I have a different take on “team building” than many people. I have never bought into the idea that going to a ropes course, or doing the “trust fall” builds teams… true teams. Every successful team I have ever been associated with, as a player, coach, or a YMCA Executive Director had a few things in common – and none of it included going camping, canoeing, or playing paint ball as a team. Those successful teams were all about everyone that was on the team working hard, sacrificing and dedicating themselves to a common goal, whether it was winning a championship or opening a new YMCA.
Team building happens in the weight room during December when you and all your teammates and coaches are there, “going to failure” despite the season being nine months away. Team building is hanging your head over a trashcan with six of your teammates throwing up the breakfast you didn’t eat because you didn’t want to throw up your breakfast during 6:00 am morning conditioning. Team building is when you and 90% of your teammates have made 90% or more of the summer workouts, even though the weight room is not air conditioned and the temperature on the turf rises to over 100 degrees by 10 am. Team building is when you go into “battle” and you can look to your left, look to your right, look behind you and look over to your teammates and coaches on the sideline and become filled with confidence because you have all already battled together daily over the course of the last year.
I don’t have anything against activities such as ropes course, trust falls, paint ball etc. I think they are fun activities and have their place. I think they can ADD to a team that has already been “built”. They can’t replace the hard work that is true team building.
You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you… Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org