More Ideas on T.E.A.M Building:
I think many coaches are beginning to understand that they must invest in other activities with their teams then just ground ball and swings in the cage. I want to continue to be a resource for great ways to bring your team together, build lasting relationship on and off the field, and create traditions within your program that go well beyond sports.
Many time in a corporate or classroom setting the phrase “team builder” has a negative connotation. Most people feel forced into something like an ice-breaker or other situation they don’t want any part of. The trick to a good team builder is to not make it feel like a team builder at all. You want to try to avoid the awkward feelings many people have when asked to participate in an activity they weren’t ready for. If team members aren’t into it, it won’t work.
Teams that are connected, are teams that are motivated to play their best for each other. Research from the American Psychological Association (APA) finds that team building activities can help players feel valued, and those that do are the most motivated to play better and work harder.
Instead of asking each player to share their deepest darkest secrets get them involved in some of the following ideas to bring them closer together with easy to do non-threating activities:
1) Volunteer. Easy to get your entire team involved in a project that they can all feel good about. Can’t tell how many teams I noticed volunteering to feed homeless at shelters, donating their time to ring the bells for the Salvation Army, or going to a local hospital to visit young children on twitter this Thanksgiving/Christmas season but it doesn’t need to be something that is only done during the holiday season. All your players will feel better about themselves when they help others in need.
2) Physical Activities. Certainly other than the sport they are currently playing. Non-contact options are best for a more laid back feel and the likelihood that no one will get injured is always a plus for coaches too. I would suggest bowling, indoor rock climbing, or disc golf.
3) Field Trips. Go somewhere with the team. Take a trip to major or minor league game. To a river, lake, be creative. It doesn’t have to be a baseball related field trip. Hike a mountain together. Make it a tradition to take your team somewhere at least once a year. I know many teams that take their teams to the College World Series every year.
4) Share Meals. Try to set a weekly or bi-weekly date to eat a meal with each other. No expectations just casual conversation and a chance to get to know each other better of the field and away from the work of preparing for a season.
I hope you continue to enjoy the 1PW Team Builders and start to implement them in your program to build a well rounded player not just one that can field and throw. Those are skills that will not prove useful to many of your players 10 or 15 years from now. But the lessons you taught them about being a great person and teammate will stick with them forever.