Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Team Building at the Tournaments: Part 1

Every year we do a few tournaments with our girls hockey team.   We usually do three or four per year.   I've tried many different times, in many different ways to organize team dinners at restaurants - but it rarely seems to work out well.  Most often I have booked a central table for all the girls to sit together, and have then asked the wait staff to reserve  few tables and booths around the central table for parents and siblings to sit in.  Usually we arrange our bills by jersey number to keep things simple.  Even though I bring activities for the girls to do during our dinner, it still makes for a long evening, and after a few tournaments the parents - particularly those with bigger families - find it gets to be pretty expensive.

This past year I decided that I would try to avoid booking any restaurants at all, and come up with some ideas to keep the costs down for the parents, and also keep the girls engaged and building relationships with each other.

Our first tournament of the year was a local one. Since the parents could drop the girls off and come back later to get them,  I rented a meeting room in one of our municipal recreational centres.  Here in Ontario, the cost for a room rental for a couple of hours is currently about $50, and then renting the gym afterwards was about another $30.  I put this into our team budget at the beginning of the year.  
For the meal, we kept it simple - ordered party size pizzas, bought some fruit trays and drinks.
I rented the meeting room - it came with chairs and tables - for approximately two hours, which was the minimum amount of time expected, and I was able to organize that to occur after our second game of the day. 
I had picked up some craft supplies at Michael's - I wanted the girls to make their own door hangers for them to bring to the next tournament, when we had to stay in a hotel.
- foam door hangers (precut in a package in the kids craft section)
- letter and number stickers - I made sure to have smaller stickers (I used foam letters) for the names, and then bought larger sized ones for the numbers. 
- I used chalkboard stickers as well, but you could pick up any type of decorative stickers
- liquid pearl drops (from the craft stores in a few different colours - but beware - they take a long time to dry!)
- any type of embellishment you can find that is small - gems, flowers, all kinds of things.
After the girls had pizza, they got to work on the door hangers:

Here are the girls making their door hangers.

These are the finished product, which I took home on cardboard pieces so the pearl drops could dry.
After dinner and crafts were over and cleaned up, it was on to the gym portion.  Our team trainer was a huge help in this portion of the event.  She drafted a team motto and had all the girls sign it.
Then it was on to playing some games in the gym, and just some good old fashioned goofing around.  At the designated time, parents arrived to pick up their players and everyone was happy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Team Building - First event of the year.

It's always a challenge to bring together a bunch of girls and turn them all into friends, but to have a successful hockey team means that you have to put effort into your team building!

For our first event this year we put together a series of activities to promote working together.

We started the girls off at our local recreational pool for some swimming - which allowed the parents time to set up for the rest of the activities.  After swimming, we got together and shared some pizza and snacks and then the activities began!

First:  We played a game called 'Switch Sides IF....."
Basically the girls lined up on each side of an imaginary line and switched sides if the statements that I called out were true about them.
For example, we used the following (add to them once you've got the hang of it)
"Switch Sides IF"
- you have more than two siblings
- you are an only child
- you have a dog
- you have a cat
- you have ever ridden on a horse
- you play soccer
- you play lacrosse
- you play baseball
- you love summer more than winter
- you speak more than one language
- you take a bus to school

Getting ready to play Switch Sides If
The girls all decided they like summer more than winter.

 The next activity was called "Player Bingo".  We created a Bingo card and in each of the squares we put a clue specific to one of the players on the team.   This took a bit of background work - I had to contact some of the parents and ask them to help me find something for their daughters.   We used clues such as the names of pets, or something specific to where they lived, we included information about siblings to try and help keep each statement unique.   Each of the girls had to go around and talk to her teammates in order to get them to find out which clue belonged to them, and sign the block.  All of the blocks had to be full.  In the extra boxes that were not filled up, we used easy clues like - have a coach sign here, have a defenseman sign here, have a forward sign, etc.

Once they had their cards filled out - they came up and received their bandanas and nametags.  For the nametags, we made each team a name of two things that went together.  The girls had to read all the nametags to figure out who their partners were.  We had
- macaroni and cheese
- milk and cookies
- salt and pepper
- tutti and frutti
- peas and carrots
- peanut butter and jelly
- spaghetti and meatballs
- left and right

Now we were able to begin the Amazing Race!  Each team started with the Hoola Hoop Relay so that they had to work together in order to start.  Here are the clues that we made up:

We used the following for The Players Creed:
Players Creed
I promise to never be outhustled
I will play both ends of the ice,
Fight for every loose puck
I will sacrifice my time for my team
I will always choose grit over flash
Substance over style
I will work, and sweat, and persevere, so that come game time
My team can shine.
I am a hockey player.

Each of the girls had to sign their names when they finished this task.

It was a great first event, and all the girls had a good time!