Teamwork is something every business strives for. Working together, high morale and amazing output are why an epic-functioning team is imperative. Research shows breaking a sweat together also boosts emotional well-being and social bonds—and that can lead to an uptick in productivity at work. That teamwork ethic on the court comes right back to their laptops. A little volleyball, kickball or flag football between co-workers can change everything. When colleagues at work become teammates on a field by playing together in a recreational league, they’re not just getting in a good workout for their physical health.
What’s more: Organizing a company sports team will make you a leader at your organization. You will also shine as a champion of the business, as doing so will be helping your company culture with improved morale and increased productivity.
So I reached out to Kristi Herold, founder and CEO of the Sport & Social Group, for advice on getting started. Her 8-figure business is dedicated to helping people participate in adult recreational sports leagues across North America at every single level. Kristi gave me five tips to breaking a sweat with your team.
1. Search For Get-Togethers In Your City
Search “adult sports leagues” to find what options exist in your area. Besides which sport is available, you’ll want to pay attention to a few other key factors when choosing which league is right for your co-workers. Be sure to consider how convenient competition locations are to your workplace. You’ll also want to note the start and finish dates of the league, as well as the cost for participation. Finally, take note of what’s included: Will there be prizes? Team shirts? Deals at a sponsor bar after games?
2. Survey Your Colleagues
Using some of the information you found in your internet search, create a simple online survey to find out who would be interested in being on a company team and what their expectations would be. Definitely include the following questions in your survey:
- What evening(s) are you free to play?
- What sports are of interest to you?
- What’s your skill level in the sports of interest?
- What are your objectives in playing on a company team? (ie. Highly competitive, win at all cost and/or just get out to play for fun and to be social, don’t care if we ever win a game)
3. Narrow Down The Options
The two biggest problems you’ll likely to run into are a disagreement about which sport to play or having too many people who want to participate. Neither require you to throw in the towel. Not everyone agreed to the same sport? Consider signing the team up for a mixed sports league where a different sport gets played each week so everyone has their chance to shine. Having tried a multitude of sports together in your first season, your team may then want to focus on playing their favorite in future seasons.
Another solution is to consider a sport where you do not require technical skill to get started at a recreational level. Anyone can get started playing recreational soccer or dodgeball as an example. If too many people sign up for one team, find some folks to volunteer as co-captains and get a few teams going across a variety of sports and skill levels.
4. Get Your Company To Foot (Most Of) The Bill
Ask your HR department and/or Health & Wellness committee to help subsidize the cost of the league. Most companies should be thrilled to help pay for a program that promotes healthy living, is a fun way for employees to connect outside of the office and can be nearly-free advertising for the business. After all, the company can provide jerseys with the business logo on it. Employees can also tag the company on social media posts around their competitions and shine a light on what a great place it is to work.
Even if the company does agree to cover costs, you should still have each employee joining the team to pay a small portion of the fee (10 or 20% of their individual portion) in order to show commitment. It’s easy to write your name on a team list if it is free, but if everyone chips in a little bit toward the cost, the commitment to showing up for the games each week will likely be higher.
5. Keep Playing!
George Bernard Shaw was famously quoted as saying, “We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” As Kristi and her Sport & Social Group team strive to get 1 million people playing across the continent, the words they live by—and hope you’ll embrace as well—are simply “Keep Playing!”