Cheerleading team building games can be an asset to your training repertoire. Cheerleading is a true team sport. From stunts to well-synched dance routines, cheerleaders must work together and work hard to pass off clean, tight performances. A team that functions well together will shine triumphantly while presenting its talents, but cheerleading involves more than flawless moves. An element of optimism and team spirit is part and parcel to the cheerleading world. It becomes harder to feign a supportive spirit when team members are distant or even repelled by one another.
The Fun Factor
Cheerleading needs to radiate fun. Unfortunately, cheerleading is also an extremely disciplined sport that involves hour upon hour of training for many weeks out of the year. Highly competitive teams spend time rehearsing stunts, dance routines and cheers. In addition to these inherent tasks, comes the background training such as drills, weight-lifting and all sorts of fitness feats that prepare the body for performances. Such arduous training can become grueling, particularly when one stunt just doesn't gel. A teammate who is having difficulty with a certain move may become the target of disdain when a cheerleading squad cannot advance to the next activity. Resentment and fighting possibly ensues. This resentment will break down a team over time. Small acts can be blown into larger issues.
It is essential for team members to bond on and off the field in order for a squad to function properly. Nothing promotes bonding like fun. Creative coaches will find ways to make even simple training drills fun for their cheerleaders. In doing so, practices will move beyond the sweat and tears and become something everyone can look forward to.
Cheerleading Team Building Games
Cheerleaders need cardiovascular training to promote pliable muscles and endurance. These attributes will keep the energy high during dance routines. It's not uncommon for cheerleaders to engage in vigorous running drills, or simple laps around the football field. How can a coach make running drills a team effort?
Baton relay drills can be a fun way to make laps a team effort. Dividing your squad into distinct groups and having them compete to see which team can pass the baton the fastest during sprint relays is a surefire way to build incentive within your squad. This simple game is featured in the Olympics and is very simple to learn.
Another way to spruce up cardiovascular training is to institute line-runs. In such an event, a cheerleading squad must run in a line. The person in the very back will then sprint up to the front as the line continues to run at an even pace. Line runs depend heavily on team sympathy, for when the run carries on for a long period of time, the back runner may be too tired to sprint to the front. The entire team must even its pace to accommodate the exhausted runner.
Cheerleading team building games don't have to be limited to training. They can be as simple as a classic game of Truth or Dare that occurs during a bus ride to away games. Other sorts of "get to know you" games are always useful in promoting fun, and some coaches enjoy implementing a game of Telephone to assess and increase team communication.
Although it is not classified as a game, mentoring and journaling practices can help to bond one team member to another. These practices involve an older, senior cheerleader adopting a new squad member and communicating positive notes to one another through a journal. This truly helps the anxiety new team members might experience when they are added to the squad.
Of course, it would be unreasonable to expect that every member of a cheerleading team will be best friends with the others. However, team solidarity is extremely important. Positive messages, activities and interactions will help to fortify the squad. Reducing the amount of negativity that occurs during training is vital to battling the resentment which often sets in when a group of girls are continuously exposed to one other throughout the cheerleading season.