Team Building in Sports – The Basis for Success?

A team can be great if they work together like a machine. Team building can help to reach goals and build trust. Find out more!
team celebrates win

Having a team that understands each other and has no tension is great, it doesn’t matter what kind of team you belong to. Sometimes when things are not going the way you wanted, the answer won’t always be physical.

The reason can be that there’s some tension in the team and getting everyone together to just relax is sometimes the fastest cure.

In this article, you will find:

Why is team building important in sports?

Studies have shown that team building events or exercises not only work in sports but in other fields as well.

It doesn’t matter what kind of sports you do, it can be team sports or individual sports. You’ ll still need a team around you that gets along even if it’s just your coach, your parents and you.

For example, if you take a volleyball team, where trusting each other in volleyball court is one of the most important things. That’s where team-building exercises or even small events come handy.

Estonian national volleyball team during European Championship. Photo by Gertrud Alatare

When you put together a team (it can be a sports team or a staff team) the most important thing is that everyone gets along and they are able to put aside their own personal feelings/problems and focus on your goal as a team.

The whole reason behind this is to build a great atmosphere around your “workspace”.

Nobody wants to work in a place, where you can feel the tension in the air. It will make you less motivated to attend to work/practice or even can make you want to quit or change the team/job.

How can different team activities increase a team’s performance?

Let’s say you are comparing two teams. The first team is really close and acting out as a team. The second has some serious trust issues and you can feel the tension between them. Which one is more likely to succeed? Probably the first one.

Even if you’re not playing team sports you still need to think about your team as a whole.

In team sports, you have up to 20 people in the team and it’s really important that you have a good atmosphere in the team.

A team that feels comfortable around each other and has trust is a team that will be successful and most likely won’t have a problem with finding the motivation to train or have unnecessary arguments or fights.

When you want to start your season great, then getting the team together before the season is the best start. That way everyone will get to know each other before going into first practice or meeting together.

I think the reason why team building events help to increase your team’s performance is the fact that it’ll help bring down barriers.

Having fun with team and building relationships
Go have some fun with your team and build a relationship and trust!

Professional teams have players from all around the world, some get paid more than others and it can build tension in the team.

That’s why it’s important to get everyone together every once in a while and let them feel that they are equal and forget about the money or their skills for a night.

The goal isn’t focusing on the next game or going through what happened in the last practice, it’s about getting closer as a team and just relax for a night.

How often should your team have team building events?

That really depends. As I said, getting everyone together before the season is a really good way to start. The ideal is to do this kind of events once a month but this really depends on the situation.

Some coaches want to have small gatherings once a week, just to keep the team close and some want to do these things maybe once or twice a month.

This really depends, on the situation, when you start feeling some sort of pressure or notice some changes then take that as a sign.

list of team building ideas
List of team building ideas

Keep in mind not to do these events too often! As a professional team your job is to play, so try to find a healthy balance. Maybe have a small gathering right before the finals just to get everyone together before the important games and let them relax.

If you do individual sports then in most cases you have a training group. Your team may even be your coach, maybe the staff and your parents if you are underaged.

When you have a training group then it’ll be the same. You want to train in a good atmosphere and you can do these gatherings once a week or once/twice a month.

List of team building ideas for athletes and coaches

The best way to find out what will work your team is to ask them or at least discuss it with the team’s captain. But here are some ideas about what to do.

  • Arrange a nice dinner

  • Go to play bowling

  • Have a game night (cards, board games, etc)

  • Have a movie night

  • Different outdoor activities

  • Sauna night

The list is endless. The key is to use your imagination and try not to repeat the things you’ve already done.

Summary

As once Shaquille O’Neal told Kobe Bryant: “there’s no I in team”

In order for the team to succeed it’s important to work together and think about everyone’s needs.

A team can be great if they work together like a machine. Having team building events can help you reach your goal and make everyone comfortable around each other and help them build trust.

A team that wins and loses together stays together!

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