To end the first semester the Rustlers Women's Volleyball team traveled as a team to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico from December 15th-22nd. They stayed at an ocean front all-inclusive resort and spent the week training beach volleyball in the sand and enjoying the great weather. Each day was structured with a morning practice in the sand followed by a team workout either participating in a fitness class or doing their weight program in the fit center. The remainder of each day was spent relaxing on the beach and soaking up the sun. When asking coach Dyer why they chose to go Mexico for their team trip, he said, "At the end of last year my three fifth years asked if we could go on a team trip in their final year. I asked them where they would like to go and what kind of team trip they would want. All three of them said they didn't care where they went they just wanted to go somewhere hot, so I said why don't we give Mexico a try." Over the last five years, Dyer had taken his teams Las Vegas, San Diego and now Cabo San Lucas. Deciding to take his team to Mexico turned out to be a real hit with his players.
Talking with the Rustler players about their trip to Mexico fifth year Rae Sigurdson said, "Team trips allow for us to spend quality time with each other off the court, and a chance to really get to know each other."
Asking rookie, Madison Blain, what this trip meant to her and teammates she said, "As a rookie, I can thank my fifth years for an amazing trip to Mexico. It was a great opportunity for them to show us younger players how to be great leaders and build a family outside of the gym, which is very important for our success."
Talking with fifth-year athletes Rae Sigurdson, Ahnika Kuse, and Shelby Becker about the team trips they have gone on during their career at Lakeland College they said, "In the years that we have gone on team trips it has created a tight-knit bond between teammates, and it has brought us closer together. Team trips create an environment in which we can learn about each other and from each other. We are given independence from our coaches, and leadership opportunities emerge and allow for us to be accountable for one another. All of these skills can be transferred onto the court and into other life situations."
"Other trips we have gone on include Las Vegas and San Diego. San Diego gave us an opportunity to play against some of the best teams in the country, while Las Vegas was filled with loads of entertainment and site seeing. Both destinations allowed us to explore new cities together as a group. The resort in Mexico allowed for numerous team activities that we could participate in that were previously planned and alleviated the stress of organizing team activities on our own. We are so appreciative of the opportunities that the college and our coach, Austin, have given us to be able to travel with our teammates."
When asking Dyer why he chooses to take his teams on trips, he said, "When we decide to go on a team trip I am hoping to provide an experience that my athletes will remember for the rest of their life. Our trips are always volleyball based, but in my opinion, the overall traveling experience is more important than the volleyball for the athletes. Giving them a chance to travel and see new places in the world is a very exciting opportunity for my athletes and I try to make sure we have a good balance between volleyball and sight seeing. These trips normally bring my teams together and form a stronger bond amongst teammates. I put a lot of work into fundraising to allow my teams these opportunities so as long as these experiences are appreciated and not taken for granted, I hope to continue providing my athletes with these types of experiences."