10 Ways to Turn Your Team into a Family this Season
By Amanda Pecora
Competition season can be very stressful. Long practices, sudden changes in your routine and the unavoidable pressure to win first place are just some things that can cause a team to lose focus during competition season. Being stressed can produce negative energy within your squad, which won’t score you a first place trophy. One of the main things judges look for is team spirit. A team’s performance on the mat illustrates how the athletes work together as a whole. People often forget that having fun and connecting with your teammates are huge steps toward winning a competition. Here are some stress relievers and bonding activities for you and your team to try!
This can be anything from pizza parties in the hotel room to eating out at fun restaurants in the area. Mix things up by sitting next to people you don’t normally have a chance to talk to. This will bring you closer to different members of your team!
After a long day of competition, doing something relaxing, like watching a movie with your team, will help ease stress. When deciding what movies to choose, you’ll find out a lot about your teammates and what their interests are.
Have your coach set up a scavenger hunt and divide your team into several groups—preferably with people outside of your stunt group or social circle in each. This is a carefree activity that forces everyone to think outside the box while working together.
Pick a well-known song that your squad can sing during competitions. Instead of chanting while walking around, sing a song. It’s a unique way to shake your nerves and have some fun. Not only will this lighten the mood amongst your own team, but you may find other teams singing along, too!
Shower of Praise
Have your team form a circle with each person going around and saying one nice thing about each teammate. Whether it’s something about their personality or what they contribute to the routine, this reminds every cheerleader that they’re an important part of the equation. Getting positive feedback builds confidence, which is essential in competition.
Words of Encouragement
Give every teammate and coach a plain T-shirt that can be written on. Everyone should write positive comments on the back of each shirt during downtime at a competition. At the end of the day, take a look at the back of your shirt to see all the great things your team thinks about you!
Find a teammate you don’t know much about and hold their hand the whole time during competition breaks. This may seem strange at first, but it really brings people closer and eliminates any previous awkwardness. Walking around with that person and talking to them alone can give you an opportunity to share common interests and things you never knew about one another.
Games like Rock the Boat, Little Sally Walker and Down by the Banks are fun and silly games that can help take your mind off the worries surrounding competition. Bonus: This is another activity that other teams can join in on!
After a long day of competition, every cheerleader needs some relaxation time. Having a makeover party will provide some girly fun that you can share with your teammates.
Bowling/Laser Tag/Arcade/Mini Golf
These activities that are safe, fun and awesome ways to bond with your teammates during downtime at destination competitions. They’ll take your mind away from the pressure and give you a chance to have fun with your friends.
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