Sometimes, the outcome of a game or match simply comes down to which team has more talent and skill. Often, however, the team with better chemistry and cohesiveness ends up victorious.

Because of this, it’s important to do more than just practice from a physical standpoint. Team-bonding activities can matter just as much.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or amateur athlete – if teammates don’t trust and believe in each other, the common belief is that accomplishing goals, achieving greatness or even just becoming a successful team is much more difficult.

As someone who’s played and coached at all levels – high school, collegiately and professionally (WNBA, NBA, BIG3) – I strongly agree.

Successful teams

Successful teams share several traits – three that I’ve seen consistently are commitment, trust and communication.

Successful teams also have a clear vision. To help build this vision, coaches should take an inventory of where their team is today, and ask the following questions:

  • What is our purpose?
  • What do we stand for?
  • What are our strategies and focus areas?
  • What is working?
  • What is not working?
  • What are our goals?
  • Where do we want to go?

To no surprise, I’ve consistently seen that it becomes much easier to obtain those vital traits, ask those questions, and build a vision when your team has a tight bond and strong chemistry.

TGCA Women’s Coaches Survey

In an effort to learn more about the growing world of women’s athletics and bring more attention to female athletes and coaches, BSN SPORTS and the Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) surveyed nearly 500 coaches of female sports teams on a variety of topics. 

One of the questions asked coaches to share their favorite team-bonding activities, and it yielded the following results:

1. Team meals – 79%

Whether it’s ordering a few pies from the local pizza joint or getting some team parents together to cook up some pasta or fire up the grills for a barbecue, the top vote getter was team meals.

There’s a reason millions of families across the world do this almost nightly – few things in life are more intimate than breaking bread with one another.

2. Practice/workouts – 68%

No need to overthink or overdo things – sometimes the everyday practice or summer workout is the best way to help your team bond.

If things are feeling monotonous, try mixing in something fun or out of the ordinary to spice things up, whether it’s a bet that potentially involves the coach joining in on conditioning, or an unusual drill that adds some unexpected entertainment to practice.

3. Community service – 52%

One of the best ways to build a sense of community with your team is to give back to the local community together.

Need some ideas? Your players could do trash pickup at local art fair, help cook at a nearby pasta feed or soup kitchen for people in need, or join a holiday service event.

4. Holiday gift exchanges – 35%

Keeping the holiday theme in mind, try setting up a white elephant gift exchange, a gingerbread house contest, or something else festive. Bringing the team together during holiday seasons can be especially memorable and enjoyable for all involved.

More From Nancy Lieberman: 6 Ways to Help Female Athletes Build Mental Toughness

Additional results and tips

Here are some additional results that rounded out the Top 10, as voted on by coaches:

  • Bowling
  • Road trips or overnight trips
  • Movies
  • Hikes
  • Escape rooms/courses
  • Scavenger hunts


At BSN SPORTS, we realized there was a clear need to elevate women’s sports at all levels – from providing more support to coaches of female athletes, to connecting women working in the sports industry. Because of this, we’ve made it a priority to uplift and empower women in sports through our key partnerships, programs and content.

Learn more about the other BSN SPORTS women’s initiatives here.

More From Nancy Lieberman: 4 Tips For Coaching Female Athletes