Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hazing vs. Team Building Exercises

I'm not too sure if hazing is still a big deal in high school or college level sports, I certainly do not see much of it anymore at all at the college level, but I know it was a huge concern no more than 5 years ago in most areas of the country so I will share my thoughts here.

First of all, from a personal standpoint, I was always a player that did not believe freshman were obligated to do anything that any other team members did not have to do. My High School hockey team had a long tradition of cutting the hair of any Freshman that made the Varsity team (However, this was not like a buzz haircut, the returning team members were allowed to cut anything they wanted into your head) and the player had to wear this hairdo for one whole school day so everyone knew they were on the hockey team. Of course I had to go through this process and actually did not mind this tradition, but I know a lot of kids my age were being succumbed to much worse around the country at that time, which is unfortunate.

There were, however, other duties Freshman or rookies were expected to do on other teams that I did not feel as warm about. As little as picking up practice fields or filling water bottles, I just always felt like this should be the responsibility of the whole team, not just the Freshmen. I would try and voice my opinion, but was always out voted for silly reasons like "tradition" or "respect".

As a coach, I don't think I could ever believe in this sort of behavior as a team is a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal.

Singling individuals or groups of people out by hazing them is not found in my definition of a team and therefore I do not think it has any place within a team structure. In contrast, I do believe highly in team building exercises and team cohesion. I think there are plenty of ways for a team to become closer through these types of exercises that get everyone involved and may lighten the mood. If a coach is creative, many different goals can be achieved through team building exercises including trust, confidence, teamwork, unity, etc. For a list of some team building exercises visit: http://www.usscouts.org/usscouts/games/game_t.asp

Thank you for reading today and see you tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. There are many different types of team building activities. It can be a sport or just an indoor game or activity.

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