Does your team ever struggle to get along? Could they stand to be more competitive? Do any of your players ever suffer from a lack of focus and concentration?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then check out these awesome team building exercises, along with some guaranteed tips for strengthening your Team.
Many of you are starting summer ball teams now that school ball is winding down. It can be a challenge getting players to come together and form a team when they’re used to playing for someone else, and with different teammates.
With any softball team, especially those just starting their season, it’s common to have the following issues:
- Players learning to trust each other
- Players working hard at practice to earn playing time
- Players working together to improve as a team
- Learning to accept differences among teammates
- Players accepting new instruction and information
- Players grouping together in clicks and isolating themselves from others
One of the areas that we often overlook when forming a new team is the chemistry, or makeup of the team itself. Every team has a chemistry, some just have a better one than others. In very few cases when a team has good chemistry is it accidental. More often than not, a lot of hard work and effort has gone into any team that has excellent team chemistry.
So, that brings up the question – What can you do to create a good chemistry on your team? There are a lot of exercises you can do with your team to help build and improve your team chemistry. I cover a number of them in my book, A Coaches Guide to Creating Team Chemistry: Tips on Coaching Female Athletes, but I want to highlight two in particular that can get your team started off on the right foot.
- 2 Truths and a Lie:
- Split your team up into groups of 2. Make sure you select the groups and not the players since they’ll pick their friends. Also, try to mix players that might not otherwise go together.
- Have one group at a time get up in front of the rest of the team. Each of the two players must say 3 things to the group about themselves; two of them are true and one of them is a lie.
- Each group of 2 gets together, and they have 30 seconds to write down which statement they think is the lie.
- When 30 seconds is up, the player then states the lie and each group that listed it correctly gets a point.
- Continue until every group of 2 has told their 2 Truths and a Lie
- Be sure that the coaches are also part of this!
- So, If I was playing this game I would say… “I skydive, I scuba dive and I snowboard”… the two truths are that I scuba dive and I snowboard. My lie is that I skydive because I’m scared to death of heights. So by saying these three things they all learn a little about me that they wouldn’t know otherwise.
- Who Are We?
- This exercise involves each player on your team playing against every other player – including coaches.
- Create a list of 10 to 15 things about the team like the one listed below. This list will help your players learn more about one another, and it’s a great ice breaker.
- Make sure every person on your team – coaches included – gets a copy of the blank list and a pen.
- When you say GO everyone has 5 minutes to go around and answer as many of these questions as possible by listing as many players and coaches that apply under each question.
- When time is up count who has the most players listed and then award a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize.
- Here’s a sample list of questions:
- List everyone with Green eyes
- List everyone who wears contact lenses
- List everyone born in the same state you were born in
- List everyone who has a cat
- List everyone who loves Mexican food
- List everyone whose favorite color is blue
- List everyone who has traveled to another country
- List everyone who has ever pitched in a game
- List everyone who has a nickname (and what it is)
- List everyone who has the same middle name as you
These are fun and simple ways to get your players to interact with each other. And more importantly, to start to learn about the person who is going to be their teammate for the entire season.
- Do your players need to become more Competitive?
- Do you need some great tips on how to Motivate Your Players?
- Do you have some players who are really hard on themselves and get too Frustrated?
- Do some of your players struggle with Focus and Concentration?
Solutions to these challenges and more are covered in much greater detail in my book, A Coach’s Guide to Creating Team Chemistry: Tips on Coaching Female Athletes, including tons of exercises that are fun, simple and effective. This book has all the tools you need to develop a successful team built on solid team chemistry!
In addition, for a great clinic on how to build a successful team culture, check out my best selling eClinic – Team Culture – The Key to Your Team’s Success.