Festive Training Ideas For the Holiday Season; How About a White Elephant Set


Festive Training Ideas For the Holiday Season; How About a White Elephant Set

Winter training can present some of the toughest workouts of the year, with more time spent in the pool because of school breaks. However, that doesn’t mean practices can’t get creative with the season. Adding in dynamic workouts and team events can keep the festive spirit up, and boost team culture into joining the holiday spirit. Here are a few ideas to bring the team together during winter break! 

1. White Elephant Swim Sets

This is a fun way of letting athletes choose their workouts. After putting different workouts in a hat, groups of athletes choose one or steal a workout from another group. The rules of the game can change on how many times a set is allowed to be stolen before the set is locked. I think the game is most fun when there isn’t much of a difference in difficulty between the sets, but they may have different lengths. This can be a lot of fun in creating excitement and a lively atmosphere for the athletes. 

2. After Practice Potlucks

Swimmers are renowned for their ravenous appetites. After the hardest practices of the year, pretty much everyone on the team could use some serious food. Scheduling different days for groups of people to bring in food for a team meal can bring a lot of holiday cheer, especially if some seasonal foods are brought in. 

3. Secret Santa 

Drawing names and giving a small gift can be a good way for teammates who aren’t necessarily close on the team to show appreciation for one another. Even putting a limit on spending so that they aren’t above $5 can create a fun experience for the team opening gifts together. 

4. Themed Practices 

Having different practice themes can mean that the team can go as hard as they want. Whether it’s dressing up as your favorite holiday snack to practice, creating sets based on the 12 Days of Christmas song, to decorating the pool deck, there are a lot of opportunities to create some fun vibes among the athletes. They could even suggest different themes as well as nominate a teammate for the most spirit. 

5. Gingerbread Decorating Parties 

Different from a potluck, these parties are ones that athletes of all ages can participate in. They are a good way to show some creativity, while also creating bonding between members of the entire team. 

6. “Snowball” Fight 

A fun activity to do indoors or outdoors! For those of us who do not get snow, some soft balls or even water balloons as replacements would work. For everyone who does get snow, playing in the snow can be a fun “dry”land activity. The activity could be done dodgeball style if the classic chaos seems too much. This is a great activity to end a hard week of training with some fun. 

7. Movie Night 

A classic, because it never gets old. Watching beloved holiday classic movies is a fun way to bring the team and the athletes’ families together. The team can even vote on the movie that they want to watch together. 

8. Group Volunteering 

It is the season of giving after all! There are so many local organizations that need extra volunteering with the holidays. Having the team give back to the community is one way that they can show appreciation, and to build teamwork by working together. Make sure to call ahead if you have a big group coming in! 

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