Team Building Activities
& Team Goal Setting



ROPE SHAPES
Have every girl on the team stand in one long line.  Everyone is blindfolded.  A piece of one long rope is placed in each person's hand by the instructor.  The objective is to make a specific shape with the rope (ex. circle).  This exercise is much more difficult than it seems.  When the team believes they have finished creating their shape, they remove their blindfolds to check their success.  Leaders will obviously emerge.  Communication is important.  It will also be evident that teamwork is essential.
 

GUESS WHO?
The instructor pins 5 X 6 laminated index card upon which a famous person's name has been written to the back of each team member.  Do not let the individual see the name of the person being pinned to her back.  Warn the others in the class not to tell one another who their famous person is.  The objective is to identify the name pinned to one's back by asking only yes or no questions of other teammates.  Example questions:  Am I a movie star?  Am I male?  Am I female?   Am I dead?  Am I an animated character?  etc.   Every person can only ask two questions of each teammate.  The students will soon see that they must be clever in their problem solving, and that they need the help of their teammates to solve the identity problem.

Examples of famous people:  Charles Darwin, Tom Cruise, Statue of Liberty, Mickey Mouse, Gwenyth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Sarah McLachlan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bugs Bunny, Nicole Kidman, Thomas Edison, Bill Clinton, George Washington, etc.

Motivational Articles

Peace with Imperfection
Shake it off and Step Up
Team Building Activities
Things Aren't So Bad
Bottom Line
Laughter Cures
Poems & Quotes
Five Balls of Life
Think About It
Simple vs. Real
Be Thankful
God Created Teachers
Classroom Burnout
The ABC's of Praise

 
2 X 4

Have an even numbered group of students (4 - 8) stand on a 2 X 4 piece of wood.  All students are facing the same direction.  The objective is to reverse the order of the line without stepping off the 2 X 4.  This exercise will teach problem solving and the necessity of teamwork.

SING A LITTLE SONG
Divide the team into smaller groups (officer groups).  Each group has to make up a song about drill team to the tune of any television show theme song.  They should also create movement to go along with the song.  Set a time limit of ten to fifteen minutes to complete the assignment.  Have each group perform their song and dance.  Obvious leaders will emerge as students participate in this activity.  Creativity and teamwork will also be enhanced through this activity.

Example theme songs:  Gilligan's Island, Beverly Hill Billies, Fresh Prince of Bellaire, Brady Bunch, etc.

TRUST LIFT
Arrange the team into two parallel lines facing in towards one another shoulder to shoulder.  Four of the strongest girls need to be on either end and two strong girls in the middle.  (Depending on the size of the team, there may need to be four parallel lines.)  Each girl will take turns being lifted and passed down the line above the heads of her teammates.  It may be necessary to have the student being lifted to start on a step stool.  She needs to hall backwards into the hands of the first two to four girls who will lift her above their heads, then pass her down the line.  The girl being lifted needs to fold her arms across her chest, keep her legs and body tight with her legs together.  Tell the lifted girl to avoid curving her cervical vertebrae which will be her tendency.  She needs to stay as flat as possible.  When she is near the end of the line, the last four girls will lower her to the ground feet first.  This will teach the necessity of trusting one's teammates, as well as the need for teamwork.

TRUST WALK
Blind fold all members of the team.  Have them line up into one long line holding hands.  Tell them they must be quiet and listen carefully to all directions.  The instructor will lead the class through a "trust" wall.  It can be through a building with different obstacles such as a set of stairs.  It can be a walk outside that involves hills, puddles of water, trees etc. The instructor (who is not blind folded)  will tell the first girl in the line exactly what to do.  For example, if the first girl needs to take a step up, the instructor tells her.  The first girl will then whisper the same directions at the appropriate time to the person behind her and so on and so forth.  The students must not ever shout out directions.  It's also imperative that they whisper directions to the person behind them at the appropriate time.  The leader emphasizes the importance of listening to the person in front of them so that no injures themselves with a sprained ankle or anything of the like.  The objective is to have the students realize the importance of affective communication as well as trust and teamwork.

