8 Positive Team-Building Activities in Lieu of Hazing in Collegiate Programs


8 Positive Team-Building Activities to Replace Hazing in Collegiate Programs

A positive team environment is essential to team success, but how do teams create such a great culture? In light of recent hazing allegations in collegiate swimming, positive team-building has become even more crucial. Collegiate programs can build an environment that cultivates unity, positivity, excitement and the value of hard work by considering some of the creative team-building activities listed below, rather than activities that make athletes feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or humiliated.

Team Camping Retreat

A camping retreat is a great way for teams to establish their goals and expectations of each other before diving into the new season. This activity not only allows teams to set their goals and ideals, but it is also a time for the team to get off campus and spend some time getting to know each other outside of the pool.

Bracelet Making

Making team bracelets is a way to bring athletes together and showcase team spirit. Every time you look down at your wrist, the bracelet that you created with your teammates will serve as a reminder of the goals and expectations you have for the season, as well as your purpose and role on the team.

Campus Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt around campus is a fun way to welcome new teammates as well as become more comfortable navigating a new home. Dividing the team up into multiple groups not only creates some friendly competition among the team, but it also allows people to work together in a smaller group setting where everybody has a role to play.

Athletes Supporting Athletes

What screams team spirit like standing tall and cheering loud for your other fellow student-athletes? A great way for teams to come together and create team camaraderie is by attending other sporting events around campus.

Canoeing Trip

Orchestrating a team canoeing trip is a fun way to close out the summer and start off the school year strong. This is a cool way for teams to come together and do something out of their element. Another way to make a trip like this even better is by having teammates from different classes share a canoe together so that swimmers and divers can get to know others outside their own class.

Big Sister/Brother; Little Sister/Brother

The big sister/little sister and big brother/little brother pairings are vital to team bonding between underclassmen and upperclassmen. This is a way for underclassmen to immediately have a go-to teammate to help answer any questions or navigate through any troubles. Upperclassmen should check in with their little sisters/brothers, as well as spend some time together getting to know one another. This process not only allows for underclassmen to feel comfortable and welcome in a new environment, but it also creates deeper friendships with your teammates who are not the same age as you.

Holiday Team Activities

A great way to take your mind off competing during the holiday season is by having some fun together as a team. In the fall, Halloween relays are a fun way for swimmers and divers to split up into relay teams and come up with a costume idea. Each relay will then compete together in their costumes and cheer on their teammates for the win! This not only creates an entertaining team environment, but it also brings the team to do something together. Pumpkin carving or attending a haunted maze are some other fun ideas that can be done outside of the pool as a team during the fall season. During the winter season when athletes are exhausted from the challenging practices, ornament making is a fun way for teams to take their minds off swimming and diving too. If you live in a snowy area, sled riding around campus is an enjoyable way for the team to get together too.

Team Dinners

An easy way for teams to get together and hang out is by having team dinners. Whether it’s a potluck dinner, eating together at the dining hall, or going out to a restaurant, you are bound to sit with some new faces each time the team has a meal together which allows everybody to get to know different people.

These eight ideas are only a few of the several team-building activities that teams can do together to create a close-knit and positive team culture. I hope that these ideas spark interest among teams so that a positive team environment can be built into every collegiate swimming and diving program.

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