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Bonding over break

After a long fall semester, many Cobbers were eager to get home to enjoy a few weeks of well-deserved rest.  In the athletic department, however, Concordia’s athletic teams were still hard at work. Both the women’s and men’s varsity basketball players got only seven days off after finals week, and then were expected to come back to campus and play through the break.

“We got a lot of practice time,” men’s basketball head coach Rich Glas said.  “It paid off and we are playing better basketball because of it.”

After coming back from break, the men played a seven-game winning streak, which ended last Wednesday in their game against Bethel.

For the women’s basketball head coach, Jessica Rahman, practicing over the break was essential to the women’s team’s success.

“Over the break, the players got good rest.” Rahman said.  “It was a good transition and a time to catch-up and work on things that were not perfect, which is extremely important for the team.”

Both of the team’s players were expected to find a place to stay over the break on their own, which might have proven difficult since neither the dorms nor Anderson Commons (DS) were open over the break and most of campus was shut down for the holiday. However, the coaches said that the athletes easily found friends or upperclassmen to stay with for the two weeks of basketball practice and games.

“This was great team building for the women,” coach Rahman said. “It’s a tradition. When I was a Cobber I had to stay over break too.”

Players were also given $16 a day for food, and encouraged to eat at places that sponsor Concordia athletes, such as Village Inn, Subway, Erbert & Gerbert’s, Qdoba and Smashburger.  The teams practiced about two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, and played four games over the break.

Scott Flotterud, a sophomore and center for the men’s team, said he said didn’t mind spending the holidays playing basketball.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a part of being on the team,” Flotterud said. “I don’t know what I would do with myself if I wasn’t playing with them.”

Members of the Cobber dance team also spent their break practicing. Dancers were expected to post videos of their dance performances on YouTube over the break.  Head coach Nicole Heide said she would then comment on each dancer’s video with suggestions.  Improvements needed to be made before returning to campus. Once back on campus, the dancers practiced every morning and night, in a hefty preparation for their trip to nationals in Orlando, Fla., this past weekend.

Freshman dancer Rosina Halverson Studer found the time commitment to be challenging.

“Especially coming back, it has been demanding.” Halverson Studer said.  “There’s times when it has gotten overwhelming, but it has definitely helped me manage my time. And it makes it better because you form a good bond with all the girls.”

Flotterud said he also thought that practicing hard, even over break, teaches time management.

“You get used to it pretty fast.” Flotterud said.  “You have to get good at time management.”

Freshman Jana Hedstrom, a diver on Concordia’s swimming and diving team, said she molds her entire schedule around diving, and is dedicated to making her practices count. Like the rest of her teammates, Hedstrom stayed on campus over break, practicing every day in the pool for two hours. The team then traveled to Mesa, Ariz., for a meet during the last eight days of vacation.

However, Hedstrom doesn’t mind.

“(We) really didn’t get that much time off, but for me, diving is my break,” Hedstrom said.

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