Basketball team trips help to strengthen bonds


Over the Christmas break, the Chapman basketball teams hit the road and headed to Gatlinburg, Tenn. While it isn’t unusual for teams to travel a good distance to play, it can be draining for players to have to go and play on their breaks from school. 

That isn’t the case at all, however, for the Chapman boys and girls basketball players.

Players explained that new friendships were made as well as spectacular memories. 

“Other than the mountain coaster (at Dollywood), my favorite part of the trip was the bonding,” junior Madi Blackwell said. “We got to learn more about each other because we got to spend more time together.”

Blackwell explained that before the trip, she only verbally communicated with certain teammates at practices and games. After the trip, she felt close enough to start texting and hanging out with those teammates outside of school. 

The teams’ bonds were already strong and friendships were already present, but having a time to get out of town and have fun while doing what they all love together was another time to reassure players that their teammates are like a second family. 

“We definitely worked hard, but it’s not like we didn’t have a lot of fun too,” said junior Grace McDaniel. “We put 110% into everything, but we made sure to get breaks and have fun, too.” said McDaniel. 

From a coach’s perspective, there is just as much value in these trips as the players. 

From gaining more experience to personal growth, there is always positivity and playing the game away. 

“It’s always great to be with our guys in a different environment away from school,” boys coach Greg Wilson said. “The experience was very valuable.” 

Trips also help balance an athlete’s mental health. Studies show that up to 35% of athletes suffer from a mental health crisis which may manifest as stress. 

“I think that anytime you’re dealing with an organization, a club or anything that you’re working towards that, obviously your mental health can take a lot of pressure there,” JV girls basketball coach Alex Colson said. “But a trip like that (to Gatlinburg) has both bonding and fun as well as being pushed and challenges that makes it an all around good experience.”