BUILDING BRIDGES
Divide the team into smaller groups (no more than 6 or 7 to a group). Each group is given the same materials:  a stack of newspaper (probably the equivalency of 2 - 3 newspapers), two rolls of masking tape, and a cardboard box about the size of a paper box (approximately 17 - 18 inches wide and 9 inches deep) containing 10lbs. of weight inside in the form of books or bricks.  All materials must be exactly the same for each group.  The group is to build a free standing bridge that is tall and wide enough for the box to pass under without touching the bridge.  The box will be passed through leading with the wide side.  In other words, the bridge needs to allow for more than 16 inches in width and 9 inches in height.  One more trick, the bridge must also be strong enough and wide enough to hold the 10lb. box of materials.  The groups may only use the materials provided and a time limit is set.  This is a great team building and problem solving exercise that will leave each group with a sense of accomplishment.

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
Have the team sit in a circle.  Give one girl a small stuffed animal such as a beanie baby.  She says something she loves about drill team then throws the beanie baby to someone else.  This person then says something she loves about drill team, then throws the animal to another teammate.  No teammate can hold the stuffed animal twice.  Continue until everyone has had the opportunity to speak.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Have the team sit in a circle.  Pass around a roll of toilet paper.  Tell each girl to take as little or as much as she needs.  Don't tell them the purpose for the paper.  They will ask - just reply with, "Take as little or as much as you need."  Once every girl has some toilet paper, tell them to write one thing about themselves on each square of toilet paper they have.  Everyone then shares with the rest of the team the information they have written about themselves.

BIRTHDAY REARRANGE
Divide the team into smaller groups (no more than 10 to a group).  Without talking or writing, each group must put themselves into birthday order from oldest to youngest including month, date, and year.  Have the groups race against one another to see who can accurately complete the activity first.  Give a prize to each of the girls in the winning group.  This will teach the students problem solving skills, the importance of non verbal communication and teamwork.

SPIDER WEB
Have the team stand in a circle.  Choose one person to start the activity.  This person will have a ball of yarn.  The first person will take the end of the ball of yarn and hold onto to it.  She will choose one of her teammates to whom to throw the yarn.  Before she throws the ball, she has to say something special about that person.  Once the second person has caught the ball of yarn, she chooses someone else to say something special about then throws the ball of yarn to her.  The procedure continues until everyone has had the opportunity to speak. The ball of yarn can never be thrown to the same person twice.  Everyone holds on to a piece of yarn as they throw it to the next person. When the activity is concluded a huge "spider web" has been created.  This is a great concluding exercise for a team building class.

BOUNDARY BREAKING
Team sits in a circle and asks a series of questions.  Each member of the team answers each question verbally to the entire team.  Begin the game with "low risk" questions.  These are questions which do not require any personal response about  inner feelings or emotions.  The more personal questions are considered "high risk" and should be used when the squad is more familiar with each other.
   
Sample questions:  (Low risk questions are signified with an asterisk.)

.If you could travel to one place in the world, where would you go?
.What is your favorite sport?
.What skill do you need in order to succeed?
.What makes you most secure?
.What is your favorite song?
.What qualities and/or skills do you gain by being a dancer?
.What is your team doing well right now?
.What is the most enjoyable part of your job as a dancer?
What word best describes your life up to now?
What is your biggest worry?
How are you best able to accept criticism?
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
What do people like best about you?
When do you feel most lonely?
What is your greatest fear?
What is your greatest embarrassment?
What do you love the most?
If you could have any wish, what would it be?
What would you like to be known for in your lifetime?
Who has had the most positive influence on you and why?
What do you do when you hear a rumor?
What would you like to see your squad improve?
What do you do when you must change your schedule to meet an unexpected "team" demand?
If three people in history could help you with decisions, who would you choose and why?
How do you think your team is thought of by the rest of the school?
How do you usually behave when a deadline is approaching?
How do you usually respond when someone criticizes you?

COMPLETE THESE SENTENCES...
Another way to improve communication between team members is for each member to complete the following:

One important thing that I want to learn as a drill team member is...
Cooperation is important because...
I can help other people by...
Something that I am improving is...
If I could teach everyone in the world one thing, it would be...
The one thing I enjoy doing most is...
My feelings are hurt when people...
I get angry when...
Sometimes I like to be myself and do...
I trust people who...
I feel lonely when...
I feel the warmest towards a person who...
When I am in a group of people, I am most afraid of...
If I had six more hours in the day, I would spend them by...
I handle stress by...
The happiest moment of my life was...

BIO CARDS
Each team member receives an index card with three question.  For example, the questions could be:  What is your greatest accomplishment?  What is your biggest fear?  What is your lifetime goal?  The girls answer each question and hand in their cards.  Then the director reads the answers, and the other team members try to guess who wrote those answers.

