Hockey Team Building: A Year Round Effort
Team building is about bringing in a group of guys with different backgrounds and personalities to achieve a common goal. It's a year-round process that starts on the first day of the hockey season and continues on through the last game of the playoffs.
The following is an example of a team building program. The beauty of this program is that it works for teams at every level, from Mites to pros.
Why Team Building is Important
Create A Learning Environment
3. Hold Players Accountable
4. Give Feedback
1. Championship teams are close knit
2. Conduct exercises early in season
3. Continue throughout the season
4. Encourage Competition
Create A Winning Culture
1. Captains' Meetings
2. Team Building Exercises
3. Game Day Rituals
4. Monthly Awards
30-gallon rubber garbage can
Players lie on their backs in a circle with their legs and butts pressed tightly together with feet up in the middle to form a pod/pedestal.
The coaches lift a 30-gallon can filled with water/ice and place it on the team's pedestal, balancing the can for a few seconds until the team is ready.
Players must balance the can using only their feet. Teams are timed until the can completely spills.
If after five minutes the can has not spilled, players must take shoes and socks off while still holding up the can. While taking shoes and socks off, no one can touch the can with their hands. Once each player has taken off his shoes and socks, the team is finished.
The team that survives the longest wins. If two or more teams reach the five-minute limit, the team that gets their shoes and socks off the fastest wins.
Team members must stand on a milk crate with their feet off the ground. If the teams have more than seven players, two crates should be taped side to side and used to stand on. After all their feet are off the ground, team members may use any method to balance including holding each other's arms, shoulders and clothes. The team that stays on the crate the longest wins.
4 dozen eggs
3-4 ball caps
This should be done outside on an open field. All teams line up along side of and even with another teams. Each team member stands about 20 feet apart with one dozen eggs. On the whistle, each team takes one egg and throws the egg to the next teammate in line. The throws alternate from over the head backwards to under the legs (like hiking a football). The throws continue until the last player in line catches the egg and puts it in his ball cap.
If an egg touches the ground at any time, it must be returned to the front of the line to start over. If an egg breaks, the team must start over with another egg. Only one egg can be thrown at a time until that egg is placed in the ball cap.
The winning team is the team that gets six unbroken eggs in their ball cap in the shortest time.
30 hockey pucks
Blindfolds (hockey socks work)
Form a minefield by placing pucks on the ground in an area of about 30 feet long by 15 feet wide. Place half the team on each end of the field with a blindfold on one player at each end of the minefield.
One player at a time must make his way through the mines blindfolded with the aid his teammates' directions. If a player touches one of the mines he must start over.
Once a player makes it through the field without touching a mine, a player from the opposite side starts his way through. The team that gets all of its players through the mine field in the shortest time wins.
5-6 hockey laces
Blank piece of paper
Players must make as many X's as they can on blank piece of paper using the Sharpie marker and the laces. Players may only touch the sharpie at the beginning to tie the laces to the Sharpie.
Give each team two minutes to discuss their strategy prior to starting. Only one team should be in the room while doing the exercise so each team uses their own ideas.
Once the laces are tied to the sharpie, the players must position their hands on the laces at least two feet from the sharpie.
By working together the players must maneuver the sharpie using the laces to form X's on the paper. Each team is given five minutes from the start to tie the laces and make as many X's as possible.
These are just a few team building exercises designed to build a cohesive unit, and have some fun at the same time.
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