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Archive for the ‘Team Unity’ Category

Fire Up Tryouts with These Spirit Boosting Ideas

Posted by Stumps Spirit on July 5, 2013

You build the best teams with the best performers, and the best tryout performances come from the kids having fun and playing hard without self-consciousness. Help the process along by encouraging team spirit and minimizing jitters from Day One of tryout practice. Here are three ways to do it.

1. Warm welcome. A distinctive sports welcome banner or sign should catch participants’ eyes upon arrival and is especially appreciated if the sport or activity is one that does not normally capture a lot of popular attention. Increase the “mileage” with personal greetings as players arrive if at all possible.

For a large school or group where many of those trying out don’t yet know each other, you might consider providing adhesive name tags the first day.

Start right away to notice and verbally reinforce the best demonstrations of positive attitude, hustle, support for others, and the sense of humor that uplifts and never denigrates. You can also chat about behaviors outside of practice, particularly nutrition, sleep and others concerned with players taking care of themselves.

2. Ice breakers. Often, tryout participants arrive with their own teams. There’s nothing wrong about coming in with friends, but if you let them, they’ll tend to stay in their personal comfort zones even though it’s important for everybody to feel comfortable with everybody.

Break up cliques systematically by never allowing participants to form their own groups for warm-ups and other small group activities. Instead, have them count off and keep mixing up the groups frequently.

Counting off is also handy for corporate-style team-building exercises, which we recommend for large and/or disparate tryout groups. These activities are usually a little silly on purpose, because nothing is as cohesive as shared laughter. Consider these team-builders to open a practice, or lengthen break times a little to include them. We particularly like the subgroups to do list-making such as “Five Things We Have in Common” (no body parts or clothing!) or “Five Shared Favorite Things” and then present their lists to the rest.

3. Something unexpected. Pull out a surprise every once in a while for a shared pleasurable experience. These can be things or activities.

When it comes to the first category, rest assured that many ideas – even for personalized spirit products — are quite easy on the budget. For example, you could replace the labels on a case of 20-ounce bottles of water with customized labels for less than $12, personalize static (“window cling”) car decals for as little as 25 cents, or outfit all but the largest tryout groups in temporary spirit tattoos for well under $10.

Another way to go is to have activities in your repertoire that you can pull out during “time for something completely different” moments or reserve for the ends of practices. We particularly like stress-lowering exercises such as deep muscle relaxation, yoga relaxation poses and breathing exercises — all skills that are helpful to spirit and state of mind, with the bonus of being completely portable.

Have a tryout spirit boost you don’t see here? Please share in comments!

Posted in Cheerleading, Football Spirit, School Spirit Items, Team Supplies, Team Unity, Volleyball | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Simple Crowd Cheers You Can Lead

Posted by Stumps Spirit on October 25, 2012

Nothing gets the crowd at a game more pumped up and excited about the action than cheers, especially cheers that everyone knows, that can be performed almost instantly during any part of the game, and that are simple enough to get the most amount of people in the crowd involved. Here are five chants that are classics and have been used across the nation at many different events.

Here We Go (Team Name) Here We Go!

This is a cheer that can be used for any sport. It lets the team know that you believe in them and know they can win. The cheer can be performed regardless of whether the team is winning or losing. If they’re winning, it lets them know that they can finish the game with a win. If they’re losing, it will give them the confidence and inspiration to come back and win, because they know that their fans have their backs. A good idea is to hold up signs that you personalize yourself to give the players even more inspiration. Here is a video to teach you how to perform this cheer, since the rhythm is more complex than other cheers.

Defense!

Another cheer that can be used for any sport, it makes the team stand strong when playing defense so that they can come back quickly to offense. Make sure you’re heard by the team by yelling the cheer into a megaphone. Megaphones also let more of the crowd know which cheer is being performed so that more of the crowd can join in with the cheer, causing a stronger fan unity and allowing the players to hear their loyal fans and gain confidence through them. The rhythm for this cheer is four even beats, where the first two are used to say “Defense!” and the next two are where you clap or stomp. For clarity, here is a video that shows fans using the cheer at a Bulls game.

Airball!

