“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” –Michael Jordan
Teamwork comes from having a cohesive team, and in any team sport, getting along with those on your team is essential. On my club team yesterday, we had an entire practice dedicated to team-building.
The first activity involved the team sitting around in a circle. There was a small bowl of M&M’s in the center, and everyone took as many as they thought they “needed.” When each teammate had their candies in hand, for as many M&M’s they had, they said something about themselves not related to the sport.
For example, one of my teammates said that she loved butterflies and that her room was coated with posters and paintings of them. Another teammate said that she and her grandmother were born exactly 50 years apart.
The second activity involved each member getting a blank paper volleyball. In the middle panel, you write your name. On the top panel, you write what you as an individual can bring to the team. On the bottom panel, you write what your role on the team will be.
For example, on the top of my ball, I wrote loyalty and integrity, because I will be loyal to my team and I will hold to my word. On the bottom panel, I wrote down intensity, because I am always in the game and I play to win. Once everyone had written down everything, everyone presented their ball to the team and then taped it onto a poster with the team name on it.
The third activity was writing down some key things that made a good team on the poster. Our team had determination, pride, and passion.
Lastly, on the back of the poster, the teams wrote down some things that would absolutely not be tolerated. Our team had tardiness, disrespect, and cliques.
The poster then serves as a metaphor for success. In order to have a successful season, any given team must do all that there is on the front and let the things on the back stay out of the way.
Another way to build a team is to have a challenging task you all must complete. It can be as simple as learning the names of all the brothers, sisters, pets, etc of all your teammates. It can be a group project where you have to create the highest construction out of spaghetti noodles. It can be that all members of the team have their arms and ankles tied together and they have to walk across the football field.