Spartans unite through team-bonding trip
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team recently took a quick two-day break from their preseason schedule to drive up to Valle Crucis, N.C., for a mountain getaway and ropes course challenge in order to become more of a close-knit team.
With seven of the 15 student-athletes on the team this season being newcomers, the team used this opportunity to grow accustomed to one another and to build a unified bond.
"I thought this was a tremendous trip for our team," said head coach Patrick Nicholas. "The best part was that it exceeded my own expectations. The ropes course was led by an excellent team-building group that worked the team for almost eight hours. To see the bonding that went on between the team was really exciting."
Unbeknownst to the players, the coaches planned the quick trip. After practice last week, the coaches informed the team that they would be going on a trip although they didn't specify where they would be going. They gave the players a packing list and gave them an hour to report back to campus to leave.
Upon arriving at their lodges, the student-athletes were treated to a special dinner cooked by the coaches that evening upon their arrival.
The next morning the players woke up and reciprocated the favor by cooking breakfast and making lunches for the team and coaches. That afternoon, the players embarked on a trip to Rock Dimensions, which is a challenge course in Todd, N.C. There, the student-athletes were put through a series of challenges that helped strengthen their bonds.
According to Rock Dimensions' website, "groups will get to know each other better as they participate in various games and activities that ask them to cooperate to achieve a stated goal. Various props may be used in the facilitation of activities, providing a fun and active way to practice leadership, problem solving and decision-making skills, and effective communication."
"The trip was a great team bonding experience," said senior outside hitter Caley Redden. "The whole time we did team events that allowed us to get real close as a team. Our communication went real well. We trusted each other in all of the little drills we did. We exceeded expectation that we didn't think we could. I feel like as a team we grew a lot closer than we have been in the past."
The team started on the lower ropes course, where they had challenges that made them use problem-solving strategies and team communication in order to complete them. After that, the team moved on to the high ropes course. This course really tested the student-athletes physically, as well as mentally.
"The ropes course was really fun," said Redden. "It was a lot of strenuous work. It had to do with a lot of team stressing. We definitely had to trust our partners/teammates when we were up there."
"One time, one of the girls was scared of heights. We all completely stopped where we were and started yelling for her and cheering for her as a team. It was really emotional, but it was really good that we all stuck together as a team and helped her make it through it."
Before the team departed the following day, the team came together for a meeting. They used the time to reflect on the experience and talk about what they learned as a team, as well as individually.
"I thought the discussions that we had afterwards really brought a lot of things to light for the team and about each other," said Nicholas. "Overall it was a meaningful and fun experience. Hopefully we don't forget the lessons we learned as we progress through the season."
The Spartans will open up their season this weekend at the Spartan Classic in Norfolk, Va. The team will begin the tournament by facing Navy on Friday at 1 p.m.
Click here for a photo gallery of the volleyball team during their two-day excursion.
- UNCG -