat after completing their goat yoga team bonding activity at JAMS Goat Yoga. “I had so much fun with all the goats. I loved when they climbed on our backs and when we could pick them up and give them treats.”

Shruti Chada, Staff Writer

 As the ball collides with the bat, an audible crack is heard. Players across the field grin as the ball soars across the clear blue sky, during the softball team’s daily practice.

This year, Coach John Swoboda is focusing on team cohesion and developing the mindset that they need to win. That’s even more important now with the new freshmen on the team and the team of pitchers.

The team this year has something special. We have great team chemistry, and [we] learned how to play for each other,”  junior Sam Seitz said.

The team has undergone several team bonding exercises in an effort to get closer as a team. One of these bonding activities was a session of JAMS goat yoga. These activities bring them closer and make it easier for them to perform on the field. This really helped with bringing the team together because they’re hanging out with each other outside of school, making them interact out of a school environment. 

The team and program is closer and more  united than they have been in a long time. They have learned to rely on each other and know that they need to play together as a team, that individuals cannot win on their own.,” Swoboda said.

Some team bonding activities that the team regularly does is team dinner. They made it a tradition to eat together every Wednesday. Usually, they’ll toss around a football and play a couple of games together, or have light-hearted conversations. This is an  essential part of the team bonding because it gives the players a better grasp of the team’s personalities and that helps them on the field. 

“Bonding with the team is easy. Everyone accepts everyone for who they are, and we always have fun team bonding activities we do outside of school and practice. I feel like I’ve bonded with the team easily. Part of the reason I love Millard North softball is because of the team and how close we all are,” freshman Sydney Meyer said.

The team overall works together efficiently and smoothly as shown by their recent victory against Millard South on September 24th, 2019, the first victory against them in three years. Their victory against Burke is another example of how their team bonding has benefited them with their closer bond. All throughout that game, according to freshman Payton Stone, who is on the pitching committee, they were really focused on the game and were comfortable being uncomfortable under stress. 

“We also have developed a tight bond with each other which is always a victory. We are a family in a way. I know each girl’s personality and that helps me when I pitch. I know they’ll lay out for a ball if it comes down to it.,” said freshman Payton Stone.

Altogether, the team believes that with their new determination and closer bond that they’ll make it to state. The players know each other well, and that increases their performance in the field. The team’s belief is that there is strength in community and they continue to live up to what they believe in.