WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University swimming and diving program finished its first week of training with a spirited field challenge, out of the pool, and on the softball field this past Saturday, Sept. 7. The men’s and women’s teams gathered at the field and found various equipment laid out but had no idea what was in-store for them.
The team had to work together as they solved puzzles such as the “Human Knot," “Tarp Flip” and the “Human Overhand Knot”. They needed to communicate and cooperate with each other and leaders surfaced as their specific skills were needed these traditional team-building activities were particularly challenging as the participants’ hands were not always available to communicate.
The “Agility Relay” provided an athletic challenge in which the team had to cope with awkward events including backwards running, running balancing a ball and a couple of tandem races involving two people working together. The next event involved passing foam pool “noodles” by every team member simultaneously through various formations and it provided a lot of laughs and showed true teamwork. The final event, a “Multi-Tug-of-War” in which four teams each tried to drag the center knot over their goal line formed fluid alliances to cooperate with or contest opponents’ efforts.
“While swimming and diving is generally considered individual sports, unless competing as a member of a relay, the support individuals get from their team can really make a difference,” said Gallaudet swimming coach Larry Curran. “The team roster currently has 17 women (seven returners) and 19 men (seven returners) and by the end of the Field Challenge, the team and its coaches knew each other a lot better. This will translate into stronger team performance and the support individuals need to accomplish their specific goals this season.”
Gallaudet’s first swim meet is Oct. 19 on the road against Frostburg State University at 1 p.m.