When most people think of team building exercises, they think of businesses that use these exercises to create a sense of teamwork in the office. Even though swimming is largely an individual sport, with the exception of relays and team competitions, it is important to have a strong sense of team. The use of team building exercises can be a great way to help your swim team feel more unified to increase the likelihood of success.
A treasure hunt is a common team building exercise that is used in many industries. You can tweak this exercise to use with your swim team. Split them up into smaller groups and leave sets of clues for them to follow to a prize. The team that is able to get through the treasure hunt first will be declared the winner. Through this exercise, your swim team will tap into their natural competitive spirit and will encourage them to work together to an end.
The Cup Game
This game can be easily played on the side of the pool before you begin practice or during a rest break. For this game, you will need half as many plastic cups as you have swimmers. Swimmers will pair off in teams and sit facing each other on the floor. Place a cup upside down at an equal distance between each swimmer. On cue, players attempt to grab the cup first. This exercise brings out the competitive spirit and enhances their reaction time, which can help them on the blocks.
To set up this game, give your players the background of being on a wrecked ship with just enough room in the lifeboat for the entire team and 12 items. The team must then work together to create a list of 12 items. It is important for supervisors to encourage all players to have a say, but it is also useful for identifying who the natural leaders in the group are.
Team building may have its roots in the corporate office, but it is a useful tool for your swim team as well. Whether you need to get your team working together, you want to identify the leaders or you want to feed their competitive spirit, these games and others are great ways to get them started. The more your team works together, the more successful they will be.