The Power of the Team

As an athlete, I believe that one of the most important aspects of any sport is the camaraderie formed between teammates. I have been extremely fortunate to have such an amazing team that I have trained with, raced with, and grown up with for the last 12 years. I met one of my closest friends, Kaitlyn, when I was 4 years old (through swimming), and it has grown into one of the most valuable friendships I have ever had. Every single day at practice, whether we’re talking to each other or not, we are pushing each other on, we are cheering for the other person, and we are always there when the other one falls down. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be the swimmer or person I am today if it wasn’t for my teammates. So many people ask me how I am so close with my teammates, even though swimming is an individual sport. I always answer that ‘because swimming is an individual sport, we form an even tighter bond’. I know that may sound weird, and maybe you have to be a swimmer to understand it, but simply being surrounded by all these people for so many hours a day creates an unbreakable bond. Waking up for the grueling 5:30 morning practices, and just barely surviving the 3-hour afternoon practice, we literally swim through the sunrises and sunsets together. We’re there to push each other, to race each other, but also to comfort each other. We’re there to cheer each other on during that killer 400IM or 200 fly, to celebrate with them when they’ve won a race, but also to just be there for them when they’re crying after a bad race. Even though swimming is not a ‘team sport’, I would say that a swimmers’ teammates is the most valuable thing they have. I know that my teammates are the ones who drive me to swim faster every set, or to do that extra 100 fly, and I am beyond grateful for them.

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I decided to step outside my little swim world for a bit and do a bit of research on how working out with other people can be beneficial. I became a leader for an after school workout session at my High School, and I began ‘Flight Club’ (agility work) a couple months ago. I quickly learned that working out (in my experience), is the best way to grow friendships. After talking with High School PE teacher, basketball coach and Flight Club Coach Scott Mackinnon, and High School Junior and basketball and softball player, Sydney Pieske, I was able to gain more insight as to how working out in a group can benefit your workout, as well as form bonds (check the video below to see their interviews!). When you’re working out by yourself, the only person to push you is you. As soon as you start to get tired or unmotivated, it’s extremely hard for you to pick yourself back up. If there are other people around you, they’re able to motivate you, even when you’re starting to feel like you can’t do it anymore. It becomes so much easier when you know that other people care about you and want to see you succeed. When someone else is there, it makes working out physically and mentally easier. Also, working out with a group of people is just so much more fun! You can turn everything around just by being around other people. Instead of quietly just sitting to the side because your starting to get sore and tired, complain about it with your friends and turn it into something you can talk about. Instead of skipping the last rep because you’re too tired, turn it into a competition with a friend to see who can lift the most or do the most reps. There are so many ways that you can improve your workouts, simply by having someone there. So go grab a friend and hit the gym! “Friends who work out together, stay together.” –I totally made this up;)

Click here to watch –> Interviews

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