When I set out to write about corporate tennis as a team building event, I must admit I had some doubts. My research suggests that there are many outlets that claim to use tennis in a team building manner and this is no doubt correct. However, it presupposes that all members of your team enjoy and are capable of participation in sporting activities.The reality is, that is not likely to be the case. The result will be either that participation is voluntary – which can actually have the opposite effect by separating the team into 2 polar groups, the willing and able, and the unable or uninterested. Even worse would be forcing
participation where some of the team members are uncomfortable or incapable of participating in any sporting event not just tennis.
If organising corporate tennis as a team building event, it might be wise to consider holding it outside of working hours with participation being voluntary. This would remove much of the us and them stigma and ensure that all participants were keen to attend. The downside again though is that there will be some members won’t attend and then any team building will be incomplete as it is not inclusive of the entire team.
One alternative is to organise an outing to a tennis tournament. Any sort of social activity can be a fun experience for a group and attending a sporting event is no different. These types of events can promote team unity and help team members learn about each other as they interact socially. But they don’t really meet the standard of what team building is about.
There are a number of excellent team building activities that use tennis balls as their focus. “Tennis Ball Madness” is an excellent example of a fun activity that encourages teamwork and problem solving to efficiently achieve the goal – which is basically to wind up with all the tennis balls in your “hula hoop”. It can be played with any number of people divided into equal groups and actually have a “win win” outcome as initially the teams will be competing against each other, but in this scenario it is almost impossible for everyone to win. There is a solution where all the teams can win at the same time but it requires a degree of problem solving and cooperation between the teams. Check this one out, it looks like a great team building activity.
Tennis Ball Exercise
Another tennis ball exercise is known as “The Tennis Ball Exercise”. In this activity, a small team must transfer some tennis balls from start to finish between all members of the team.. Have them start initially around a conference room or similar. Time their results, and then ask the to collaboratively figure out how to reduce that time. Time it again – and see if they can do even better the third time. This encourages the group to work together to solve a problem of how to improve “workflow”. There are many variations that can be applied to this activity.
There are a number of other excellent tennis ball games that require no special skill or equipment which can be enjoyed by everyone on your team whilst teaching them to work together, problem solve and improve processes.
There most certainly is a place for Corporate Tennis within an organisation, but consider carefully the capabilities and interests of all members of your team before planning any team building activity.
If you are interested in finding out more about what we think of corporate tennis, then contact our friendly team today!