Building Team Spirit
Building a new team may seem difficult, but with just the right amount of bonding a group of individuals can become a close-knit team in no time!
At your first practices of the season, plan to incorporate team bonding to build that unbreakable spirit that will last all season!
Team Time activities
Team activates are a great way to break the ice for rookie and veteran members. Try games that have a message, like the tower game! Place your athletes into groups and give each 20 toothpicks and a bag of small marshmallows. Ask them to build the tallest tower possible, in 3 minutes, using these items. When time is up, measure the towers to see whose is the tallest. You’ll find that the towers that are still standing MUST have a strong foundation just like teams must have strong foundations to be successful.
Theme your practices:
Keep practice fun and exciting while still getting the job done! Your athletes will love pairing up on twin day, dressing like super heroes or sporting their favorite Disney character! Have the seniors choose the themes and make sure you get involved too! Have a contest and vote by round of applause at the end of practice.
Show what ya know:
At the end of practice, have the team circle up and clap it out for their teammates while they perform the stunts they learned at practice! Your team will love the recognition and will learn that their support is important.
Pair your team up with different team members every practice to work on partner stretching drills and warm-ups. This will keep practice fun and will also help them learn to encourage and hold each other accountable. Just be sure to supervise and make sure there are warming up their bodies and not just their conversation!
A visual reminder of goals and achievements is always a good way to keep up the team spirit! Post your team motto at the top and let the goal setting begin. Have post-it notes at each practice so your team can post their individual goals as well!
It may sound silly, but some of the most successful teams end their practice by building moral in a positive circle. This lets team members voice their positives and can sometimes lead to deeper discussions as a team that keep communication out in the open and not behind closed doors.
Creating a positive team atmosphere will not only keep your cheerleaders focused but will help create community! Good luck in your season, and if there is anything that NCA can do to help, visit nca.varsity.com!