Leadership Inspirations Activities

Beach Ball Pass

Don’t let the ball touch the ground

Duration

10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Inflatable beach ball(s)

 

SUMMARY

 
In this activity, participants must hit the ball the correct number of times without letting it touch the ground. This deceivingly simple activity challenges groups to strategize, communicate effectively, and work through conflict.

 

SET UP

  • You will need a large, open playing space like a gym or field. 
  • Make sure to have one inflatable beach ball per 10-15 people in your group.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • If you are playing with a large group, break them up into smaller teams of 10-15 people per group. 
  • Have teams start by standing in a circle together.
  • Give each team an inflatable beach ball and tell them that their goal is to hit the ball twice as many times as there are people in their group. 
    • If there are 10 people, they need to hit the ball 20 times. 
  • The ball must remain airborne and they cannot let the ball touch the ground. If the ball touches the ground they must start over.
  • No one may hit the ball twice in a row.
  • The ball cannot be volleyed back and forth between two participants.
  • Everyone must hit the ball at least once before anyone can hit it a second time.

VARIATIONS

  • If you have been playing in smaller groups, combine into one larger group and complete the same challenge! 
  • For another round, you can challenge groups to hit the ball an equal number of times as there are team members.
  • Try giving teams more than one ball at a time! 
  • Check out Zen Counting for an alternative that does not require any materials. 

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Alignment

  • Are we the only ones that define our purpose? What or who influences our purpose?
  • How do we communicate our purpose to new members or people outside of our group?
  • Why is it important that we all understand the purpose of our group/activity/etc.?

Group Dynamics

  • What are the traits that make someone successful on this team? What are the traits that make someone unsuccessful on this team?
  • What motivates our group?
  • How does our group dynamic affect the way we get work done? 

Inclusion & Involvement

  • What does it mean to be inclusive or exclusive?
  • What did we do as a group that was inclusive? That was exclusive/not inclusive?
  • Why is inclusion and involvement important for our group?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?