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!

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