Discussion in 'General Softball' started by BuckeyeBabe, Jan 30, 2018.
What are some ideas when it comes to team bonding???
Our club did one of those escape rooms for a bonding event over the holidays. The girls had a great time.
I'e done the trampoline park thing, we go to the buckeyes softball game, kick boxing, and bo jackson does a team building thing that we did this year. U rock wall climb and race each other. Pretty neat, but expensive. I also have my girls work our local fish fry for volunteer hours as well.
Don't worry much about bonding. If they are getting along don't try to fix it. Bonding of females needs to be on their terms. Young ladies in a team atmosphere don't bond like boys will. It is rare to find all hanging out together between games or away from the park. Boys? Well they seem to have a way of looking over their differences during a season as they instinctively know it's in the best interest of the team. Girls just don't seem to hold the team thing to its highest degree. They'll have their 2-4 best buddies and get along with the others when they have to. They go off in their lil bunches. Feel relieved that's all it is. I've had girls on the same team literally cheering against a teammate during an at bat. lol. One girl looks at another's boyfriend or God forbid talk to one and that may be all it takes to have the cliques grinding away at each other in the dugout!
They hold grudges that last forever it seems. I should have a body that looks like Swiss cheese from all the laser stares I've received from young ladies in our sport. Like most naive men, most of the time I don't know what I said or had done! "If it aint broke, don't fix it" is a saying from my neck of the woods. You try a little too hard to make them bond and you may force them to turn on each other. God help the weak ones, they may be eaten!!!!!
I actually believe team-bonding is a waste of time and resources.
I believe it's more important that you create a culture within your program thats more Focus on cooperation.
Is there a back story on this ,Haven't heard a good one since the radio days.
Our 12u team has benefited from just doing some non-softball fun competitions at the end of practice. These activities are cheap, quick and fun for the girls. Our girls love them and end up laughing and cheering for each other.
Examples are human knot, hula hoop pass and towel tail snatch.
the voice of softball has spoken!
I disagree. I feel that team bonding is very beneficial especially with girls teams. Girls are more social oriented than boys and it is important to them. In my opinion to max out the groups potential you have help build chemistry both on and off the field. They don’t have to be friends but it helps when they like being around each other.
To answer the OP we’ve done bowling/ pizza parties, gift exchanges for the holidays, lazer tag, magic mountain, cookouts, zoo, and Kings island. (Not the same team, over the course of 13 yrs)
We had an epic dodge ball battle after the last indoor practice before Christmas (2 teams), and the little brothers of some of the girls were in on it. It was as fun to watch as they had playing!
We've done a Christmas party, play dodgeball or kickball at the end of our indoor practices, most of them go to each other's birthday parties, bowling. It helps that a lot of mine go to school or play basketball together as well. We also try and do our hotel trips early and they get to swim, all the usual hotel stuff.
You have coached many girls teams before. I believe you could write a book because this is absolutely spot on IMHO! Great advice!!!
One of the things that benefited my teams greatly was to do team building activities on a daily basis in practice. One way to do that is at the beginning of every practice have kids pair up, make sure they pair up with a different player each practice, and then have them share a personal offensive goal for practice, a defensive goal, and a mental goal. You could also add having them share something positive that happened to them that day or maybe tell their partner something they admire about them. This should take maybe 2 minutes and has huge pay off. Each kid will go into practice with an intention for getting better at something specific. They can't just say I want to improve my hitting. For example they have to say I want to work on my timing for hitting the outside pitch or I want to increase my range in my fielding. The goal has to be said in a positive way. It can't be I don't want to swing too early. It has to be I want to keep my stride on time, stay balanced, and keep my hands back.
Then after practice take 2 more minutes and let them pair up again and rate themselves on how they did and what they would like to continue to work on. Have them share something positive they did in practice. If you have your kids meet with a new person every practice they will develop more trust in each other. They get to know their teammates on a more personal level which helps everyone feel more a part of the team. It helps eliminate the BFF clicks. The coach can either assign partners or just make sure they can't pair up twice with someone until they have paired up with everyone at least once. If you have 12 kids, you will have accomplished it in 6 practices.
