A good, fun team warm-up can get a bootcamp flowing right from the get-go. Here are four new ones (well new to me anyway) that are guaranteed to prime bootcampers for an bloomin’ brilliant session. Games like these are also excellent at the end of a class, helping to promote an awesome end of bootcamp feeling and encouraging retention.
1. OVER AND UNDER RACES
What you’ll need:
- Two markers
- Two or more football sized balls, basically one for each team of 4-8 people
Position your markers 40-50 big paces apart, one for the start of the race the other for the finish. Split the group into teams and ask them to line up next to each other at the start marker facing away from the finish marker. Give the first person in each team line (the person furthest from the finish cone) a football.
On “GO” they must pass the ball behind them to the next person then run back to join the back of the line ready to be receive the ball again. Each person must pass the ball back differently to the way they received it, either overhead or passing it between their legs. Teams will work their way towards the finish cone. The first team to reach and tap the finish marker with their ball wins.
- The first player passes the ball behind them over their head behind to the second player then runs to the back of the line.
- The second player passes the ball behind them between their legs to the third player then runs to the back.
- The third player passes the ball over their head then runs back… and so on…
2. TEAM CHAIN ASSAULT COURSE
What you’ll need:
- 10-15 markers
- Two teams of 3 people or more
- A willingness to compete despite looking ridiculous
First plan a 200 metre square route for the race. Try and include some obstacles along the course, for example halfway along the route you could mark out an agility area by placing markers in a zigzag formation, or you could add some hurdles. Then split your group into two evenly matched teams and get them to line up next to each other at the start marker.
On “GO” teams must form a long chain by holding hands and race the course without breaking the line. Sounds relatively simple, however here’s the catch: team mates must form a chain by passing one hand back through their legs to hold the hand of the person behind them, the other hand of course will be grasping hold of the team mate in front. The person at the very front will have one hand free, as will the person at the very back.
Teams must navigate the assault course in the chain. Remember players must remain joined all the way through the course and must stop and rejoin if they break up.
3. DUCK DUCK GOOSE (catcher edition)
What you’ll need:
- As many markers as there are bootcampers
First find a volunteer from your campers, they’ll be playing first (I usually do this). Now get all campers, bar the volunteer, to form a tight circle facing in and then take five or more giant paces back to get a reasonably large circle. Finally instruct all campers in the circle to turn around and place their cones in front of them.
The game starts very much in the same way of a standard Duck Duck Goose game, with one person running around the outside of the circle whilst those making up the circle jog on the spot. As the runner passes each person they can tap those in the circle on the shoulder and shout either ‘duck’, at which point they they perform a squat (they can do this to every single person if they wish), or ‘goose’ at which point the person tagged must leave the circle and try and catch the runner by running the same way around the circle, never the other way. When/if the runner is caught by the catcher, they must head to the centre of the circle and perform 5-10 penalty burpees before rejoining the circle. The catcher then becomes the runner and continues the game as above.
However here’s the catch, if the catcher is unable to catch the runner after one rotation they get to tag someone else from the circle to help them. If both catchers are unable to catch the runner after five rotations, or if any of the catchers are lapped by the runner then they must both head to the centre of the circle to perform the penalty burpees.
4. IN OUT, SIDE TO SIDE
The awesome Leon Melcinenko gave me the heads up to this very simple, but particularly awesome warm-up game. This one always goes down a treat every time.
First get your bootcampers to form a circle holding hands. Now instruct everyone to keep the circle unbroken as you give them four key movement commands, 1) to jump in, 2) to jump out, 3) to jump left and 4) to jump right. Then start shouting commands, starting slowly but then getting faster and faster. Be sure to try and test the limits of your circle by jumping them all the way out or all the way in.
Now make it a little more tricky by instructing campers to do the exact opposite of every movement command. For example, shouting “jump out” means all campers must actually jump in, “jump left” means campers jump right, etc. Test your campers reactions to the limit by starting slowly then speeding the commands up.