Teamwork is a fundamental aspect of successful sports teams. Star athletes cannot consistently and continually carry a team without a team mindset and approach. Team-building can be an overlooked task. Bonding activities are extremely important, especially for a new group or a team struggling to work together. These events do not have to be over-the-top or anything for the players to dread. They simply need to facilitate communication, bonding and open the team up more to each other. The benefits on the field will be tremendous.
1. Escape Rooms
Nothing says teamwork like the need to work together to find clues and solve mysteries to make it out. Escape rooms can be a great way to facilitate collaboration without it feeling formal. The participants can have fun, use their mental skills and work together without forced scripts or questions that people often negatively associate with team-building activities. Try the thought-provoking, exciting escape room in Tucson for a fun twist. Escape rooms are a great activity for problem solving and collaboration.
Loosen the athletes up some with karaoke. A night out for karaoke gives the players a chance to interact while having fun. When individuals let their guard down some to have a good time, they can open up to those who are with them. Draw names out of a hat to pair players up for classic duets. Coaches should jump in, too, to help break the ice. Karaoke might be just the silly event needed to get your team to have fun together, strengthening their bond.
3. Obstacle Course
Athletes are competitive by nature. A team-oriented obstacle course could pull on that competitive side to encourage the players to get to know each other better. This is especially true if the course relies heavily on teammate interaction and collaboration. Bonus points if you throw in some goofy questions each player must answer before tagging in the next participant.
Most people get uncomfortable when they hear the phrase “team building activities” because they envision being put on the spot. If you feel like many individuals on your team will probably clam up or feel this way, volunteer work is an amazing activity to encourage the team to bond. It can be a good icebreaker, too. The benefits felt during and after volunteering will leave the players feeling accomplished, satisfied and happy. Volunteer work is a beautiful way to help the local community’s needs.
5. Game Night
Test the players’ abilities off of the field by hosting a game night. Choose games that encourage collaboration. Pictionary and Charades are two well-known options. For more mature audiences who might enjoy a more risqué game, Cards Against Humanity can be chosen. Be sure to select games that are age-appropriate for the team.
6. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be very time-consuming to set up. If you are up to the challenge, this activity is a fantastic icebreaker. You can provide a series of clues instead of a list of items to increase the amount of creative problem solving used during this event. Groups can be as big or small as fits your needs. Consider pairing up the team yourself. This allows you to partner up players who may not necessarily get along or who need a little more bonding time.
7. Egg Drop
A little flashback to science class with an Egg Drop experiment promotes problem solving and collaboration. Each team has a set amount of time to construct an egg carrier they believe will keep their egg safe from a drop. The eggs will be dropped from a set height, perhaps the top of the stadium, and the team with the egg that remains unbroken wins. Trial and error, collaboration and communication skills may all benefit from games like this.
Teams need to feel united for success on the field. There are many ways to encourage this bonding, depending on your players’ ages, interests, and the established bond level. At first, the team may be hesitant about team-building activities, but the athletes will eventually cherish the bonds you help them build.