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The team building process is extremely important for creating cohesive, high-performing teams. Research suggests that activities that address building trust, defining roles, and communicating clearly assist teams in performing at their highest level. Athletic teams must know and understand how to effectively work together in order to accomplish the end goals of continuing to improve and ultimately, win.
Unfortunately, not every team has a leader who recognizes the importance of team building activities. In fact, many organizations fail to engage in team building and instead set high and unrealistic expectations for individual performance. This can lead to stress and burnout and is not a generally effective method. While the following list of team building activities won’t solve every single conflict or issue, this article will uncover a few team building activities you can promote within your group. Whether your a coach, player, or spectator you’re bound to learn some new and creative team building techniques from this article.
Best Team Building Activities to Use in Sports
Personality examinations are an extremely popular team building exercise for a variety of teams. There are many different personality assessments, but they are all trying to accomplish the same goal. Personality assessments will provide each team member a personal profile. They’ll be able to explore their personal strengths and weaknesses and they’ll also learn more about their teammates communication styles and preferences. In the end, communication should be improved with this intuitive exercies.
Frequently used assessments include the Myer’s Briggs, Enneagram, DISC, and Strength Finders.
Breakout rooms are rising in popularity throughout the globe. This unique team building environment fosters communication and problem solving. The exercise involves getting locked in a small space with your teammates and finding clues that point you towards escape. Teammates will have to work together, exercise leadership, and effectively split up tasks to accomplish the goal within a specified time period.
This exercise helps teammates learn how to work together under pressure and stress. Everyone’s natural abilities will emerge in this setting and will set the tone for the season.
The Perfect Square
This game requires limited supplies, but has positive team building message. For the game you’ll need a rope, blindfolds, and your team. You’ll have your team stand in a circle holding the piece of rope. From here, you’ll ask them to drop the rope and take a few steps away from the rope in any direction. Next, ask your team to come back together and try to form a perfect square with the rope. Participants will be blindfolded throughout the entire exercise, so you’ll be building an element of trust and leadership.
Another great team building activity involves team interviews. This process builds chemistry and connects players in a more personable way. It also breeds a feeling of caring and compassion. If teammates feel important, they’re more likely to hold themselves accountable for their efforts and contributions.
For this exercise you’ll need a brief list of interpersonal questions. You’ll want to pair everyone up and have them interview their teammates. Create pairs that foster new connections rather than already existing relationships. Your team will enjoy the opportunity of getting to know someone new and they discover a new and interesting skill that can be utilized to accomplish the team’s goals.
High Ropes Courses
Many areas offer a high ropes course as one of the most popular team building activities in town. These courses are often led by a facilitator who works to know and understand the specific challenges your group may face. The courses are often themed to match your unique team dynamic and teams will be asked to complete the course while carrying an object that symbolizes the team’s end goal. Throughout the course, members of the team will learn to face their fears, support each other, and problem-solve their way through the activity. It’s a great bonding experience that will be remembered and enjoyed for years.
Game of Survival
This popular game focuses on communication and compromise. It’s relatively easy to conduct, but will have your team engaged from the beginning. In this exercise you’ll want to paint a plane crash survival scenario. Instruct your team that they have crashed in the ocean, but have enough room in the life raft for the entire team and five survival items. Give your team a time limit and ask them to work through the list of items. They must work together to identify the five items they’ll take with them to shore.
This exercise is bound to bring out multiple personalities and focuses on “surviving” as a team. It’s very applicable as they’ll have to do in real sporting scenarios. It’s a great way to teach them how to compromise and problem solve under pressure.
The game of human spring is one of the most popular team building activities in the book. It is definitely an exercise in trust as participants will be asked to test their physical and mental limits. The game is quite simple. First, have your team divide into pairs. Have each pair stand at arms-width apart and press the palms of their hands together. As the game progresses, ask the pairs to take a step back, continually leaning on each other.
Repeat this exercise until each team has reached their limit. Instead of ending the exercise abruptly, ask each pair to communicate with each other when their limit has been reached. Ask them to express why they feel they can’t take any more steps back and ask them to work through a way to push one step further.
This exercise will not only create laughter and camaraderie, but it will also teach trust, communication, and pushing the limits which is essential for any thriving sports team.
These are just a few of the many team building activities you might want to try with your sports team. Each of them offers a unique twist on the concept of “team” and teaches valuable lessons about trust, communication, and leadership. You’ll want to make sure you include everyone from the team and offer these exercises in a constructive way. Overall, you’ll enjoy the improved results you’ll see from your team.
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