America’s finest teach teamwork to San Clemente high schoolers
By Lance Cpl. Charlie Chavez
| | August 31, 2007
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Twelve San Clemente High School varsity volleyball players embarked on a bond-strengthening exercise with Marines from Weapons and Field Training Battalion Edson Range, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Aug. 22.
The volleyball players ate MREs, fired simulated weapons in the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer, ran in formation and negotiated obstacles with direction from Marines.
"Hopefully the ladies came away with some good team experience from the obstacles,"said Capt. Michael McDowell, assistant operations officer. "It’s good for them to come out and see what Marines go through and apply it to their own lives."
After the team had accomplished their goals, they were briefed on the experience and the relevance to Marine Corps training and the importance of teamwork.
The San Clemente volleyball coach schedules annual excursions as training exercises to build cohesion among his players.
"Every year I bring the girls on a trip to help them become a stronger team,"said Rob O’Rear, head coach. "Generally I have to supplement conditioning in the trips we usually take, but this time they were worn out."
Team captain Joy Talcott, a four-year varsity player, said the experience differed from the other trips in many significant ways and helped her to realize how much further along the team has come this year than in previous ones.
"Most of the obstacles required us to work as a team and accomplish the goal within a certain amount of time, which made us work harder,"said Talcott. "I think that this will be a great year and hopefully we will be league champions."
O’Rear said that he felt the training had a positive effect on his players and the way they cooperate with one another. He added that even after only one day they came away with more team unity.
The varsity team finished the excursion mentally and physically exhausted after playing Marine for a few hours. They left Camp Pendleton with a better understanding of Marine Corps teamwork and tenacity.