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Group Travel 101

Keeping Up Morale During Sports Travel

By: Liz Patterson

Sports travel is an exciting and memorable experience. Your team has worked hard to be able to compete and now you are ready to play your game. However, if just one person in the group has a lousy attitude, the morale of the team can be seriously harmed. There are a few negative aspects of traveling, and in order to enjoy the pros, you have to take the cons in stride.

So how do you keep morale up and help everyone get along while traveling? Here are some helpful suggestions.

First of all is to respect each other. If you want people to respect your privacy, respect theirs. If you do not appreciate people complaining all the time, don’t complain. You know the old golden rule: treat others how you want them to treat you. When someone feels like they are treated courteously and kindly, they will naturally return the respect and be nice to you. This will help you grow more bonded as a team and will help everyone to get along well.

My second tip is extremely important if you want to function smoothly as a team. It is simply this: leave your biases at home. They won’t do you any good and will just cause division and ruffled feelings among your team members. If you have drastically different political or religious views than the person sitting next to you, don’t argue with them over it. You are both playing the same sport, so that gives you something in common. Even if you don’t appreciate the person’s sense of style or their attitude, try to overlook it for the good of the team. When you are part of a sports team, you have an obligation to those around you.

The third guideline is difficult but very beneficial. It is to put up with less-than-ideal circumstances. Inevitably, you are going to run into those hotel rooms that have uncomfortable mattresses, or that person you have to sit next to who snores when they fall asleep. Keeping in mind that everyone is most likely just as displeased and frustrated as you are can help you maintain a positive attitude. When at least one person manages to be optimistic and positive, it will raise the spirits of the whole team.

Another precaution is to try to limit your sarcasm. Though this fourth tip sounds like overkill, it really is helpful. A constant flow of sarcasm kills the morale of the group and drags on people’s spirits. Of course a well-timed ironic comment can be hilarious and get people laughing. Humor is a great bonder. However an overdose of negativity can ruin everyone’s traveling experience.

Follow these guidelines and watch your team bond together. You will enjoy your traveling much more and play better as a team. You have an obligation to do everything in your power to help your team do its best. Morale is a strong part of doing well in team sports. So keep these tips in mind and have fun on your sports trip.

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