Team athletic traditions are essential to RM athletes’ identities

Student+athletes+help+during+the+annual+mulch+sale%2C+a+Booster+Club+fundraiser+held+in+the+spring.

Photo from RMHS Booster Club Twitter account.

Student athletes help during the annual mulch sale, a Booster Club fundraiser held in the spring.

Juliette Bolte, Sports Writer

While its impact on the outcome of a competition is incalculable, team traditions are undoubtedly important to RM athletics’ identity. These traditions can take on various forms depending on the sport and can occur at different times throughout or even outside of the season. “The traditions we do help us all relate even further through our pain, failure and success,” junior and track and field athlete Jonah Petty said. 

Team spirit-oriented routines are particularly important for the tense moments leading up to an important competition. “Before meets sometimes there’d be spaghetti parties- mainly for distance runners trying to carbo load,” Petty said. “We’d do easy workouts with nothing but stretching and massage guns and just light runs with each other throughout town center.”

Captains and coaches also use these traditions to energize their teams and prepare everyone to compete at their best. “We had a tradition [for volleyball] of playing from a hype playlist during pregame practice for home games,” sophomore Emily Duan said.

Similarly for the swim team, it means “just getting hyped up during warm-ups and messing around,” junior Korelle Baker said. “One thing we always did was text each other after each game, no matter what the result was,” sophomore and soccer player Isha Uprety added, “and always remind each other to stay focused and constantly improve and build off of what we had done.” 

The traditions we do help us all relate even further through our pain, failure and success”

— Jonah Petty

Sometimes, team traditions go beyond the walls of RM and into the community where athletes can make an even greater impact. “We had a dig pink fundraiser game fundraiser and game for breast cancer awareness. We did a bake sale and pizza for that,” Duan said. “We always do the mulch fundraiser together and it was a great way to meet the upperclassmen,” junior and varsity tennis player Anbo Li said. 

Most importantly, traditions give athletes a sense of belonging within the team. Adjusting to newfound expectations and pressure from competition is often a challenge for freshmen or new members, but getting to know teammates helps alleviate this stress. 

“For me personally, I was always plagued with nerves because I had such high expectations for myself, but as I eased into the track and field community at RM those nerves went away. It was much in part because of the traditions and how much of a family-like vibe they had,” Petty said. 

Furthermore, a team’s performance depends on the cohesiveness and team chemistry from its members. Social activities conducted off the field are integral for developing a positive team atmosphere. “Overall, I feel like team chemistry is formed over the course of practices and matches, but these special events outside of tennis strengthen the bond even more.” Li said. 

Although the time spent practicing and competing is important, it’s often the traditions outside of competition that create some of the most memorable moments during the athletic season. They bring teams together and help create important friendships that continue throughout an athlete’s time at RM.