The members of a cheer squad rely on one another during games and competitions. Communication difficulties, conflicts and a sense of competition among members can disrupt team unity. Team-building activities are one way to avoid or resolve the potential roadblocks to working together toward a shared goal as a cheer squad.
Team building activities give the cheerleaders a chance to learn more about themselves and one another. Breaking down potential barriers through these activities might help improve communication and create a more cohesive team, according to Oak Harbor Cheer. This enables the cheerleaders to perform better because they work better together.
The type of team building activity you use with the cheerleaders depends on the age and the dynamics of the group. Team building activities such as games work well during practice time. Social activities outside of practice give the cheerleaders the opportunity to spend time together in a less structured format, according to the Varsity website. Fundraising or volunteering activities are another type of team building that brings the cheerleaders together for a purpose. Leadership workshops run by another group or company are another type of team building activity that might work with your cheerleaders.
Games are a way to build team unity during practice. A trust walk builds relationships between the cheerleaders. Scatter pompoms or other objects around the area. The cheerleaders work with a partner, with one person blindfolded and the other being the caller. The caller gives her partner verbal directions to dodge all of the objects on the floor. The line-up game requires the cheerleaders to line up based on a set of criteria. For example, they might line up by height, day of birth, age or alphabetically. For more of a challenge, don't allow them to talk as they line up. Divide the squad into two teams to turn the game into a friendly competition.
An activity that focuses on positive aspects of the team or life in general creates a more positive environment for the cheerleaders. The Varsity website suggests starting each practice by going around the circle so each cheerleader has the opportunity to share something positive with her teammates. Choose a local charity and organize a volunteer day for the cheerleaders. A getting-to-know-you party outside of cheerleading practice might also ease tensions among cheerleaders.
Specific problems in the relationships between the cheerleaders plays a role in the type of team building activities you do with the group. Consider the areas the group needs the most work with, such as communication, trust or respect. Incorporate those aspects into the team building activities when possible. Doing team building activities at least once a week helps unify the cheerleading squad, according to the Varsity website. The available resources also affect the activities. Consider the materials and funding available for more elaborate team building activities.