It takes less than 5 minutes, gets kids to communicate face to face with each other, helps them get to know each other a little better, makes them think about what they would like to improve by sharing an intention, and helps them understand how creating a clear vision of what you want to accomplish is the first step in accomplishing a goal.
There are also a lot of different things you can give them to talk about during your 2 minutes prior to practice. I would often come up with other things for them to talk about in addition to their goals for that day. Examples of topics: talk about your best game ever, who is your favorite pro player, who is the best hitter you have seen and why, if you could have a playing characteristic from someone else on the team who and what would it be.
2 or 3 minutes before and after practice is all it takes but you have to be consistent with it every practice.
Before games, we would circle up and each player had to share a team goal for that game. It had to be stated in a positive way. Examples: score first, win every inning, keep first batter off base on defense, throw runners out stealing, put bunts down, have more back to back hits than other team, score runners who reach second base, talk on the field, etc.
It gets your kids to think about the little things that can make a big difference in the outcome of the game. They end up sharing at least 12 things that your team can do to be successful and you didn't have to say a thing. They are learning to think the game, speak the game, and all are contributing on an equal basis. It builds team chemistry! I started doing that at Ashland University back in the mid 80's and continued it at KSU. Both programs had success on a national level. 5 minutes of your time is worth it.
Championship teams win because of leadership and team chemistry! Just ask any team that has won a world series, super bowl, or national championship.
If anyone is interested in doing a mental training/team building session, I work with teams of all ages. Please contact me and I can share some ideas of sessions I have done with travel ball and HS teams. www.aspirehighersports.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
But Karen, team bonding is a waste of time! lol
Team chemistry only happens when everyone on the team buys into the team mission and there is positive leadership, trust, and mutual respect for how your team plans to accomplish those goals. Tom Brady one of the best ever in any sport uses the 4 agreements to live his life. I think every team should develop their own 4 agreements on how they plan to operate on a daily basis and it has nothing to do with softball skills. I did a session last winter with the Marcum's Stingray team and look at the year they had last summer. It wasn't because of me but because of the culture they had created. The team identified what they wanted to accomplish, why and what was important to them , and then talked about how they were going to work together (agreements), resulting in positive leadership from coaches and players. They believed, trusted, and respected one another.
In today's world that doesn't just happen, it is fostered. Yes you have to do the fun things like playing laser tag but you also have to direct your player's into understanding what builds a team that trusts and respects one another where individuals are willing to sacrifice the me for we.
Just because I played laser tag with you doesn't mean I am going to trust and respect you. If I really know who you are and what you stand for and I know you have my back, then I will go to war for you and I can trust that you will go to war for me. Once that happens doubt, fear, and anxiousness disappear and your team can play more relaxed with passion and trust. The great teams do that!
Softball is a game of sacrifice built on trust and respect! The job of the coach is to help your athletes realize and experience it on a deeper level.
After the super bowl is over, count how many times a coach or player being interviewed says I love my team or teammates, or players.
You have to do both, build a cooperative culture with love and understanding and have fun while doing it.
“The Four Agreements
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best. ”
― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
did you even read the words in her reply.
Don't see anything about going on a picnic, theme park, bowling alley, climbing a wall, gift exchange or any type of competition for Bonding a Team together.
What I read was about building a culture within your program.
Of course just because you don't agree with me that doesn't change what I believe in. I still think team bonding as described by most the post in this thread is a waste of time and resources. Especially when there's some kind of competition involved in the team bonding process that others talk about.
You are absolutely correct. "Building a culture" is the most important thing to do for a team. I agree 100%.
Building a culture is different for different ages groups though. While wall climbing, laser tag & picnics might not be good for college kids - although I'm certain that teams (college & pro) do these things - they are good for younger kids who don't fully understand the meaning of a team culture.
I believe once you throw in any type of competition in order to Bond a team, you have exactly setup a scenario that will allowed the BFF and the clicks to flourish within your program. If you're truly
trying to draw them closer together as a team Karen approach for me is the way to go. And yes I agree that doing the fun stuff is ok, but I wouldn't call it a Bonding experience for a team once it becomes a competition. There nothing like competition to watch what I call the unbonding effect. Just seat back and watch the next time you throw in some competition and see what happens.
I do it at the end of every practice, the kids love it
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