Boys and girls soccer teams visit IMG Academy for a weekend of training and team bonding

Kathleen Lewis, Copy Editor

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It’s been proven time and time again that one of the most crucial elements to a successful sports team is team bonding. The boys and girls soccer teams had this experience last weekend and strengthened relationships with both their teammates and their coaches during a three-day “retreat” to IMG Academy, located in Bradenton, FL.

Last year, the boys soccer team held a similar retreat in Fort Lauderdale for a weekend. However, Coach Chris Bart-Williams feels that this year’s retreat was much more rewarding to the teams and is glad that the girls team was included this year. He believes that the trip set the professional and hardworking tone for the season.

“I discovered things that I didn’t know before about the players’ characters, worth ethics, mindset, and chemistry,” reflected Bart-Williams. “I’m looking forward to each game because no matter what the results, the teams are going to play hard, play smart, and they have a goal in mind.”

The teams trained and held scrimmages on the extensive IMG soccer facilities in the morning and in the afternoon. They also ate all meals together and did “team bonding” activities to establish season goals and plans and to encourage friendships between the players.

“I really enjoyed the trip because we got closer as a team and we got to know each other better,” said sophomore Leanza Perusquia, a member of the girls junior varsity team. “I think that this is going to help us not only on the field but outside as well.”

This was the central purpose of the IMG trip — to strengthen relationships between both players and coaches that will be useful during the season ahead. All participants in the trip agreed that they left Bradenton with a clearer idea of what they wanted to accomplish this season and how they wanted to accomplish it.

“If you’re able to relate to them not only as your teammate as your friend, it builds a great bond that we can use to win a state championship,” said sophomore Matteo Wakeman, who plays center back on the boys varsity team. “This trip may be the ticket to a great season.”