These ideas build team harmony. reduce tension and foster a positive atmosphere.
• Mark off significant progress when certain goals are met with "mini-celebrations". For example, throw a pizza party when the team increases assist to turnover margin for a certain amount of games in a row. Don't necessarily make the celebration tied to number of victories.
• Post a blank sheet of paper with a headings such as "Favorite, Movie, or Musical Performer" and "One unique aspect about myself" in the locker room and let players fill out the list. They'll learn more about one another and have fun in the process. This generates a relaxed atmosphere.
• Surprise players sporadically with a special treat - and make sure they don't expect it. Example: Cut practice short or make running drills optional.
• Use a dart board to offer bonuses. Example: If a player earns the privilege (by going the extra mile in practice or making a big play in a game) give them a throw at the dart board. On the board have different "prizes" that can be distributed.