Team Building Activities for High School Basketball Players
When it comes to high school basketball, coaches must instill in their team a spirit of discipline and working together towards a common goal. Doing so is a challenging but rewarding task. By using various team building and bonding activities, a coach can significantly improve their team’s cohesiveness, communication, dynamics, discipline, and motivation.
Such team-building measures are essential to creating a responsible and capable team capable enough to achieve its goals. Eliminating such activities from a training regimen altogether often results in cliques, prejudice, lack of discipline, and failure to meet team goals on time.
There are some proven benefits of team building activities on a team’s internal chemistry and chances of success. Let us take a look at them briefly.
Benefits of Team Building Activities
Team building activities directly affect communication among the players, the team, and the coach. Improved communication helps coaches set realistic goals, encourage appropriate behavior, and instill respect for each other in the team.
Secondly, for a team to be successful, there must always be a certain level of motivation that helps them stay at the top of their game. Team building activities create an environment where players stay motivated to work towards common goals and leave personal prejudices aside.
Better communication naturally means better chemistry among players, which leads to better cohesiveness for working towards a singular idea for the benefit of all. According to a 2003 McGill University study, team building activities positively affect the perceptions of social cohesion among players. Due to such activities, they enjoy being part of something bigger than themselves, which results in better team spirit and improved chances of success.
Let us now look at ten fun, interesting, and successful team building activities for high school basketball players.
1. Shooting Blindfolded
This team-building activity touches on the elements of trust-building, communication, and shooting. It is a fun activity where players are made into pairs. One from each player is then blindfolded. A ball is placed in the center of the court, and once the coach says “go”, the players who can see have to guide their blindfolded partner to the ball and then to the basket. Whoever shoots first wins.
2. One Word Description
This exercise is great to get the players to know and connect with each other at a deeper level. Each player is asked to describe another player or any of his qualities, choosing only one positive word. Examples of such words can include commitment, dedication, selflessness, relentless, tough, dedicated etc. It is kind of a reinforcement exercise that helps the team think positively of each other.
3. If You Really Knew Me...
It is in the title. It is yet another example of a social team-building activity. Each player takes turns asking another player sitting opposite them, “If you really knew me, you would know…”.
If the players know each other well, they’ll be able to answer well. If not, then the one asking the question is asked to share something about himself with the team.
4. The Snake Race
This is a fun, quirky and exciting drill/team building activity. Players are divided into teams of 4 or 5 and form a line, aka snake, on the baseline. There is enough space between two players such that they can hold a basketball between one player’s back and another player’s chest. The players then have to race the other team to the halfway line and back without dropping the ball or touching it with their hands.
5. Conversation + Dribbling
This activity mixes conversation and play. It is like a typical two-ball dribbling activity but different. In this version, the spotter responsible for pointing out loose balls also tells the dribbler a story.
Once the dribbler is at the opposite baseline, he has to answer a question about the story he just heard. This activity works on the principle of the dual-task paradigm, making players more efficient in processing the movements of nine other players during the game.
6. A Defining Moment!
This team building activity can effectively bring the team and the coach together at a personal level. Each player in the team and the coach have to share a defining moment of their life. Something that changed the course of their life, their perspective on life, or gave things a new meaning. It is a powerful exercise that can motivate, inspire, and connect.
7. Two Truths And A Lie
If a coach wants to break down the ice between the team, this activity is perfect. In this activity, each player tells three facts about themselves to the team. One of them is true, while two are false. The other players have to guess which one is a lie.
8. Social Events And Activities
Socializing is a great yet unthought of team building activity. As a coach, organizing activities like barbecues where all the team is invited, going to amusement parks, and meeting players’ families can be a great way of connecting with players and developing cohesion among the team.
9. The Safety Seat
The safety seat is a daring concept where a chair is placed in the center of a room. One player has to sit on the seat and answer questions about his life. Even though the answerer might hesitate, the concept behind this activity is to create a space where one can be vulnerable and open without fear of judgment.
10. Who’s Your Hero?
In this team building activity, each player talks about a person that is their hero. Not only that, they also have to share why they consider that person their hero, what aspects of their hero’s life they relate to, and what is the most inspiring thing about their hero. This gives an insight to the whole team about that particular player’s mind, goals, and perspective on life.
With these proven team building activities, any coach can climb up the ladder to better cohesion, discipline, and achievement in their team quickly!