M&M GAME
Team sits in a circle.  Pass a bag of M&M's around and tell everyone to take as many as they want, but not to eat them yet.  When all of the girls have candy, tell them to count the red ones.  For each red M&M, she will share a positive quality about herself.

TRUST FALL
One person stands on a higher object, like a bleacher step or a chair.  This person falls back into the other girl's arms.  Since the person falling is not looking at the others, this person must trust that the others will catch her.

TEAM WORD GIFT
Each individual has a paper with her name at the top.  The papers are passed around the team and each member writes a positive word about the person whose name is at the top of the paper.  Each girl receives her paper with all the positive words describing her.

SHOWER OF PRAISE
The team splits in half with two lines facing each other.  One team member zig zags back and forth down the line receiving whispered positive comments or memories from each person.  She then joins the end of the line.  Another member can begin soon after the first person starts, so the line moves quickly.

THIS IS YOUR LIFE
1. Give each team member a piece of paper and a pencil.
2. Tell each person to find a quiet place by themselves and to draw out their life- line on a piece of paper.  *tips:  Usually a succession from birth to present is the best way to begin.  The life-line doesn't have to be straight; they can be creative.   * This will take 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Have each individual share their life-line with the rest of the team. 
4. After sharing, have each person say something new that they have learned about the team. 

POSITIVE CIRCLES
1. Team members seat  in a circle.
2. Beginning with one person , each person says something positive about various subjects.
*tips:   Many subjects from which to chose. Pick the subject that will give you the desired results.
Even a problem can be discussed and resolved by using the positive circle. Team members can learn to look for positive qualities rather than dwelling on the negatives.

TEAM WORK SHEET
Team worksheets should be completed by teams at the beginning of the  season. Each member on the team contributes to each question.  Worksheets should be examined periodically for review, updating, or getting teams back on track.      

1. Things I expect to gain from drill team this year are . . .
    1.          2.          3.
2. Things I expect to contribute to the team are  . . .
    1.          2.          3.
3. Things that bother the most about behavior's) of team members are  . . .
    1.          2.          3.
4. When problems arise on our team we will handle them by . . .
    1.          2.          3.
5. Goals we would like to achieve this year are . . .
    1.          2.          3.
6. Obstacles we must overcome this year are . . .
    1.          2.          3.
7. Ways we will overcome these obstacles are . . .
    1.          2.          3.
8. Commitments we will make to each other are . . .
    1.          2.          3.


TEAM GOAL SETTING
Ask team to complete the following steps in order to work through the goal setting process.

1.  Define:           Select your primary purpose as a squad.
2.  Describe:      What is the reward for reaching this goal?
3.  Design:          Develop the steps that need to be followed to reach your goal.
4.  Diagnose:     What obstacles are in the way, and how can we overcome them?
5.  Depend:        Who can you rely on to help you reach your goal?
6.  Determine:    What sacrifices are you going to need to make to attain this goal?

Group goals do not happen without individual contributions and sacrifices.

PRINCIPLES OF GOAL SETTING

The following is paraphrased from "See You At the Top" By Zig Ziglar.  For information, write Zig Ziglar, We Believe, Inc.  12011 Coit Road, Suite 114, Dallas, TX 76251.

NUMBER ONE
Goals must be big.
In order for goals to be effective they need to be big because it takes a big goal to create the excitement necessary for accomplishment.  There is really no excitement in mediocrity or just keeping up with what someone else did last year.  Commit the goal you want to achieve to paper.  List obstacles to your goal and formulate a plan to overcome them.

NUMBER TWO
Goals must be long range.
Temporary obstacles can be needlessly frustrating if you do not have long-term goals.  Without long-range goals, you are likely to be overcome by short-range goals and obstacles.  Setbacks can be stepping stones, not stumbling blocks.  Be absolutely convinced that you can reach your goal.  Visualize yourself as already reaching your goal before the year starts.

NUMBER THREE
Goals must be daily. 
In order to reach your long-range goals, you must work toward your objectives daily.  Daily objectives are the best indicators and the best builders of character.  This is where dedication, discipline  discipline, and determination enter the picture.  Be mentally prepared to discipline yourself to take the necessary steps to reach your goal.

NUMBER FOUR
Goals must be specific.
Focus on one specific, detailed objective.  Goals such as being a "better" person or having "more" of something are too broad.  Spell out your goal in minute detail, so you will know where you are heading and exactly what you want to achieve.

 
   

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