Basketball is a sport that emphasizes team effort in order to win. In order for your basketball team to move as one in defense, offense and strategy, your players must be in tune with one another both on and off the court.
Looking for ways on how you can forge a strong bond between your players? Here are some great basketball team building exercise and games you can try:
Pass The Ball
Form a circle with your players in groups of 5 to 8. The exercise starts when one player passes the ball and calls out the name of the member as they pass. The game’s objective is that each player should have the ball at least once so that every player remembers their teammate’s names. It’s great if you have a number of newer players going on board. You can incorporate passing practice by dictating how they should pass the ball, i.e., overhead pass, chest pass or a bounce pass. Ball sharing encourages assists and communication between teammates.
The Tangled Knot
Divide the whole team in groups of 4 to 9, with each group forming a circle and facing each other. Have the players spread out one arm and take ahold of the forearm or hand of the player next to them. After that, have all players reach into the circle with the other hand and grab another player’s hand or forearm. The result is a “knot” of tangled players. The objective of this exercise is to untangle themselves without breaking hand or forearm contact. This team building practice can be completed with teamwork and effective communication.
The 24 Second Drill
Have your entire team form a straight line on the court’s baseline and hold hands. Then, instruct them that they should run to the opposite baseline and back within 24 seconds without breaking the hold. Set a timer for 24 seconds. The objective here is that your basketball team should be able to complete this drill within 24 seconds or less. Once again, effective communication is the key to successfully doing the 24 Second Drill; your players will have to figure out that they need to walk or sprint at the same pace. From here you’ll be able to see leaders emerge; they will be the ones who shout out instructions and can lead the team to move as one unit.
The Blindfold Obstacle Course
This game can be done with 3 players. Have one of your players blindfolded and the other two giving out instructions without ever making physical contact with the blindfolded player. Set up an obstacle course or a maze that the blinded player should navigate through. The objective is to make it to the end of the maze or obstacle course. Here, the players develop a fine balance between communicating and giving out instructions. Also, you can learn which players are effective in communicating and in leading through challenging situations.
Go For A Team Outing
Team building activities are great if you have a basketball team that you’d like to bond fairly quickly. Depending on your location and what your players like to do, you can plan a basketball team building event that could last anywhere from a few days to a whole week.
Choose a date that’s convenient for everyone. Once you’re in the venue, just let the players interact with each other and have fun. You can allocate a portion of the outing for team building games or allow team bonding activities to unfold. Games can be fun and fairly competitive so they can show their skills and have conversations.
Catch The It
Have your players form a circle of 4 to 6 individuals with one player in the middle. The one in the middle should be able to touch everyone in the circle easily. The game starts when one player outside the circle names another player, who becomes “It”, then the “It” calls out another player in the circle, passing the “It” title. The one in the middle must touch the “It” before the title passes to another player. When the “It” is caught that player gets to become the middle person.
Don’t forget the potential of developing your players during the off-season. It could be drills, outings or events that strengthen your player’s bonds and love for basketball. You can have the would-be leaders come up with ideas for games, practices and drills and reward them accordingly. Those who strive to improve their team’s chemistry should be given a shout-out and praised for their efforts.