Women's Basketball team-building with 'ropes challenge course'
AUSTIN, Texas -- With all new faces on the coaching staff and with two team newcomers, the Longhorns women's basketball team has participated in many innovative team-building exercises this preseason, with a "ropes course" the most recent team activity.
Recently, the UT players and coaches traveled to nearby Georgetown, Texas to participate in a ropes challenge course. This is an outdoor personal development and team-building activity which consists of high and/or low elements, with everyone participating in activities either on the ground or at high levels.
There are trust activities, designed to provide group members to demonstrate their trust in other members of the group through a series of sequenced actions, and also problem-solving activities.
Examples of these exercises, with focus on group participation with people breaking out of comfort zones, are walking blindfolded and with verbal guidance from teammates, or going across wires stretched across utility poles which require a belay for safety.
"It's all about trusting each other and team-building right now, and this ropes course was really good for us," noted co-captain and sophomore forward Earnesia Williams. "People have to get out of their comfort zones, and it was scary at times for lots of us to do things we have not ever done, but we worked through it, helped each other, and had fun."
"We had a lot of fun at the ropes course," said senior guard Erneisha Bailey, an All-Big 12 Defensive Team pick last year. "When you are 50 feet up in the air walking on a rope or plank, you have to have each others' back. It was great to get outdoors and do something for team bonding. We all challenged ourselves out there."
"I am a huge advocate of team-building, and this is especially important this year with the new staff and our new system being put into place," commented first-year head coach Gail Goestenkors.
"I always have my teams read books and do reports on them, share personal experiences with each other, and this is another step in us becoming a cohesive group," Goestenkors finished."To be successful on and off the court, you need to challenge people to get out of their comfort zones and trust in each other. I think our group had fun with the ropes course and everyone learned something about themselves and also learned how to problem-solve."