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Effective Team Building for Football Teams

Horseback riding team bonding activity.

Working together towards a common goal

When Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar lander and declared “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Taking the first step onto the moon’s surface was the culmination of nearly a decade of work by thousands of talented scientists, engineers and astronauts and stands as a shining example of how dedicated teams can accomplish great things when they work together.

In the sports universe, American Football stands at the pinnacle of games that require effective teamwork. There’s no other sport where so many players have to know their assignment and execute it on every snap with precision and timing.

Coaching youth football is largely about teaching the fundamentals of running, blocking, and tackling. In this post we are going to discuss how to bring your young men together with team building exercises that build trust, coordination and camaraderie.

At its peak, the Apollo program employed 400,000 people and required the support of over 20,000 industrial firms and universities. The average NFL team has about 500 employees.”

Fun Team Building Activities for Football

Activity 1: Prime Time Celebration Skit

Ignite your team’s creativity and collaborative skills with elaborate skits about goal celebrations. All that’s required is an area big enough for the team to perform. Add props and costumes for more fun and spontaneity. Empower the team to take charge and encourage them to do as much as possible without adult intervention.

Gather the team to brainstorm game scenarios to celebrate.

Next, select a theme that ties all the game scenarios together, like a come-from-behind victory, go-ahead score or punt return for touchdown.

The team should assign roles for each player that fits the theme they have selected. Include anyone that fits the scenario from players and coaches to refs or fans.

Have the team create and practice all of the dialogue and choreographed movements they want to make. Gather any props or costumes and rehearse the skit for smooth delivery.

Showtime! Notice the smiles and laughs as the team perform, these are memories being made.

This team building activity promotes communication and cooperation by creating a fun and positive scenario where the team can work together in a memorable way outside of practice or game time.

Activity 2:The uncuttable knot

Hands raised in unity.

The uncuttable knot is a mind bending activity that will challenge your groups to communicate. You’ll need to divide your team into groups of at least 8 people. Try splitting the team into fun groupings such as ‘skill players & linemen’ or ‘offense & defense’.

step 1

Get into formation.
Start by having each group form a small circle, facing each other on the field.

step 2

Tie the knot.
Each player then reaches their right hand into the center and joins hands with the person across from them.

step 3

Twist the knot.
Now, the players should reach their left hand into the center and join hands with a different person, making the knot a twisted mess.

step 4

The Challenge.
Challenge the group to untangle the knot without cutting (releasing any hands) the rope.

step 5

Untangle the Knot.
Begin the untangling process. After giving the group some time to strategize and communicate, have them attempt to untangle the knot.

step 6

Once the groups untangle their knots, celebrate the accomplishment with wind-sprints. Just kidding, discuss what went well and what was difficult about the scenario. With a practice round out of the way, pit the groups against each other in a friendly contest to remind your team that teamwork is critical. Have the winners enjoy watching the losing team do wind-sprints.

This team building activity promotes communication and cooperation by creating a fun and positive scenario where the team can work together in a memorable way outside of practice or game time.

Activity 3: Hear the Call of Duty with Paintball

Soliders in formation in the style of Call of Duty

For our final activity, leave the practice field behind and take a road-trip to the local paintball park for an away game.

step 1

Select teams.
Once all players are geared up and ready for battle, divide them into 2 or more teams.

step 2

Game Mode Selection.
Discuss various game modes such as team deathmatch, capture the flag, and paint-bomb.

step 3

After the teams have decided on the game modes they want to play, encourage them to strategize with their teammates.

step 4

Remember to bring the teams together between matches so they can discuss and change strategies for each game. Paintball is intense, adrenaline fueled fun. Keep the games centered on fun and strategy.

step 5

Debrief then R&R.
After all the matches are done, bring all the teams together and have them discuss the outcomes of the games and talk about how their communication and cooperation made differences in the heat of the moment.

Paintball is a classic team building activity that can easily be enjoyed by any sports team, but can be especially beneficial for youth football because of the team bonding opportunity, team coordination and communication. Infusing a healthy sense of competition between teammates is a good way to build a strong team instead of a collection of talented individuals.

For more information about team building with paintball visit:

Football team enjoying food at a team building event.

Benefits of team building for youth football teams

Inspired coaches take opportunities to teach young men important life skills such as leadership, time management, discipline and planning. Winning coaches also build good relationships between players by teaching effective communication, strategy and trust - skills that can be utilized in the locker room, on the field and throughout life. Embrace the challenge and build a team that transcends the field!

James Haygood avatar
James Haygood
James is a new addition (2023) to the Urban War Zone family. His easy going nature, compassionate personality, and love of the outdoors makes him a great fit. Say hello to him when you see him at the park.