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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Traveling as a team

Benefits of taking team trips for student athletes
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SLP Alpine
Park’s alpine ski team participates in an ugly sweater contest up at Lutsen Mountain Dec. 2. They enjoyed a trip traveling up north to ski as a team.

Traveling alone is fun, but traveling with your friends and teammates can be even better. Traveling together is a great time for team bonding, as well as a great chance to practice and improve your skills in the sport you play. A new location is very refreshing, and gives you the opportunity to have fun experiences with your teammates that you wouldn’t be able to have at home. 

I have gone on team trips for both cross country and alpine, and new locations are especially beneficial since they offer different courses or terrains for my team and I. Having a new hill to ski on is really nice, especially since we normally practice at Hyland Hills, which is a small local ski hill. For our trip, we went up to Lutsen Mountain in northern Minnesota, and it is much bigger with longer runs that allows skiers to work on more things in one run. We were also coached by student athletes from the University of Minnesota Duluth, which provided us with new perspectives and new things to work on. 

I also feel like team trips are great for getting to know people on your team that you wouldn’t normally talk to. For all the team trips I’ve gone on, we’ve taken a bus, and getting seated next to someone you don’t know very well is a great opportunity to get to know them better. While it might be a little frustrating not getting to choose who you are rooming with, it can also be a fun way to get closer with your teammates. Another memorable part of team trips are doing activities that are not related to your sport at all. For me, swimming and hanging out with my teams are always a highlight, as well as getting a big group together to play games.

There are benefits to taking team trips during the beginning, middle and end of the season, but I honestly like trips at the beginning and the end the best. Having a trip at the beginning of the season sort of gets you in the mood for the season and lets you connect with your teammates from the start. On the other hand, a trip at the end is also nice because it lets your season go on just a little bit longer, and lets you spend a little more time with your teammates before moving on to whatever you have next. However, I feel like a trip in the middle of the season would disrupt the teams routine, and might not be as beneficial for anyone. 

Unfortunately, despite all of the benefits of team trips, they can also be very expensive, which does not make them totally inclusive. The cost adds up quickly, if you count the bus, hotel, food and tickets or entries to a race or training space. Some teams are able to grant scholarships for student athletes to go on the trips, but some teams might not be able to do that. That could cause athletes to feel excluded or feel bad about not being able to go, and sports and clubs never want to do that to their participants. 

Overall, I think team trips are a great way to improve your skills in your sports, bond with teammates and are a nice getaway during the school year. However, costs of the trips can definitely be a barrier for athletes, but hopefully teams will be able to overcome that issue. Team trips create amazing memories that last lifetimes.

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About the Contributor
Louisa Augustine, Echo Staffer
Hi! My name is Louisa and this is my first year on Echo. I’m a junior this year and some things I enjoy are running cross country and track, downhill skiing/racing, and hanging out with friends and family. I’m excited to be a part of Echo and am looking forward to this year!

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