Team unity is one of the most important qualities of a happy team. Nothing builds a positive environment like teammates cheering one another on, celebrating each other's successes, and supporting each other through the difficulties.
One of the ways we accomplish this is through regular motivational team building activities. These activities are designed to motivate our gymnasts to work hard, try new things, and get to know their teammates.
We divide the girls into groups that include ALL levels, and we find that it helps the girls make friends in all levels. It really contributes to our positive environment when an 18 year old Level 10 high fives a 5 year old Bronze for getting her pullover, and then 20 minutes later that same Bronze girl is clapping and cheering for the Level 10 as she shows off her floor routine.
Last year, we implemented Color Wars as a motivational summer activity. We divided the girls into 4 teams (yellow, red, blue, and green) and they have 3 weeks to gain points for their team. Points are given away for things such as getting a new skill, making improvements on something they are afraid of, winning a small competition or game, or just overall having a great attitude or practice.
At the end of the three weeks, we have one big Color Wars Day where we play games and win points. The winning team gets to pie a coach in the face!
This year we did Color Wars again, but with a Harry Potter theme! Below are some of the games we played and a video showing our final day of games!
1) Whomping Willow - a coach stood in the middle guarding the "Golden Egg" (a piece of foam) with two pool noodles as branches. The coach would wave their branches as the gymnasts would try to rescue the egg. If they got hit, they had to run back to their team and tag the next teammate to try. First person to rescue the egg gets points for their team.
2) Yule Ball - Our dance instructor Naomi taught the girls ballroom dance moves and then we had a competition to see who had the best moves!
3) Quidditch Relay Race - Set up an obstacle course that the girls must "fly" through on their brooms. Some gymnasts act a Beaters and throw foam blocks at the girls to slow them down. The Quidditch player must carry the Quaffle (red ball) and throw it through the hoop at the end and then tag the next player. Once the entire team has completed the relay the must look for the Golden Snitch (Ferrero Rocher candy) hidden in the gym. First to find it wins!
4) Giants, Elves, & Wizards - Two teams line up facing each other. When you yell Go, each team pretends to be either a Giant (reach up to the ceiling and make yourself BIG!), Elf (make pointy ears with your hands and screech), or a wizard (pretend like your casting a spell and yell "Expelliarmus!) Giants beat elves, elves beat wizards and wizards beat giants. The team that beats the other team chases them and tries to tag as many members on the other team as possible before they reach the previously determined "safety".
5) Wizards Duel - Using large soft, foam sticks, two gymnasts try to knock each other off the beam.
There are all kinds of games you could play here - have fun with it and enjoy growing together as a team!