Team traditions bring athletes together and create strong competing mindsets

Sarah Villani

During each season, the different sports teams here at Augie have different traditions to help bring the team closer together and to encourage each other before a game.

For the men’s swim team, there are various traditions that involve welcoming incoming first-years as well as making sure everyone is doing well academically.

One of the traditions they do each year consists of having incoming first-years complete a scavenger hunt that allows them to explore campus and meet people on the team.

“The scavenger hunt consists of our underclassmen getting things for the seniors like pictures or things from the brew and fun things like that,” senior and member of the men’s swim team, Isaiah Valentine, said.

The upperclassmen in the team also help with setting goals early in the year. This helps their teammates come up with their own personal goals and find new things to improve on. It also allows upperclassmen to become role models for their new teammates and get closer to their coaches.

“The coach will huddle everyone up, tell them what to focus on and get everyone excited,” Valentine said.

Later on in the season, the swim team has what they call “deep chats” where they make sure everyone’s improving on their skills. 

In order to ensure that everyone is still staying on track with balancing school and a D3 sport, the swim team also has weekly study meetings. This way, they can make sure every student is keeping a balanced lifestyle as well as managing their studies. If they are not, this is the place where the students can get help with school and figure out how to get back on track. 

The traditions the swim team has allows for the teams to get closer and rely on each other for academic support and growth in the sport.

On the women’s lacrosse team they have team dinners throughout their season to help create conversation and friendships among the team. 

“We’re just trying to find a way to spend more time together outside of practice,” junior Claire Kim said.

The team dinners have allowed the team to feel a lot closer off the field and have better communication at practice and during matches. 

A tradition that the men’s swim team and the women’s lacrosse team have in common is chanting before any type of competition. This allows the athletes to get excited before the game and creates an atmosphere in which everyone on the team can get into a focused mindset before the game.

“We always do the same team cheer called “To Take, Kill, Pillage and Burn,” and we have a horn to represent the Vikings which is always fun,” Valentine said. “It’s something that we can all rely on before the meet. It helps keep them focused and oriented to swimming fast.”

Both teams also share the tradition of hosting a ceremony at the end of the season celebrating the accomplishments of the season as well as bidding farewell to the seniors on the team. 

“We always make scrapbooks for the seniors and get them all these gifts. We also make a video for them. We also decorate the locker room to make sure we celebrate them the right way,” Kim said.

The different traditions different sports teams have allows for each sport to have its own team culture as well as compete in a way that makes each athlete feel excited.