Teen Team Mentality

The important role of team members in a individual sport

Girls swim and dive after winning third place in City of Roses Invitational meet. Jan. 22, Photo Courtesy of
Stephanie Seidel.

Girls swim and dive after winning third place in City of Roses Invitational meet. Jan. 22, Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Seidel.

Alyssa Weisenberg, Staff Reporter

Dedicated to all of my teammates and coaches. Thank you for every thing I have learned from you and all the amazing moments we have shared.

Swimming is known by many as an individual sport because it is thought that only the person racing can influence how you do in that specific event (unless you’re racing in a relay.) It’s the same case for track, cross country, ice skating, archery, wrestling and weight lifting, to name a few.

Individual sports can have plenty of positive effects on everyone. Playing an individual sport requires focus, self discipline, and passion. On the contrary it can become quite hard to push oneself through the low times in the season and keep yourself motivated to work hard. 

Contrarily, team sports promote the spirit of teamwork and the accomplishments of what can happen when you work as a team in a perfect alignment of everyone doing their part flawlessly. It is thought that the team is only as strong as its weakest player, while individual sports only depend on an individual to achieve the desired outcome. Is it really just up to you though? 

Celeste Escelante (10) is active in three different individual sports. She swims for the Parkway Central Girls Swim and Dive team, runs for Parkway Central’s track and cross country teams while still making time to do some weight lifting on her own.

“I love being on the swim team because of how connected everybody is,” Escelante said. “I feel like competing with my teammates as well as myself motivates me to do better as a swimmer.”

In the hardest parts of the season, it is often teammates who help carry you through and inspire you to continue to improve. Through team competition or glancing to your side to see your teammates cheering for you, team mentality is one of the most helpful parts competing in an individual sport.

Even though swimming is an individual sport, the team spirit is just as present and relevant as in any other sport. Team spirit brings teammates together and supports individual athletes increasing their performance and motivation to achieve goals. 

“Swimming with faster people kind of motivates you to go faster with the kind of pressures needed to keep up with them,” Escelante said. “I feel like when it comes to being on a team, we all push each other to do better and go past what our potential is.”

If sports are defined not by who is making the goal or getting the score but by how the goal is achieved, then there is no such thing as an individual sport. In every sport, every athlete is affected by their teammates. Teammates are the motivation and greatest support in every sport. 

From my experience being on a swim team since fifth grade, I have noticed the influence my teammates have on me and my swimming. The memories I have of me and my friends complaining about how hard the set was then cheering each other and ourselves on for finishing it. Making jokes in between sets and sharing the latest drama before and after practice. These memories that I have of connecting with people through the challenges of swimming make swimming as significant as it is to me. Without my teammates I would not feel as motivated and inspired to improve my own individual events. 

The support of your teammates will help carry you to success. The people around you are the most motivational and uplifting people, and have the power to carry you to the finish, make the goal score, hit the target, win the race or just meet your personal goals.