Team Building Ideas
With tryouts over it is a great time for coaches to inform their team about what is expected of them during the upcoming season. Realistically, you can’t expect that the team will all be best friends; however, you can work towards the goals that they will enjoy each other and be able to work together as a team.
Now and throughout the summer season you’ll want to develop camaraderie within your team. And the following activities will help you do just that. From their sidelines to their performance floor at Nationals, these games will help you make a stronger, united team.
Big Sis/Little Sis
• Before the team heads off to camp, create a big sister/little sister program. A returning cheerleader is paired with a new one. Big sisters help the little sisters with everything from learning new cheers to homework. This is a great way for new cheerleaders to feel as if they are part of the squad.
• Write in “YES” books at the end of each practice (or every night after camp). Each cheerleader decorates a small notebook with the letters “YES” which stands for “You’re Extra Special.” Have the cheerleaders write positive notes to each other throughout the week, and at the end of the week or camp have them read what positive things their teammates wrote about them.
• Have team members stand in a circle, then place a hula hoop on the arm of one member, then have members grasp hands to form a closed circle, get the hula hoop all the way around the circle as quickly as possible without talking. This will take the teamwork you hope they will show all season long!
• This is a good exercise for practicing reaching agreement and for team members to understand each other’s values. Have each member of the team list five items that they feel should be included in a time capsule that will be opened by another civilization in five thousand years. Each member of the team should then explain the reasons for their choicea. The team then reaches consensus on which five objects should be included in the time capsule.
• This one is a classic, but always a great activity. The group starts out in one or two tight circles. Everyone in the group reaches across the circle with their right hand to grab another group member’s right hand. The group then reaches in with their left hand to grab a different group member’s left hand. The object is to untangle the group without letting go of hands until a circle is formed. If the group is having extreme difficulty, you can administer “knot first-aid” and break one set of tangled hands (with group consensus), otherwise group members may not let go at any time. You may have to decide as a group that the knot is not solvable, after prolonged attempt.
• Community service projects allow team members to connect in a positive manner. Whether it is putting together a food drive for the local food drive, organizing a team for Relay for Life or organizing an event as simple as a neighborhood cleanup, service projects are effective ways for new and current members to bond while supporting worthy causes.
These activities will not require a lot of money to be taken out of the budget, just a little bit of time and organization. But they can really help your team come together. Organize a team sleepover or “fun day” and have then bond during this time. Or, maybe try one activity a day at the beginning of practice. Do whatever works best for your team. by Maggie Matheney