To kick off the New Year, Lipscomb men’s soccer decided to take training and team building to a new level. The team drove an hour north of Nashville up to Clarksville and got a taste of the training that our U.S. Army soldiers experience at Fort Campbell.
After an up and down fall season for the men’s soccer team that ended on an encouraging upswing, the coaching staff decided that taking the opportunity to train with the Army Rangers at Fort Campbell would be beneficial for the future of the team.
“Bringing our group closer together, working on leadership, and really challenging ourselves to be tougher mentally and physically were the three big areas that we wanted to work on.” -Coach Peter Lowry
The team began their challenge at 5:30 a.m. in 15 degree temperatures. The day included a 15 mile course that consisted of 7 obstacles. Coach Lowry described it as “an incredibly impressive course,” put together by the Army Rangers at the base. Even more impressively, the captain and his officers set up and ran the entire thing with the team. This was even more impactful, considering these soldiers, all around the same age as the players, have all seen and experienced combat overseas in some form or capacity.
When asked about their thoughts on the challenge, junior mid-fielder, Scout Monteith, and sophomore mid-fielder, Kyle Smith had similar outlooks:
Scout: “When we went there, the most interesting thing about the whole challenge is that the army rangers who were leading us throughout our obstacles were officers. We had the best of the best leading us through our challenge. I think our guys realized these leaders took time out of their day to serve and help us throughout our challenge. If we were on campus doing a challenge, it wold have been fun but I believe this was the reason we went up to Fort Campbell. We went and learned how their servant leadership model was displayed throughout their regimen. Hopefully we will be able to implement some of the things the rangers displayed to us throughout our own team.”
Kyle: “I think the number one thing that I learned was that in a situation like we were in, or just life in general, you are lying to yourself if you think you can do it alone. Yes, this is a cliche saying, but there were a lot of times throughout the Shadow Recon Challenge where I found myself just being thankful for the strengths of the guys in my group and that I didn’t have to do it alone. There were times where I found myself thinking, “I could have done this faster/ better if I was alone.” but then there would be challenges such as carrying large, bulky supplies that would put a check on my pride because I NEEDED the help of the guys around me. There is nothing weak about saying that you need help, and I was really glad that I had the guys around me that I did.
We do this all the time in our normal day life and specifically with our walk with God. We think that we have everything under control until an unexpected event happens and life seemingly gets heavier. God offers to carry our load, but our pride gets in the way of letting him assist us until we hit our breaking point and then all we can say is, “God help!”
Through this challenge, I came away with a bigger sense of team bonding because that’s all that we had. We didn’t have the luxury of being in a comfortable location, nice weather, or even a dry change of clothes, but we had each other. We had to encourage one another and at some points physically carry each other to finish the challenge. On top of that, to get to see the men and women that serve and protect our country was something that helped me to keep pushing on throughout the 6 hour, 15 mile day. They risk their lives so that we may have safety, and that is something I am eternally grateful for, and not something that we would have gotten to experience on campus.”
Since the experience, Coach Lowry says,
“The mindset of our team is already in a lot better place in terms of how we approach work and how we work together as a team. We came to some realizations of things we can do better as teammates– things that make really tough challenges a little bit easier on us as individuals.”
Watch the video of the team training at Fort Campbell:
Written by: Alex Newby of Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation Team
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