This cheer is almost exclusively used at basketball games. For those who don’t know what an “airball” is, it is when a player shoots the ball and the ball doesn’t hit any part of the basket, whether it be the hoop, rim, or backboard. When this happens, the crowd, if rowdy enough, will almost immediately start chanting “Airball! Airball! Airball!…” to get inside the mind of the player that missed the shot (only if the player that missed the ball is on the opposing team). While chanting, the crowd makes a hacking motion with one arm. The rhythm is simply two even beats to say the word “airball.” Need some help getting the crowd to hear you starting the chant? Use a cheerphone for that. Also, while hacking, wear a spirit mitt to let the other team know that your team is better than theirs. To get an idea of how fans have used this chant in the past, here’s a video of IU students chanting “Airball.”

Ohhh… Brick!

Black Hand Clappers

This cheer is another basketball cheer, although it could be used for volleyball, as well. The cheer is used when a player is at the foul line shooting a foul shot. Usually a player will take a few seconds after receiving the ball from the referee to focus on the shot that he or she’s about to make. During this time, starting yelling “Ohhhhhh!” continuously until the player takes the shot. On the release, yell “Brick!” to try to mess up that player’s shot (only used when the opposing team is shooting). Make some noise while yelling with cow bells and hand clappers. To use this chant in volleyball, start yelling when the referee blows the whistle for the server to begin serving. Yell before the player hits the ball. When the player hits the ball, yell “Brick!” or “Serve!” to mess up the player’s serve.

Hack! Hack! Hack!

Bam Bams

The “Hack” cheer is mainly used at volleyball matches. The cheer is very similar to the previously mentioned “Airball” cheer used for basketball. When a player “hacks” a ball, this means that he or she goes to swing at a ball that was set to them, and he or she completely misses the ball or whiffs it. When this happens, the crowd yells “hack!” multiple times (as many times as the crowd decides). Like the “Airball” cheer, the crowd makes a hacking motion with one arm every time “hack” is yelled. This cheer lets the opposing team know that the error made by the player did not go unnoticed! Instead of making a hacking motion, some members of the crowd can bang bam bams together. Have the mascot join in to make the cheer much rowdier!

These cheers are designed to get the crowd involved in the action of the game. They are simple enough to learn almost instantly and are powerful enough to mess with the opposing team’s morale and, at the same time, boost your own team’s morale. Cheer on!

Posted in Basketball Spirit, Cheerleading, Football Spirit, Hockey Spirit, School Spirit Items, Soccer, Stumps Spirit, Team Supplies, Team Unity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Game Night Homecoming Theme Ideas

Posted by Stumps Spirit on September 27, 2012

Don’t let this Homecoming drag on into the night. Keep the guests active and entertained with a game night theme!

Size It Up

Instead of cluttering up the room with tables and chairs to put board games on, why not simply make the guests pawns in the game? Take classic board games and make them life-sized! Checkers, chess, and parcheesi are all classic board games and are easy to set up and learn. For some more complicated games, however, try life-sized monopoly or the game of life (for those guests who want some intellectual aspects to their larger-than-life games). Games like these keep the guests moving and having fun all night long.

Heave Ho!

Host a tug-of-war competition! Set-up is as easy as a rope and some mats. Have your guests face off against each other to claim eternal glory as the strongest team in the school. To have everyone get involved, build a tournament bracket of all the guests. This makes winning even more glorious!

Relay Some Fun

An event that has been repeated for years is the relay race. Relay races encourage cooperation and teamwork without sacrificing fun and entertainment. Some popular ideas include balancing an egg on a spoon that is in their mouths, having a blindfolded person be guided through an obstacle course by someone who isn’t blindfolded, and having an activity at a station and having the person complete the activity before moving on to another station. Encourage school unity with relay races that get guests to interact with friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike.

The Ball Is In Your Court

A simple yet fun game to play with your guests is a game called handball. Handball is very popular in Europe and is played in high schools across the United States. The reason for its popularity in high schools is its simplicity. All you need for set-up is a ball, two goals, and some space. A basketball court size is the ideal size needed to play this game. This game, although simple in  nature, requires a reasonable amount of effort and can keep the guests playing for a long time. Here are the rules for clarification (the more technical rules do not have to be followed in order to play the essence of the game):

Slice and Dice?

A fairly new form of physical activity that has emerged is a sport called Live Action Role Playing (or, for short, LARPing). This is where two (or more) people use padded weapons (swords & shields) to land blows on each other. If your guests have had their fill with all the other fun games at your event, this activity is where they can try something new and exciting.

Keep your guests active and entertained with creative and diverse games!

Posted in Decorating, Homecoming Court, Homecoming Dance, Homecoming Dance Planning, Homecoming Theme, Homecoming Week, School Spirit Items, Stumps Spirit, Team Unity | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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