Building Team Cohesion in High School Athletes Through Championship Week

At FAST training in Arizona, we offer a group-fitness training program to develop teambuilding and competition in high school athletes.

Team sports are revered in our culture today. Often, however, programs are only deemed successful after assessing their win-loss record. Practices for all athletic teams involve drills and strength training, but there’s something extremely important missing in many group-fitness training programs: teamwork. Teamwork can be the difference between a great season of wins or a fragmented team facing mounting losses. With that in mind, we formulated our program for high school athletes, Championship Week.

According to NCAA, about 6% of high school athletes will compete in college. With this in mind, we know many high school athletes will be spending less time on their sport and more time focusing on other activities — like their future careers — after high school. At FAST we work with local high schools and manage Championship Week, a group-fitness training program that promotes competition and team cohesion. The lessons that can be learned from this program will help prepare athletes for life in their sport and after their athletic career is over.

Often Championship Weeks are structured like a “hell week,” where everything is done to push the athletes further than they thought possible. We still demand the most out of our athletes, but we add teamwork and problem solving into our program to help the athletes grow their strategic skills and exercise their brain when their body is tired. This cognitive aspect helps athletes to not only go through the motions but focus on what task is being accomplished.

For example, during one recent Championship Week with high school basketball teams, we split the whole program up into teams of six for a daily team builder. We began one day with a “human knot” activity. In this activity, each team circled up and held right hands with someone across the circle from them. Then they held left hands with someone else in the circle. The competition was to see which team could untangle the knot the fastest. These team-building exercises, where everyone is working towards a common goal, encourage communication and coordination with each other.

We split up our competitions into rounds each day. After each round, we then ask each individual team questions about their teammates, encouraging them to connect with each other. For every competition we do during the week, players earn points for their team. At the end of the week, we have a Championship Week winner who is crowned.

We set up Championship Week as a group-fitness training program that builds team unity going into a season. After all, a crucial piece of the puzzle for winning championships and a foundation for a bright future career is being able to successfully work in a team. If you’re a high school athlete, a parent, or a coach, we’d love to talk to you about our Championship Week program. Contact us to learn more!

Nate Souza

MS, CSCS, SSN, USAW 1 | North Central Phoenix

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).