As everyone on any college athletic team knows, at the end of the year the seniors leave and new freshman come in. And suddenly you have more new individual personalities to learn and respect. The dynamic of your team will go through yet another change when the year becomes new. With that being said… there is no better way to develop better team chemistry than a little team bonding nights. Here are some fun ways to bring your team together to create some great memories for
your new family.
- The Mine Field:
Find an open space such as an empty parking lot or a park. Place the objects (cones, balls, bottles, etc.) sporadically across the open space. Have everyone pair up, and make one person on from each pair put on the blindfold. The other person must lead their teammate from one side of the open space to the other without stepping on the objects — using only the verbal instructions. The blindfolded person cannot speak at all. To make it more difficult, create specific routes the blindfolded team members must walk. This game focuses on trust, communication, and effective listening. This activity makes a great team building beach game as well.
- The Barter Puzzle:
Have everyone break off into small, equal-sized groups. Give each group a different jigsaw puzzle with the same difficulty level. The goal is to see which group can complete their jigsaw puzzle the fastest. However! Some pieces will be mixed around in other group’s jigsaw puzzles. It’s up to the team to come up with a way to get those pieces back — either through negotiating, trading, exchanging team members, etc. Whatever they decide to do, they must decide as a group. This activity will rely heavily on problem solving and leadership skills. Some team members might stand out and some might stand back, but it’s important to remember that the entire team must come to a consensus before a decision is made.
- Watch where you step:
On the floor, create a large, enclosed polygon about twelve feet or so long by seven feet wide using masking tape. Try to shape it with the thought that people will be making their way from one end to the other. Inside the polygon, place some squeaking dog toys, and twice as many sheets of paper (or paper plates). The papers act as landmines.
This is one of the team building games where the goal is for pairs of two to make it from one side of the polygon to the other, blindfolded, using only the vocal guidance of the players on the outside of the shape. If a player steps on a mine, they become frozen, and must wait for the other player to step on a dog toy to continue. If both players become frozen, the team must restart.
- Two Truths and a Lie:
Start out by having every team member secretly write down two truths about themselves and one lie on a small piece of paper – Do not reveal to anyone what you wrote down! Once each person has completed this step, allow 10-15 minutes for open conversation – much like a cocktail party – where everyone quizzes each other on their three questions. The idea is to convince others that your lie is actually a truth, while on the other hand, you try to guess other people’s truths/lies by asking them questions. Don’t reveal your truths or lie to anyone – even if the majority of the office already has it figured out! After the conversational period, gather in a circle and one by one repeat each one of your three statements and have the group vote on which one they think is the lie. You can play this game competitively and award points for each lie you guess or for stumping other players on your own lie. This game helps to encourage better communication in the office, as well as it lets you get to know your coworkers better.
- This is Better Than That
Pick four or more objects that are different (or the same objects that look different). Split all your participants into even teams. Describe a scenario where each team has to solve a problem using only those objects. This can be anything from “You’re stranded on a desert island” to “You’re saving the world from Godzilla!” Have each team rank the objects based on their usefulness in that specific scenario, along with their reasoning. This exercise inspires team creativity in problem solving. The idea is to not make the scenarios too easy so it becomes obvious which objects are most useful.
On one final note, chemistry is a big factor to how successful a team will be. So whatever you do make sure it is fun and gets everyone involved. Have fun and best of luck on your future season!