5 Team Building Activities For Youth Sports Teams

Team sports help children develop social and life skills that are important – from leadership and teamwork to empathy, patience and good sportsmanship. Learning these skills through sport and in a team environment is a great way to ensure children are supported in their personal development and have the tools and tactics they need to carry them through life.

The skills children learn through team sports don’t just apply on the field – they translate into other areas of their life too, from academics and family to relationships and career. Imparting valuable life and social skills on children is important from an early age, and team sports can help parents support their child’s personal development.

Team building games are fun but cannot be classified as passive activities. In this article, you will find 6 team building exercises, games, and tips to help you improve teamwork and collaboration for the youths!


1. Bowling

Bowling in preschool builds physical skills like eye-hand coordination and spatial awareness. This occurs when children use their eyes and hands together to locate the bowling pins and then roll and release the ball with enough force to hit the pins over. Also, they are learning where their bodies are in relation to the pins and ball so they can roll the ball in the right direction. These active turn taking games are also great for building self-regulation.

2. Blanket Ball

Sure to be a particular favorite for youth teams, blanket ball marries the best of ball sports with volleyball.

A team is given a blanket, which each player helps to spread out to form a sort of blanket trampoline. Throwing the ball into the middle of the blanket, teams must flip the ball over a volleyball net (you could improvise and use a pole or skipping rope as a makeshift bar that the ball must go over), which the opposing team must catch in their blanket.

With teamwork and communication an imperative part of success in this game, its an ideal team building exercise for youth teams.

3. Basketball

Want to enjoy a challenging and fun activity with your team? Basketball doesn’t have to be a high-intensity, full on five-on-five game nor does it have to be just casually shooting shots by yourself. It can be a game filled with fun, laughter, and friendly competition to enjoy with family or friends where all you need is a basketball and a basketball hoop. The youths can also add a twist to take a new, fun spin on the classic version.

H-O-R-S-E is always a fan-favorite, go-to shooting game. In this game, each player takes turn shooting from anywhere they choose, until someone makes a shot. When that happens, the following players will have to try to make their shot from the same spot. If they miss the shot the original player made, then they will get a letter. Once a player collects all letters to spell out the word (horse), they are out of the game. This repeats until all the players but one runs out of letters.

Switch it up! Before you start the game have each player take a shot at the same time and whoever makes a shot first gets to have the game named after them. For example, Jimmy made the shot first, therefore, the letters of the game will be J-I-M-M-Y instead of h-o-r-s-e.

4. Cheerleading

It never would have occurred to me to sign up my six year old daughter in cheerleading.

When I was growing up, there were no cheerleading gyms for kids. Cheerleading seemed to be reserved for girls in high school and even then it was only a team designed to cheer on the sidelines at the boys’ rugby games.

But in recent years, the popularity of all-star cheerleading has exploded! (All-star squads are not associated with a school or sports team. Instead of cheering for a team, they work to develop routines to compete at cheerleading competitions.)

Cheer leading builds self esteem and performance skills! I bet you don’t even need to close your eyes to imagine how incredible it would feel to tumble across a gym floor, a blur of flexibility and power, showing off moves most people will never get the chance to learn!

5. Fencing

Fencing is quickly becoming a popular sport for parents to choose for their children for a number of reasons. It’s beneficial for both the brain and body, as fencing is one of the only sports that requires a mental skill that matches the physical skill that’s required.

The other major point is that fencing is a sport that nearly anyone can participate in. Whether you are big or small, young or not-so-young, female or male, or even in many cases if you don’t have much of a “natural” athletic ability. For parents looking for a sport that their child can play for the rest of their lives, fencing is it. For parents who are looking for a sport that can possibly help their kids get a scholarship for college, fencing is it too. For parents looking for a sport that will teach their kids profound lessons that will cross over into their academic and professional lives, fencing is definitely the way to go.

Why Team Building Matters

Bringing you team closer together allows them to invest in a shared outcome when they go out on the pitch as a team. Plus, added social skills children will learn at such an important age will stay with them into adulthood.

Have you got examples of team building activities that have gone particularly well? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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