Saturday, November 13, 2010

Team Building

As an adolescent physical education teacher, I would like to incorporate some team building activities within the class periods I have with my seventh graders in particular.  The overall goal of physical education classes is to enhance physical fitness and skills of the students.  Teamwork values seem to always be reserved for those who participate in sport; however, not all students choose to participate in sport (Glover & Midura, 1992).  Personally having strong feelings towards all children and adolescents building and improving on their teamwork values, I would like to take my seventh graders to the next level.  I want them to be able to build their teamwork values within class as well as through other extracurricular activities. 
                There are four basic approaches to team building.  They are goal setting, interpersonal relations, role clarifications, and problem solving (Klein, C., DiazGranados, D., Salas, E., Le, H., & Burke, C.S., 2009).  The reason for goal setting is to allow for individual and team goals to be developed as well as to be able to discuss a plan of action in order to meet the goals by a set time and date.  Interpersonal relations increase teamwork skills of each individual as well as help the team to develop trust with one another and belief in the team itself.  Role clarification is necessary in order to increase communication within the team and to allocate personal roles and duties given to each individual.  Finally, problem solving permits involvement of identifying task-related problems within the group as well as action planning and solutions (Klein et al., 2009).    
                Team building is meant for each student to feel a sense of accomplishment.  As a team, they will be given challenges to overcome together, and in doing so, cohesion will take place.  Each individual will be given their own specific role to play, differing for each challenge, for a sense of personal success and achievement throughout the semester.  This program will influence the students’ communication with each other, as well as being able to learn all of the different roles and tasks that need to be overcome with each challenge given to them. 
                By incorporating a team building program into physical education classes, the students will significantly gain higher perceptions of global self-worth, athletic competence, physical appearance, social acceptance, as well as gaining higher perceptions of scholastic competence and behavioral conduct (Ebbeck & Gibbons, 1998).  The students will be able to improve their team building skills.  From this, they will take what they have learned and apply it to future extracurricular activities aside from physical education classes. 
Carron, A.V., & Spink, K.S. (1993). Team building in an exercise setting. The Sport Psychologist, 7, pp. 8-18. Retrieved from
Ebbeck, V., & Gibbons, S.L. (1998). The effect of a team building program on self-conception of grade 6 and 7 physical education students. Journal of sport and Exercise Physiology, 20(3). Retrieved from https://secure.
Gill, D., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychological dynamics of sport and exercise. pp. 261-265. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Glover, D.R., & Midura, D.W. (1992). Team Building Through Physical Challenges [pp. 1-21]. (Google Books), Retrieved from
Klein, C., DiazGranados, D., Salas, E., Le, H., & Burke, C.S. (2009). Does team building work? Small Group Research, 40(2), pp. 181-222, Retrieved from doi: 10.1177/1046496408328821


  1. Great outlook! Mine was pretty similar to yours, I guess great minds think alike, haha. I liked how you went about setting up the students for success as well as making sure they get a variety of chances to participate in different roles within the group. Doing so requires them to come out of their comfort shell and experience other aspects of the challenges then what they might normally be involved with. I also agree that making sure that the students get a sense of accomplishment out of every challenge/situation is an important aspect to keep in mind. great work!

  2. A great write up Chelsea. I did the other option, but I like how you went about improving team building skills and individual skills as well. As Alex said, getting the kids out of their comfort level by having them participate in a new roll for each activity will keep them guessing, but allow them to try new things. This will help their ability to work together. Improving role clarification at a young age will help the child grow into an area of improved knowledge and skill development. The 4 step model you propose is a great idea and I believe the children would find a sense of accomplishment in your program. Something that will keep them coming back and prevent boredom.