United unit

One of the most rewarding aspects of athletics is team camaraderie.

I didn’t play sports competitively for a majority of my life, but even from a fan’s standpoint, it’s rewarding.

I’ve been a part of something I think matters and with people who I think are the greatest at what they do.

The respect fuels the product.

Teams who mesh well together or teams who stay close both on and off the court function better. I don’t think that is necessarily an undeniable fact, but it comes close.

I’m sure instances exist where a team with internal conflict managed to produce a good record, but it isn’t the rule. It’s the exception.

After talking to both the men’s and women’s tennis teams, I don’t see that problem existing this year.

Both teams expressed how close they grew even in just a year’s time.

At the end of an interview, I asked a women’s tennis player if she wanted to add anything, she said she couldn’t think of anything, which is a normal response when I ask that question.

Less than five minutes later, I received a text from her.

She said she forgot to tell me how well the team gets along. She said the group feels like a family and it’s made it easier to bond.

I rarely expect the follow up call or text. I imagine if sources think of something else to say, most don’t make the effort to call back.

Not because of laziness or lack of care, but I don’t believe players think it’s that important.

She thought the closeness of the team needed recognition.

Both teams played a successful first weekend in part because of closeness.

If team members continue the season united toward a goal, success should be no question.