Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Team Building

I really respect the coaches of A's hockey team. And then they just raised the bar by leading parents and players in a "Trust Falls" team building exercise worthy of any high priced leadership seminar.

First, we signed a waiver. Not just to cover liability, but to promise to be fully engaged, attentive and focused on the exercise. To be positive and encouraging. No negative remarks allowed. (Let that be our guide for the entire season!)

Then he gave clear instructions on how to fall and catch safely. We practiced short falls with partners. We traded partners, fell a little farther. We talked about it. Then he took us to the stage. And added a chair. And said "You're going to fall from here."

It wasn't that simple. So personal, so mind-blowing. So full of fear and tears for some, but all players and parents participated. Ultimately it wasn't about fear, it was about trust.

He taught them how to work together to make a safe place to fall - where you know you will be caught. He taught them how important it was to pay attention.

And this is what the team looked like at the end. Together, sharing their experience. No wonder they won their next game by a seven point margin.

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