July 31, 2012

Merrimack Team Captains Partake in First-Ever Captains Judgment Day

NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Last Thursday and Friday, team captains from all 21 Merrimack teams took part in 'Judgment Day'; a two-day, team-building camp that required teams to complete physical tasks while coping with mental exhaustion. This was the first time that all team captains were required to attend the team building event.

"The Program's Judgment Day is a mentally and physically challenging, team-building and leadership development training," said Erik Kapitulik of the Program. "Integrity, discipline and confidence is what we hope to instill in each of our student athletes."

The captain’s judgment day was unique to Merrimack College because it was the first time the Program had ever offered this team building event to anyone. The student-athletes embraced the new form of judgment day that they encountered last week.

“After doing one judgment day with the basketball team last year I had an idea about what I was getting myself into, but it was completely different this time around” said Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) of the women’s basketball team. ”There were 20 more kids than last time, and most of them I really didn't know. If I were to reflect back on what I did, it was a challenge and I'm so fortunate for being picked to be a part of it.”

Day one of 'Judgment day' began at 4:00 pm in South Boston at Tenean Beach and day two began at 6:00 am. The captains of each team took part in land and sea exercises throughout both days. The land exercises consisted mainly of a rigorous calisthenics routine which included push-ups, jumping jacks and more and team related relay races with the use of a lifeboat.

The sea exercises consisted of races from the beach into the water, carrying the lifeboat over their heads into the water, a 100 meter race into the water, and back to land where they then need to carry the lifeboat over their head to the finish line. Each team needed hard work, team unity and stamina in order to win the race, which helped each team gain trust in one another.

"The Captains Judgment Day event was a unique opportunity for the Merrimack student-athletes to face and overcome adversity together outside of their comfort zones," said strength and conditioning coach Mike Kamal, who oversees the Judgment Day program. “Judgment Day assists in developing better teammates and team leaders and more cohesive teams through shared adversity."

At the end of the team-building camp, one participant is chosen as the t-shirt winner, for being the most outspoken and hardest worker. This year that award was given to sophomore point guard Rothman, who was given the award for her excellent performance.

“Getting the t-shirt at the end meant a lot to me and I could count a handful of people that deserved that t-shirt besides me,” stated Rothman. “I am just happy I could represent the basketball program, and this is a great start for us going into the upcoming season.

Coaches and players alike have quickly become firm believers in the process and appreciate what Judgment Day will do for their teams in terms of camaraderie and leadership.

“It was a great opportunity for all of the teams at Merrimack to have two members participate in Judgment Day last week,” said women’s basketball head coach Monique LeBlanc. “To have such hands on leadership training is really valuable to our program and to the entire Merrimack community. It was great to see the different team leaders all combining their efforts to accomplish multiple tasks together, and the camaraderie they built over the course of two days.”

The Judgment Day initiative, spearheaded by Kamal began in the summer of 2009 and has been embraced by the Athletics Department at Merrimack College. Judgment Day will continue to enable varsity programs to partake in the team-building sessions throughout the academic year.