The key to any team’s success is a strong connection between teammates. Bus rides to and from games are the perfect opportunity to bond and grow as a team. For many, the bus rides are an opportunity to forget about the school day, and focus on the game.
“For us, [teammates] talk about the upcoming game, talk about their days, sing, and joke around,” said girls basketball coach Ms. Maggie Miskowicz.
Some athletes use the ride before the game to blow off steam while others utilize the time to strategize. Reviewing the other team’s tendencies, and learning how the opponent plays is an important part of game preparation.
“With our varsity team, we typically give them scouting reports,” said Ms. Miskowicz.
Developing strategies and blowing off steam are two of the three major ways athletes spend their time on the bus. A critical element in succeeding as an athlete, is being in the right mental space before one competes. Some use rap to get hyped up, while others use more alternative genres to dial in.
“When we are on the bus, our girls are usually listening to music and getting pumped for the game,” said Ms. Miskowicz.
Being student athletes, the balance between school, practice and games can be difficult. Thus, some choose to spend time on the bus doing homework and studying.
“Sometimes I see teammates catching up on homework on the rides to and from games,” said senior Joe Bollard.
“I don’t usually do my homework on the bus, I use the rides to think about the game and not school” said sophomore Mia Bergstrom.
Typically, the bus rides to games are filled with anticipation and nerves. In contrast, the ride home can go one of two ways. The ride is either filled with celebrations and smiles after a win, or silence and reflection on what could have been. Either way, this time can be taken as a learning experience and preparation for the next game. Despite the outcome, some teams like to keep it positive.
“After games we may stop to grab ice cream,” said Ms. Miskowicz. “Culver’s is a team favorite.”
While athletes can easily get caught up in the destination, there are many benefits to be found in their journey there.