Team-building Activities: Ideal Complements to a Rock-climbing Program

Team-building Activities: Ideal Complements to a Rock-climbing Program

Rock climbing inherently helps to build teamwork, especially if climbers are on a top rope climbing wall and partnered with belayers. However, if your program has a Traverse Wall®, team-building needs to be consciously worked into the activities. There are many great climbing wall activities and games that focus on teamwork, cooperation and trust. Check out a past blog post that features our favorites. However, since not all Traverse Wall activities focus on teamwork, consider adding some “off-the-wall” team activities. These activities are beneficial, fun and the ideal complement to a climbing program.

With one small group on your Traverse Wall, have other small groups nearby working together on a cooperative task. Since a Traverse Wall typically cannot occupy a large group at one time, having other small groups doing a team-building activity or initiative task is a great way to keep all participants in your program actively engaged. You can also implement this in a station format and rotate participant from station to station after a set period of time.

After the activity, be sure to process the experience with participants to increase the development of teambuilding skills (see reflection questions below).

Here’s a fun activity that will help get you started:


A group works cooperatively to keep a beach ball from hitting the floor while also including all participants.

Equipment Needed:  Beach ball

Number of Participants:  5-10

Advanced Prep: Make sure participants know each other’s names. Use name tags, if needed.


Participants form a circle, with one person holding the beach ball at the start. That person will hit the ball into the air while calling out the name of another participant. That person needs to be the next person to hit the ball into the air, while calling out the name of another participant who will hit the ball into the air next. Play continues in this way with the object of the game being to keep the ball up for as long as possible AND including all participants at least once before repeating anyone.

Questions for Post-activity Reflection:

  • What made this activity challenging?
  • Without naming people, if the ball hit the floor, what caused it?
  • What contributed to your group’s success? What strategies were used?
  • How did you feel when your name was called?
  • Share what you did to contribute to the group’s success?
  • If you did this teambuilding activity again, what would you do differently?
  • What success strategies in this game could transfer to “real life?”

Variations (that eliminate naming participants):

  • Do the activity without speaking.
  • Time how long the group can keep the ball up.
  • Include a second beach ball and try to keep them both up!

Interested in more ideas? We offer a comprehensive line of Teambuilding Products that include “classic” team challenges, along with some innovative new challenges. We also offer an on-site in-service to help you add team building to your program offerings.

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