Bonding is a fundamental part of being on any sports team, or even school or work group! It breaks down personal insecurities and it promotes creative collaboration once you get to know the people that you’re working with better. Without team bonding, you will have a squad that won’t trust each other enough to perform a stunt accurately. You might also have a lot of unnecessary team drama on your hands. If you’re a coach trying to generate togetherness after tryouts, there are many activities that engage a new team to interact more. And team bonding isn’t only for new seasons–it’s something that should be encouraged all year round! So, whether you’re initiating team-bonding events for the first or for the hundredth time, there are some places more well suited than others to host them at. Take these three places into consideration first for your next team outing:

1. At the park.
Team-bonding activities are generally both of physical and mental capacities, meaning that you need enough space to have your cheerleaders run around. You can play a friendly game of capture the flag, or do the Knot Game–where all your cheerleaders intertwine with each other while holding hands, ending with a big tangled knot to work their way out of. Whatever activities you may land on, a day outdoors would be a nice contrast to an inside practice space which is probably what your cheerleaders have grown accustomed to. Let the sunshine brighten their moods and make your team-bonding events even more substantial.

2. At camp.
This is probably obvious, because camp is by far the social highlight of your cheerleaders’ season: they’re outdoors, away on retreat, and alongside their cheer BFFs! However, the bus ride there is a long one, and any camp that lasts longer than one day has evening downtime. Use this time to your advantage! Have some team-bonding ideas up your sleeve for when these moments arise, and be ready for spur-of-the-moment fun! If everyone isn’t getting along better and more acquainted with each other by the bus ride home, then no one is getting off the bus without completing some last-minute bonding exercises!

3. At school.
Now, you might be thinking that you don’t want to get in the way of your cheerleaders’ studies, and that’s absolutely right–you shouldn’t. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done! Kill two birds with one stone by pairing a team fundraiser with a team-bonding activity, such as having your cheerleaders walk around during school hours to collect money or pledges for a cheer campaign between students. Maybe sell carnations, raffle off items, or hold a contest that would peak student interest, all the while having your cheerleaders coordinate, initiate, and execute said fundraiser. The fact that you’re stepping back to give them the liberty to do the promotion on their own installs confidence in each other, and consequently, a stronger team bond.

What places have worked the best for your team events? Are there other places that you think work well that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!