June 5, 2023

A positive team atmosphere is essential to successful practices and games. One of the most effective ways to lighten the mood of the team is through laughter.

California Baptist University athletic teams have their own unique routines, traditions, methods of bonding and ways to play pranks on each other, and even on their coaching staff.

Sharing funny moments with teammates not only provides athletes with memorable moments, but it can improve the bond of the team as a whole.

Sometimes well-received jokes or pranks might even become traditions on the team that are passed down to the rookies each year.

“We have always liked pranking, but this year we really pulled it out,” said Mallory Rowland, senior communication disorders major and member of the CBU women’s water polo team. “On away games we alway scover our coach’s door with either toilet paper or newspaper. It is all fun and gives us something to do together as a team when we travel.”

Spending a lot of time together allows the athletes to get to know each other so well that they know how to easily make jokes with one another, but not in a way that would hurt the victim of the joke.

“We don’t really do pranks on each other but we usually take each other’s phones and take about 500 pictures before the phone is returned,” said Amir Lugo-Rodriguez, sophomore business major and member of the men’s volleyball team. “Or when we went to Hawaii, we challenged each other to kill the most pancakes at breakfast everyday.”

Teams often involve the coaching staff in the jokes as well, which helps build a good relationship between the players and the coaches and brings unity.

“On the way to Indiana we told the flight attendants that it was coach’s (Jonathan Miller’s) birthday and that he just got married so they announced it on the plane,” Rowland said. “It brought the team together with our new coach and (was) kind of an ice-breaker.”

Although CBU athletics places a major emphasis on training hard, athletes do not neglect the joy that comes through sharing laughter with both their teammates and coaches.

As long as all the participants can laugh at the pranks and jokes that are made, it is a way to bring amusement to the daily grind of being an athlete as they train hard to become the best in the nation.

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