You know the feeling. After a season’s worth of early mornings, late nights, 100 degree days, practice after practice after practice… it’s all coming to an end.
After all of that hard work, you finally feel like a team.
And now it’s all over. The season’s ended, school’s out for the summer, and most of you won’t see each other again for months.
All of the work you’ve done to come together as a team will slowly fade away, and you’ll have to wait for next season to start rebuilding.
Unless you can find a way to keep team spirit alive in the off season.
Team building in the off season offers many ways to help your team, even without practices or games to focus on.
Here are the top five benefits to year-round team building:
Strengthens Bonds and Chemistry
For the members of the team that are carrying over to next year, off season team building provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen the bonds formed over the last season.
Continuing to have shared experiences will ensure that team members remain a close knit family who participate in each others lives.
New teammates can be introduced to the team as well, providing a foundation that can be built on next season.
The more time teammates spend with each other, and the closer they become through bonding over shared experiences, the more chemistry they develop.
Chemistry is one of the most important factors in building a successful team. Individuals don’t win championships, teams do. Only by working together can a team succeed.
Team building in the off season strengthens bonds and allows that chemistry to develop.
Chance to Develop New Skills
Often during the season there is no time to step outside of your particular role in the team in order to widen your skill set. The off season is the perfect opportunity to develop these new skills.
Team members have the time to learn new roles, expand their knowledge of the game, and gain an appreciation for their teammates.
By working with teammates you might not normally interact with, you can develop a deeper appreciation for their roles, and perhaps learn techniques that will help you improve your own skill set.
Off season team building provides the perfect venue for these opportunities.
Promotes Team Culture
Identity is one of the key factors in any team. Knowing who you are as a team and what you stand for gives you a sense of purpose and a common ideology.
This team culture is the framework around which a strong team is build. Off season team building allows you to reinforce that culture year round.
It provides a reminder of who you are as a team, what you do, and why you do it. It gives a team something to rally around and provides a benchmark for expected behavior among teammates.
Team building in the off season keeps this culture alive.
Keeps the Training Mindset Alive
By continuing to strengthen your team in the off season, a training mindset is fixed in teammates year round.
Through these regular interactions, the team spirit is never lost. By continually building trust, reinforcing the culture, and developing new skills, teamwork is kept alive in the off season.
This makes the start of a new season seem like a continuation of events, not the beginning of them, allowing for a smooth transition into the next season.
Off season team building is a great way for teams to keep a training mindset year round.
Provides a Chance to Build Soft Skills
There are many intangible elements to a successful team that can go overlooked during a season, when teams are focused on games and rarely have time for less immediate concerns.
These intangibles can make the difference between winning or losing, and are important to the success of the team.
Team building in the off season gives you a chance to develop these skills without the pressure of the regular season.
Teaching leadership skills, encouraging team spirit, and teaching a holistic approach can have a tremendous impact on your team’s performance throughout the season.
A holistic approach teaches players the importance of the overall strategy, helping them understand not just what is happening, but why it happens.
This gives players the ability to step back from their individual roles and see the game through a bigger lens, raising their awareness during a game.
Teams rarely have time for these soft skills during a season, but off season team building provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen this aspect of their game.
By participating in team building during the off season, teams can continue the progress they have made during the previous year and carry that progress over to the next.
This can be a critical element in the success or failure of your team in the next season.