Creating a strong softball team requires more than just talented players. Team-building activities can ensure that a team also has the qualities of trust, communication and respect. Team-building activities that target the development of athletic abilities as well as teamwork traits are ideal for softball teams.
Divide the team into pairs. Each pair should sit on the ground with their backs touching and their legs outstretched. Place a softball between the backs of each pair. Instruct pairs to stand up without dropping the ball or touching it with their hands. Pairs must strategize and work together to complete the task as quickly as possible. In addition to strategizing, Balance Ball requires communication and a degree of lower body strength and athletic ability. After all pairs have stood up, discuss how important it was that each person moved at the same time as his partner to avoid letting the ball drop. Lead a discussion about the importance of communication and teamwork in accomplishing group goals, and then ask the group to come up with five team goals for the season. Write the goals and post them in a common area as a reminder throughout the year.
Divide the team into groups of three or four. Provide each group with an assortment of four or five objects, including rope, tires, plywood, empty coffee cans, hula hoops, and other household items. Each group then takes turns rounding the bases without touching the dirt, which is designated as "lava." Teams can use the supplies they were given and their own bodies to keep each team member from touching the ground. The goal is to have each team member touch every base bag in correct order as quickly as possible. Allow teams five minutes to strategize and trade items with other groups. The team with the fastest time wins. Lead a follow-up discussion about the different tools and skills each person brings to the team. Stress the importance of recognizing and appreciating each player's strengths so they can be used to form an effective team.
Instruct all team members to take places in the infield and outfield. A coach or assistant coach should remain at home plate and hit fly balls to the players. When a player catches a ball, she must reveal a little-known fact about herself before she can release the ball. If the play is in the outfield, she then throws the ball to an infield player, who also must reveal a fact. The infield player can then return the ball to the hitter. Hit fly balls until each player has revealed a fact; rotate players into different positions so each one has a chance to share. The activity fosters a sense of trust and community while honing essential catching and throwing skills.
- Photo Credit Softball glove image by paolanogueras from Fotolia.com
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