Team building and a sense of pride for the group is a big part of the power of sports. This should be emphasized in children’s sports because this is the foundation for success and healthy competition.
The ability for the team to function like one unit is a way to take their goals to greater heights. Only when that foundation is achieved can a team take their goals to even greater heights. On ice drills are not the only foundation important to children, various off ice exercises should also be an important part of training. “One thing we always try and do is build that trust factor by doing some type of teamwork off the ice,” said Jon Greenwood, the director of hockey development at the Maritime Hockey Academy in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
“Whether it’s relay races or making the human pyramid, any type of thing working in a team environment is essential to building that trust and that foundation,” he said. “The business world is doing a lot more of that, too. You always hear of these retreats that companies conduct outside the office. It has gone from the sports world into the business world and is extremely important.”
P.K. O’Handley Black Hawks coach is keen on team-building exercises for early development.
“Team building is an ongoing thing,” O’Handley told NHL.com. “We immerse our guys in our community and that doesn’t sound like team-building, per se, but it is. It forces smaller groups to go out to people they don’t know and communicate about themselves, about our program. Those are great experiences for young guys that we mandate they do. It helps our team understand the sense of pride in what they do, day in and day out, for the city of Waterloo and the community here in the Cedar Valley and the Black Hawks.”
“Team building is an ongoing thing,” O’Handley told NHL.com. “We immerse our guys in our community and that doesn’t sound like team-building, per se, but it is.” — P.K. O’Handley, head coach and general manager of the Waterloo Black Hawks
“It’s good because you get to see guys in their comfort zone and out of their comfort zone, and generally it’s not the top hockey player who becomes the top paddler. You get to see different leaders step up as well. Who’s going to step up in this boat where no one knows what they’re doing? Who’s going to say, ‘Guys, let me call out the strokes’ and take charge of that boat. It was fun, but you also see the competitiveness really shine.”
Just as the NHL supports team building skills, make sure you encourage your young children to participate in as many off ice team building opportunities as possible.