In search of fun, sun, play, and bonding, the varsity boys baseball team spent Spring Break in Orlando, Florida, and they were not disappointed. They had four full days and two travel days to fulfill a busy and fun itinerary.
While in Orlando, the team went 4-0 playing three Pennsylvania teams and one team from Illinois, watched an Atlanta Braves spring training game at the ESPN Complex, had a three day pass to the Disney Theme Parks, and relaxed at the pool. Although playing ball was a big reason for going, the main reason was team building.
“I think as good as the baseball aspect of it was, the team building portion of it was just as important if not a little more,” head baseball coach Ryan Miller said.
Both the quality and quantity of time spent together helps foster closer relationships. Not everyone has had to share a bedroom with a brother and learn how to respect each other’s space and habits. The team shared rooms with four players per hotel room.
Just like at Outdoor School and at other camps or retreats, you are away from everyday life and the distractions of it, and find time to work on improving yourself and other relationships. Even though the first goal of the getaway might not be to improve relationships, getting to really know others and more about who they are creates greater bonds.
“Our team really grew together as a whole and we have a whole new team chemistry coming back. It is a mutual respect for everybody and we treat each other like family now,” senior baseball player Austen Carpenter said.
Goals are important to give a common focus for all to strive to achieve. While bonds grew stronger, the time in Orlando provided the team with opportunities to set goals. Both individual and team goals were talked about and set.
Even when setting personal goals, the team building helped to create goals that were focused on the team. Two of team goals include winning league and taking state.
“My main goal is just to be the best team player I can be and help our team achieve those goals,” junior baseball player Ezra Samperi said.
Just like any goal, breaking it into smaller pieces helps to accomplish that goal. The team took on fundraising the same way. They focused on each fundraiser as another step to making it to Orlando. With the cost of the trip, many fundraisers were necessary.
At the end of last season, the team learned of the potential of going to Orlando which meant fundraising was necessary. Beginning in the fall, the team sold oranges and grapefruits, and at Christmas time there was a raffle for a week in Palm Springs and a fifty five inch TV. The team also hosted a casino night, and each player had the opportunity to sell advertisements as the banners that hang on the outfield fence.
The trip is such a great opportunity for the players that get to go. It doesn’t happen every year. Twenty spots were available for Orlando. All of Varsity, two swing, and two JV were able to make the trip. From the sounds of it, all enjoyed the experience.
“You get to experience a whole other State, you get to enjoy the sun, and most of all you get to become closer with your team and that makes the rest of the season worthwhile. The team aspect becomes way better and once you have that, everybody plays better and it makes baseball fun to play,” Carpenter said.