Tampa Bay Thunder Take On Team-Bonding Event

by Joshua Katz

On Saturday, December 4, 2021, the Tampa Bay Thunder players, coaches, and staff members participated in the team’s first ever team-bonding event.

Taking place at Tampa, Florida’s Sparkman Wharf, all members who showed up had the opportunity to hang out with their teammates, coaches, and staff members in a way that did not evolve around being at football practice.

In this setting, those who came were given the privilege to dive into conversation about quite literally anything that did not have to do with the topics that are spoken about weekly at team practice.

“I was honestly impressed with the amount of guys that came out. It was really great for building comradery because if you can build that at this level with only having one practice per week with such a large group of guys, that’s pretty huge. We had a lot of impact players show up which I think is going to be a big factor for our team and building that chemistry early on [in the season],” said Linebackers Coach and Assistant Defensive Coordinator, Ricky Rausch.

Just like Rausch said, events like these can only help build the chemistry of your team. And, quite honestly, team chemistry is just as important as the team’s overall talent. Without chemistry, there is no connection between players and coaches.

“It’s a unique experience being a part of a first-year team, so it’s really important to go out there and meet some of the guys more. Half of us don’t even know each other’s names. Being able to meet the guys outside of football and really get to know each other was invaluable. I think it was really huge for us. I think the more the team gets together outside of football, the better. You just get to know these guys on a more personal level. We were meeting some of our guys’ families, and their kids, and their dogs. You’re not getting that type of stuff if you don’t do these events,” said Quarterback Cody Colbath.

Colbath said it best. As players on a football team, especially a brand new one, it’s hard to remember that all of these men who you go out and compete with each week have lives outside of being a football player. These types of events allow everyone to genuinely meet each other on a more personable level. Wide Receiver/ Defensive Back, Samuel Forkuch, also known as Sammy Stunner, even brought his dog out to meet the team.

“I’d love to have the team do something like this again. I think it’d be very beneficial. The more guys we can get out there, the better it’s going to be for our team in the long run. It just builds trust overall,” said Rausch.

This specific event was a huge success and some of the players and coaches were there until after 7:00pm that day (the event began at 2:00pm).

It seems inevitable that an event similar to this one will be planned for the future.

Pictured: Linebackers Coach/Asst. Defensive Coordinator Ricky Rausch

Photo by: Gio Alvarez