MIAMI, FL – It’s not strange to see teams have “team building activities” – usually a light and leisure event away from the playing field that promotes camaraderie among players by letting them have a little fun together.
That’s what ASA Miami first-year head softball coach Geena Capitini had in mind when she originally arranged for her team to attend a Miami Marlins home game.
Capitini – who began fall conditioning for ASA’s inaugural softball season this past Monday (Sept. 17) – then decided to reach out to the Silver Storm’s baseball coach, Robert Martin, about bringing his team to the game as well.
Once the other coaches got wind of the outing, everyone jumped on board and it became a program-wide team building night with almost 100 Silver Storm student-athletes from all 11 sports, coaches and staff members sitting on the “Home Run Porch” at Marlins Park to watch the team take on the visiting Cincinnati Reds Friday night.
Capitini said she got the idea from an experience she had during her playing career.
“When I was in high school, my team won a state championship. After we won, the Marlins invited us to a game, had us down on the field and honored us by introducing us in front of the crowd,” Capitini said.
“So, I thought about it, and I felt that doing something like that with ASA would be a great team building activity just to have some fun – to me that’s important. As much as the kids are here to get an education and play sports, it should be fun for them as well. Doing something like this brings them together as a team.”
“My girls were excited just to ride together to the game on a bus,” Capitini added with a laugh.
A self-starter, Capitini contacted the Marlins, secured the tickets and planned the evening.
The student-athletes rode to the game on an ASA Miami charter bus and were encouraged to not only mingle with their teammates but to also get to know Silver Storm players from other sports.
“I’m a family person. I like my team to be like a family,” Capitini said. “And I think the entire athletic department should be one big family…doing everything together and getting the teams to know each other is really important to me.”
The Marlins, who defeated the Reds 1-0 in 10 innings Friday, gave the Silver Storm VIP treatment. ASA’s softball players were invited down to the field pregame to watch Miami go through batting practice and various players came over and interacted with the girls. Miami skipper Don Mattingly even came over and had a quick chat with ASA’s softball players.
Friday night’s experience allowed Capitini to achieve her goal of building program-wide solidarity, but it also had an added bonus for her budding softball program.
“It was great exposure for the program,” Capitini said.
“A lot of people still don’t know that ASA College Miami has softball. And softball is pretty big in South Florida – so we want to let people know that there’s another option other than Broward [College] and Miami-Dade [College] for girls to play college softball.”