An unbreakable bond


Girls Basketball Team bonding on the bus on their way to conference last year. Photo used with permission of Avery Cooper

Most teams at LZHS would say they practice team-bonding. Team-bonding can happen during practices but coaches have even said they encourage their players to get together outside of their sport. A great example of a sport that practices team bonding in order to succeed is basketball. Specifically, Mr. Kolze, the coach of boys basketball is an advocate for bonding on his team.

“Every year in basketball, we go bowling and we will go to a lot of team dinners. the most successful teams that I’ve been a part of have always had great team chemistry because they like each other off the court and off the competitive field. I think team bonding is very important in that it creates a feeling of family,” Kolze said.

As Kolze is preparing his basketball players for their season, he encourages them to make connections, because he believes this creates important life-skills that will carry on past high school.

“I think any sport plays a huge role in developing teamwork skills and as you get older, you’re gonna have to work with people and form relationships and solve problems and deal with adversity and I think sports is a great way to develop those skills for the future,” Kolze said.

While coaches do encourage players to bond, players will often initiate team activities too. Some teams have captains that work to initiate team-bonding, however many athletes have said that even though they are not in a leading position, they will often create opportunities to bond together. Avery Cooper, a sophomore on the girls basketball team believes that team-bonding comes naturally for her and the rest of the team.

“The coaches set everything up, but we help plan too. But usually it’s more of the leaders on the team that try to encourage everyone to participate. The whole team enjoys doing activities together so leaders don’t really have to push us to make plans with each other,” Cooper said.

Cooper also says her team does things like going to team dinners or fun activities, for instance they went on a ropes course as a team last year. The team plans to do more fun activities as the season begins, as players and coaches are able to see the benefits it brings to the team.

“The best teams that I’ve been a part of and coached had the players lead those team building which is huge because they learn to become leaders, especially the seniors take on a huge role. So as the seniors are preparing to leave they are taking these skills with them,” Kolze said.

Many other teams see this to be true as 34% of the 51% of student athletes practice team bonding. Many sports at least do team dinners before their season begins to prepare as a team, and after to celebrate the successes from the season.

“I think team bonding is huge, and I think it’s a big factor in what helps a team succeed. That can mean a lot of things, winning or losing, that can just mean success for that particular team as they learn to work with others,” Kolze said.

Many students at Lake Zurich have said that team bonding experiences have not only led to success in their sports but also in their real lives as they are able to work with others. According to Kolze, “it helps with our chemistry. So we get to know each other better. Then when we got to know each other a lot of us became good friends because we had many things in common.”

Sports does not have to be about being the best or getting scholarships but working and growing as a team. Being on a team that practices team-bonding creates skills that not only reflect in school but will also show in real-life situations and future careers endeavors.