How to Execute a Hail Mary

Hail Mary pass is a very long pass in American football, made in desperation with only a small chance of success.

As facilitators, we often see managers use a team building event as a Hail Mary attempt. Communication and cooperation has been neglected for so long, and in desperation, the team leader attempts to fix the problem by planning a day on the ropes course or other exciting outing. Unfortunately, this type of one-off event usually doesn’t have the hoped-for results.

Twice during this current football season, The Green Bay Packers had fans holding their breaths awaiting the completion of a Hail Mary throw by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Both ended with history making successful catches.

While the passes were necessitated by a losing score, the plays themselves were less desperate, and more strategic then they appeared to viewers outside the playing field.

According to receiver Richard Rodgers (TE), the team had actually been working on the Hail Mary before the game, so it wasn’t exactly complete chaos when Aaron Rodgers threw the ball in the air. “We were practicing it a little bit before the game,” Rodgers said. “He was throwing them really high in the air, so when I saw it in the air I knew I had a chance to catch it.”

Like the Packers, all teams will face situations when they are struggling, falling behind or feeling defeated. These stressful times will take a toll on team work and camaraderie. A Hail Mary may feel like the only option. But a full day ropes course or adventure challenge has a much greater chance of achieving results if the team incorporates team building into daily operations.

That exciting team building outing is going to be much more effective with teams who have been regularly promoting team building in the team’s normal operations. E-mail to sign up for our monthly newsletter, full of free tips and activities you can use to practice building a mindset of team building in preparation for your ropes course or adventure challenge!

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