Team-building exercises have emerged as a popular way to boost morale, cooperation and camaraderie among groups of people, typically in a professional or business setting. Team-building exercises for men typically focus on working together and problem-solving through action. These activities require single materials to get men working toward common goals.
This icebreaker exercise works great for newly formed groups or those which have recently added several members. Have everyone stand in a circle. Starting with one ball, have a member of the group say the name of another man in the group before tossing him the ball. The man who received the ball then names another man in the group and tosses him the ball. The ball cannot be tossed to someone who has already touched it until everyone in the group has a chance to catch and toss. Once everyone's name has been called, add a second ball into the mix. Once the two balls have made it around, add a different sized ball or a completely different object to shake up the pattern.
This activity focuses on teamwork and resourcefulness to accomplish a goal. Designate two ends of a space approximately 15 feet apart. The sides can be marked with ropes or shoes or any other object to make them known. Give the group nine carpet squares or towels or mats or other such floor objects. Explain that the space between the two sides is lava and that the team needs to move from one side to the other and that the objects act as logs. They can't walk through or around the lava so they have to move across the logs. Placing a log in the lava begins it burning so it can't be taken back and used again, and one member must always remain in contact with it, either by hand or foot, or the log will float away. Once the team members are clear on the rules they can begin whenever they please.
For an exercise emphasizing communication and leadership, use a long length of rope (exact length varies by number of men in the group, but make sure it's long enough that they can all stand while holding it and keep half an arm's length between each other) and one blindfold for every man included. While wearing the blindfolds, have the team arrange itself in different shapes, circle, square, rectangle, etc, using the rope as a guide to make the shape. Once one shape is made, move onto another.
Jess Kroll has been writing since 2005. He has contributed to "Hawaii Independent," "Honolulu Weekly" and "News Drops," as well as numerous websites. His prose, poetry and essays have been published in numerous journals and literary magazines. Kroll holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing from the University of San Francisco.