A central part of sporting success lies in building effective relationships with your teammates. Often, this is worked out on the field as you participate together in the sport you all love. But how do off-field relationships between teammates develop? What are the main ways in which senior figures in modern sports teams can build the sorts of bonds that will stand them in good stead when they next get on the field? This blog post will explore this more.
Going to the casino
In recent years, there’s been something of a renewed interest in where sports figures go in order to let their hair down as a break from their punishing training routines. One such place that they’ve been known to go is the casino — and we’re not talking about an e transfer casino or other online destination.
One incident that made the headlines in 2016 was the decision by some players from the NBA’s Toronto Raptors to head off to a casino in Cleveland, Ohio in the early hours of the morning. This decision caused controversy because it was then blamed by some for the later loss by the Raptors in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers by a margin of 116-78.
In some ways, it’s perhaps no surprise that sports figures like to play games — even if those involve gambling. While the incident with the Raptors hit the headlines, it’s worth reconsidering whether it’s really so bad for sportspeople to occasionally enjoy a leisure activity that many others also do. It could even be that the Raptors’ trip assisted in long-term player bonding which outlasted the short-term loss against the Cavaliers.
Other social activities
However, not every team-building event has to take place in circumstances as press-critical as the Raptors’ visit to the casino. Off-field relationships can be built in a range of different ways — such as by enjoying meals together. In fact, press reports about the incident with the Raptors indicated that it was only a couple of players who ended up in the casino.
The whole team had spent the earlier part of the evening together eating a meal and watching sports on TV. That sort of off-field activity is highly commonplace in professional sports teams — and is one of the main ways in which players can build those bonds of trust with one another. Other ways for teammates to achieve this is to go to the cinema together or visit some sort of natural landmark — perhaps when traveling to their next game destination.
Team building time
One of the main ways in which sports figures get to know and trust each other and build those crucial relationships is on the field but out of sight. Training exercises often take place away from public view, and it’s easy to see why. It’s in these non-public moments that sports figures can be vulnerable with each other about their strengths and weaknesses and help shore each other up if they are facing troubles and problems.
Finally, it’s very common for people who are on a sports team together to spend lots of time travelling together. This is especially true at the higher levels of major professional sports such as basketball, baseball and football. Players on these sorts of teams often have to travel across the country, or at least their local region, to play away games, meaning that there’s lots of time on an airplane or bus together.
The fact that players are packed tightly together means that they have an opportunity to bond and get to know each other a little better. They can also start to pick up on each other’s habits and have plenty of time to discuss what decisions they plan to make when they next play.
In summary, off-field relationships are a vital part of the way sports teams around the globe operate. Whether it’s going out to enjoy social activities together or simply spending time together at dinner or when traveling to games, there are many ways for players of all experience levels and skill points to get to know each other and bond. While off-field relationships are sometimes the object of scrutiny, these relationships are most often positive and welcomed by fans, pundits and coaches alike.