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Team Building - Article 3

More Icebreakers

This is the second team-building icebreaker that you can consider using with your team. Remember that these initiatives should simply serve as guides or recipes for you to follow. Feel free to adapt, modify, create and improvise both the rules and the difficulty of the challenge in order to accommodate the qualities of your particular team.

As you will recall from last month's article, the activity must be age-appropriate as well as level-appropriate. Games that seem too "silly" for your particular athletes or challenges that are too easy to complete will not be met with enthusiasm or positive motivation. You should know your group well enough to construct challenges that are attractive to them, interesting and compelling.

You may want to start the session with a joke related to the situation, or even share a game-related need that this activity addresses. You may begin with a series of short questions that elicit a series of loud group responses or a meaningful team cheer just to get the activity started.

This next icebreaker can serve as an excellent warm-up activity not only for the team building session but also for the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal structure depending how active and competitive your athletes are.

Title: Human Dragon

Equipment:
None needed

Space:
An open field or gym, free from obstacles

Teams:
Divide your team into 4 teams of 6-8 individuals. You can have odd numbers or vary the length of the "dragon" depending on the skill, size and ability of your athletes.

Set-Up:

  1. Each team designates the "head" person and the "tail " section of the Human Dragon
  2. All other team members fill in behind the head of the dragon by holding on to the person in front of them at the waist
  3. At this point, your four dragon teams should form one long line with all team members connected by holding onto each other's waist in a single-file, one-in-front-of-the-other line
The Challenge:
  1. The goal of the activity is to have the head of each dragon attempt to tag the tail of any other dragon team
  2. Only heads of the dragon can do the tagging as all other team members must remain connected (with two hands) to their teammates
  3. Players attempt to avoid having their team's tail be tagged and skillfully (did I mention, humorously?) attempt to shield their tail from other dragons on the prowl
Implementation:
  1. Each time a tag occurs, the tagging team receives one point and the tail of the team that was tagged becomes the new dragon head, therefore creating a new tail
  2. If one person is a tail for too long, switch the tail and periodic time intervals
  3. The game continues on for a specified time (as competitiveness and interest allows)
  4. If the any of the dragon people in the middle release their grip on the person in front of them, teams are asked to "self-report", count a point against themselves and switch the tail of the dragon. In other words, releasing your grip results in a loss of one point for your team
  5. Dragons should call out their score every time they gain or lose a point
Learning:

This game is great for communication, competition, honesty, cooperation and protection of teammates. By moving as a team to "protect" their tail, the team's success is more likely enhanced.

Good luck and have fun!

© Dr. Colleen Hacker

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