Being a rookie is one tough job, since they are expected to perform well and to prove to everyone that they deserve to be included in the lineup of their team. Aside from playing during the games and participating in daily team trainings, a rookie has other tasks to contribute for the team, as well.
Five Lasallian athletes share their thoughts on the responsibilities of rookies within their respective teams. These athletes are Jose Montelibano (DLSU Men’s Football), Jvee Patalud (Green Tracksters), Arvin Herrera (Green Batters), Jonah Cano (Green Tennisters), and MaJoy Baron (DLSU Lady Spikers).
Each team has their own way of welcoming their newcomers. As for the football team, they have a long tradition that their rookies have to shave their heads every month. “This teaches them to humble and discipline themselves. It is also a test of commitment to the team,” Montelibano says.
Though their rookie rituals may differ from one another, all the rookies have similar roles and responsibilities to uphold. All the athletes mention that their rookies are in charge of handling their equipment.
“When we have training in Ultra, they’re the ones supposed to get the water, and sometimes equipment, like [the] javelin, or shot put. Then, they’re responsible for fixing the weights in the gym,” Patalud mentions.
Montelibano, who just finished his fifth and last playing year in the UAAP last season, shares that the only difference from his succeeding years was taking care of the equipment. “The longer we stayed in the team, we [also] had to inherit more responsibilities like leadership and such,” he adds.
“Sa lawn tennis team, dapat before training, nagdadala sila [rookies] ng tubig papuntang courts. Dapat dalawa o tatlo yung dala nila, yung malaking jug dun sa Razon [Sports Complex],” Cano expounds.
(In the lawn tennis team, before training, the rookies bring water to the courts. Supposedly they bring two or three large water jugs from the Razon Sports Complex)
Baron, the reigning UAAP Season 79 Women’s Volleyball Most Valuable Player, states that there are only two main responsibilities of the rookies in their team: to take care of the volleyballs and to carry the water in practice. She also notes that the rookies should put in more effort since they are newcomers in the team.
“Dapat maintindihan nila yan, kasi dumaan lahat dun sa stage na yun.” (They need to understand because we all went through that stage.)
For the rookies, it may not be enjoyable as these are not tasks they are used to. According to Herrera, some rookies complain regarding the tasks that are given to them.
“Kasi parang yung iba kasing rookies, galing sila sa school na star player sila. So parang di nila i-eexpect na magiging ganun sila pagpasok nila sa universities.”
(Some of the rookies are used to being star players in the previous schools, so they don’t expect that their roles will be like this once they enter the universities).
He also adds that though they may complain about their tasks, it is also for their own benefit.
Like the rookies of the Green Batters, the Green Trackster’s newcomers also express their dislike in doing their respective responsibilities. Patalud says that the rookies in their team complain, but not loudly, and only to close teammates, often calling for more equality in the team.
Nevertheless, everyone goes through a similar rookie experience. “Kasi ako naging rookie, binuhat ko yung tubig, mag-isa lang, ang bigat. So pag nakita silang nahihirapan, tumutulong naman din kami,” Cano shares. (Because when I became a rookie, I carried the water by myself, it was so heavy. So when we see the other rookies struggling, we also help out).
He also says that once they reach their sophomore year, that’s when they will feel like a senior to the other rookies. Although they are no longer tasked to do responsibilities of the rookies, they still give assistance to the new freshmen who will have difficulty in accomplishing the tasks.
Though the seniors may have authority over the newcomers, ultimately, they all share the same responsibilities. “Their role in the team is the same as everyone else’s role in the time, which is to learn, improve, and train hard for the betterment of the team. To put ‘we’ before ‘me’,” Montelibano concludes.
Giving out tasks for the rookies can either bring them closer to the team or defer themselves from the team, but in the case of the Lasallian rookies, it is the former. Camaraderie and respect are one of the many values picked up both on and off the playing court, and are factors that can draw the line between victory and defeat.