The holidays have come to an end and we’re all back to the grind. We’ve left our families behind to embrace a new semester with resolutions at hand. As the New Year approaches with our families still in our hearts, I think it’s important to share with you what makes up a sports team.
There is much more than meets the eye. There are many different people who contribute to the success of a team, creating our very own sports family.
First off, our teammates. These are the people we are going to be with for the rest of our lives. When you have to get up and go play, and you’re with this big group of people day in and out, it is undoubtedly the greatest feeling in the world. Nothing can match walking into a foreign gym without knowing a single person, backed by your 15 best friends. These people are the definition of siblings.
I must also acknowledge the most recognizable group of people, coaches and assistant coaches. After all, someone has to tell us what to do. Depending on the sport, the coach’s role can be very specialized. Realistically, the list is endless. If there is something to know, there is someone to coach it.
Some of the members of our ‘family’ are so integral that overlooking them would be a serious mistake. Our trainers are the people who keep us broken athletes pieced together. Whether it’s massages or tape jobs before practice, or massages and ice after practice (did I mention massages?) they keep our bodies working given the constant beating they take.
Along with personal team trainers we must also take a moment to recognize physiotherapists and massage therapists. They are the folks we pay to help us recover and get us back into working shape. They’re the Band-Aid that helps us heal from injuries, and if you spend a lot of time with them they get to know you personally and become a very good friend. Let me tell you, every single dollar is worth it!
Next, we have the people who are similar to our coaches but are a little more specialized to make us better at what we do. We have strength coaches, whose job is to make us fit and strong. They provide us with sport-focused workouts and keep us motivated in the weight room. Along with our physical fitness, there is the mental aspect of our game . This is where our sports psychologists come into play. They teach us how to be mentally tough, and to better understand the mental aspect of the game.
Finally, we have the people who make the sport worth playing. Our sponsors and the financial support help make all of these dreams come true.
And the most important part of the sport, our last family member, is you guys, our fans. Without your support, the sport wouldn’t be worth playing. You keep us motivated. You’re the parents of this family, so please don’t ever stop believing in us.
Raeesa Lalani is a member of the Dalhousie women’s volleyball team.