Soccer Team-Building Activities
Soccer is a team sport and requires all players to work together to achieve their goals. If players are too competitive with each other or not connected on that essential level, they may not rise to their full potential. Team-building exercises facilitate bonding among players on and off the field. Just as you'd practice agility, speed and control, use activities to help a team learn how to work and grow together.
The Balloon Game
Part of being a successful team is recognizing each individual's strengths and weaknesses. The balloon game can be a successful off-field tactic to help each member realize what she can bring to the table. To perform this activity, have each player write one strength and one weakness on a slip of paper. Slip each piece of paper into a balloon and blow it up. Separate a chalkboard into two sections, and as the players pop the balloons, list the strengths on one side and the weaknesses on the other. Pair teammates so that those with a particular strength can help those who feel they have a weakness. For example, if one player feels like her agility needs work, pair her with a teammate who can show her pointers.
The Numbers Game
The numbers game is a simple exercise that can help players practice listening, quick decision making and working together. Have each of the players dribble around the field, then call out a number between one and five depending on the size of your team. The players must stop what they are doing and get into groups of that given number. Those who fail to get into a group are sent to the sidelines as in musical chairs.
The Great Race
A race might seem competitive but when performed in groups, it can help players learn how to work together and support their teammates. This type of activity can be performed on a rope course, but if you don't have access to a rope course, you can create your own course on the field. Divide the team into groups and create certain tasks that must be completed before players can move to the next phase and toward the finish line. Steps could include having a player dribble a ball on his knees five times before passing it to the next teammate or setting up cones and requiring players to dribble around them before they can advance.
Parties and Dinners
To seamlessly work together on the field, players must bond off of the field. Having a weekly, healthy dinner the day before a game is a great way to bring your team together for something that is purely fun and noncompetitive. Hosting pizza parties after certain wins is also a great way to show a team that if its members work hard together, they can win together.
Mariel Loveland is a small business owner with an editorial background in lifestyle and technology. Her work has been featured in Alternative Press, Vice and HelloGiggles. When Mariel's not writing, she can be found swishing her hair on stage with her punk band and managing the ins-and-outs of self-employment.