The idea of using sports as team building activities is based on a simple and universally acknowledged fact: sport is good for you. And that doesn’t just refer to the physical aspect of sports, but to their character-building and psychologically beneficial qualities. In fact, if the only benefits of practicing any sport were physical ones, it would make no sense to incorporate them into a team building program. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to know that, in order to produce any physical results, you have to exercise regularly and for a prolonged period of time – whereas team building is generally sporadic. There are, however, intense and meaningful psychological lessons to be learned from many sports, and our minds can absorb them much faster than our muscles.
Why you need an office sports day
Having an office sports day as part of your team building program – particularly if it happens on a regular basis, will benefit your team in many ways and each specific activity has its own perks. From boosting productivity to fostering team spirit, from improving your employees’ mood and health to providing motivation and inspiration for all those who take part in such activities. Depending on what you want to achieve and the kind of team you are working with, you might want to choose slightly different sports.
Motivating and inspiring your team with adventure sports
When tasked with planning a team building program for a team of sales executives, we tried to devise a series of sporting activities designed to boost the qualities that their position required the most: self-confidence, motivation, and the ability to push their own limits and go the proverbial extra mile. The choice fell almost immediately onto an adrenaline-packed adventure. We had our team take turns zip-lining, bungee jumping and Tibetan-bridge crossing. While the whole experience is of course designed to be fun (and perfectly safe at all times, even for those with no prior training), there is also an inevitable element of excitement and the need to overcome the instinctive fear that all humans have of heights and of falling. This is, after all, what makes adventure sports engaging and fascinating. The point of the whole exercise, of course, was for everyone to go home with the tangible knowledge that overcoming their limits and fear can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience, and that each and every one of us can tap into unsuspected reserves of courage and determination when needed.
Problem-solving made easy
Planning a problem-solving oriented team building day for a team of 150 people is no easy feat. In and of itself, the task required a remarkable amount of problem-solving. In this case, we decided to get creative and not look into individual, codified sports. We planned a day of outdoor activities that engaged the participants on a physical and intellectual level. We devised a sequence of challenges, some of them strictly physical and some requiring a combination of physical strength, coordination and logic. Some of the challenges were taken directly from specific sports, such as archery, but they were made more interesting by the introduction of an extra level of difficulty, such as wearing a blindfold.
Team building & bike building
Hiking or cycling trips are fairly common team building activities, particularly in Italy. The temperate climate and overabundance of beautiful natural sites make this kind of activities a natural choice for companies wishing to craft a fun team building experience for their employees. We decided to add an extra challenge to the traditional idea of a cycling trip by having our clients build the very bikes they were going to ride through the Lazio countryside.