The basketball teams traveled to New Mexico and later to San Antonio to compete over the break. The swim team also traveled to San Antonio from Dec. 29th to Jan. 4th of the break to train in an intense environment.
The teams had their breaks cut early, but both sports had a positive outlook on the chance to get better.
A junior biology major, Harrison Martin said the extra experience was what the basketball team needed, and even though their break was cut short, everyone stayed positive.
“I think practice over break is exactly what our team needed,” Martin said. “It’s definitely challenging from a physical aspect, but our conference is tough and we realize it is necessary to be successful. Overall the attitude was positive. It is tough for some guys who have not been able to be home, but no one ever complains.”
Junior swim team member Grant Denison also said the competition was beneficial, and he was looking forward to a change in scenery for training.
“I was very excited to get the opportunity to train somewhere new,” Denison said. “Last year, we stayed at Oklahoma Christian to train. I was looking forward to San Antonio since it would be something different. The team was able to grow closer as a whole. We were all able to bond by fighting through the agonizing practices together and doing fun activities around San Antonio.”
Martin shared Denison’s opinion on the bonding holiday training can bring to a team.
“All of the players coming together to put in extra time definitely helps the team bond,” Martin said. “With no classes and only basketball to focus on, I definitely feel that we begin to mesh better on and off the court.”
Denison reflected on what he viewed as the best and worst part of the trip. He believes the team bonding is the best part of a training trip, and the intensity of the training, although beneficial, is the worst part.
“Everyone on the team had to step up and put in their best effort,” Denison said. “By the end of each day, we were all extremely exhausted. On the flip side, those practices are exactly what we needed to prepare us for our upcoming conference meet. My favorite part of the training trip was getting to spend time with my teammates. In addition to the practices, we got to explore San Antonio. We went to the Riverwalk, Six Flags and the tube chute together. Having all these fun activities mixed in with the training made it all worth it.”
Even though the two sports had different trips this holiday break, both athletes agreed the time lost from break is worth the benefit to the team.
“We had some very difficult matchups over the break,” Martin said. “It was good to have the extra preparation going into those games.”
“If I hadn’t gone on the training trip, I still would have been training on my own at home,” Denison said. “I didn’t really think of the trip as something that was cutting my break short. The training trip was an opportunity to get closer to the team and for all of us to become stronger together. Now that we have put in all that work, we have put ourselves in a position for success. I believe that opportunities like that are always worth it.”
Both teams continue their competition once the semester starts off. Men and women’s basketball play against Tarleton State University on Jan. 9th and the swim team travels to the Austin College Invitational on Jan. 11th.