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Trainer’s tip: Team games


BASKETBALLLooking for a short, active team game to start a session rolling? See what other trainers have recommended and add your own to the list.

Kate Edwards asked on our Any Answers forum: I am looking for a short (5-10 minutes) team game (preferably that gets people up and moving). The purpose of the game is to start a session on team roles and I would like it to start a discussion regarding what roles people assume in a team and what skills teams need in order to function effectively.

Annabel Miller suggests this rope exercise:

I invested in a 20-metre bit of rope a while ago and I use it for lots of icebreakers and energisers. One that works well for teams is to ask them to form a pentagram using themselves and the rope.

They may not all be clear on the objective (what is a pentacle? - it is a five-pointed star whose lines cross at five points creating a pentagon at its centre). Often you have to help them be clear on what they are aiming to achieve. Sometimes I let them start, knowing that different people have different ideas in their heads. The clever ones draw a diagram so that they are all aiming at the same end result.
It is interesting then to see who takes the lead, who waits to be led, who gets frustrated, who switches off etc. They always get there in the end but I have had a group take 20 minutes! (Not great synergy there...)

Andrew Wood suggests some more exercises called Team Bus & Totem:

We have a good team-building exercise called 'Team Bus'. Basically, you ask the participants to draw a bus and identify which part of the bus they are and why (e.g. I'm the headlights because I light the way). It's really quite effective.
Another one to try is Team Totem, where you ask the team to make a totem pole of themselves and explain their roles etc.
You can find these and many other useful free training exercise and resources on the Trainer Bubble website at

Do you know of any more? If so, then please add them here!

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Team Games

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