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Team Building - Article 4

This is another activity for you to consider when designing your next team building session. In this simple but fun initiative, the following concepts can be emphasized and developed:
  • Collective effort
  • Competition between groups
  • Cooperation within groups
  • Speed of performance
This challenge is a great small group activity whose difficulty can be altered to achieve desired results. For example, groups can be prodded to "beat the other team(s)" or to "beat their own group's personal record," depending on (a) the desire to emphasize either intrinsically motivated standards of excellence or (b) an extrinsically-oriented focus on outcome and result. Decide what's best for your particular group at this particular point in your training cycle and alter the activity to meet those demands.

Title: The Hula Circle


  • One hula hoop for each team (if you can't find hula hoops, any building supply store will have plastic tubing that can be shaped into a circle and secured with duct tape)
  • A stopwatch

Divide your group into the number of teams you desire with 8-15 individuals per team.


Each team is asked to stand in a circle by clasping hands with the person on either side of them. That grip cannot be broken.

Place a hula-hoop on the forearm of the "Team Captain" and have him/her re-grasp the hands of his/her teammate to complete the hand-in-hand closed circle.

The Challenge:

On a "ready, set, go" command, teams begin to "pass" the hula-hoop around the circle without breaking the handgrips.

Players bend and twist their bodies through the hoop by climbing through the hoop, ultimately getting it over their head to the other side of their body.

The entire process repeats itself as the hoop travels from teammate to teammate around the circle as fast as possible. Keep in mind the handgrip can never be broken.

If the handgrip is broken the hula-hoop must start back at the beginning again.


How fast can you pass the hoop? Who finished first? Can you do it even faster?

Have players stand with their back toward the center circle and try it again.


There are so many lessons to be gleaned from this fun and exciting initiative. Players will discover that just because their team may be far in the lead at one point in the contest (or behind), a few small errors (or quick recoveries) on anyone's part can lead to disaster (or can bring them quickly back into the game). The point is that whether you are winning or losing at any given point in the contest, it is no guarantee of final outcome. Truly, anything is possible. Often in sport, teams get the lead and relax. That loss of focus and competitive fire can be costly.

Secondly, players also learn the importance of not only competing against someone else (as in beating the other team) but also learn the real value of competing against their previous best performance (as in "can we lower our team's best time?").

© Dr. Colleen Hacker

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