Today is Opening Day in Major League Baseball — a reason for many fans to do the happy dance as they celebrate the return of their beloved pastime.
But the fans aren’t the only ones who are dancing. A tradition has evolved in Boston whereby the outfielders do dances of their own after a victory. The dancing has received much more attention than the outfielders originally anticipated, but now has become an established part of the game experience. “Win, Dance, Repeat” has been the basis of commercials, competitions, videos and even dance moves suggested by fans.
More importantly, the dancing celebration serves as a great team building exercise for the players and an on-boarding ritual in spring training for the newest members of the roster.
You couldn’t mandate that MLB players add dancing skills to their responsibilities; that just evolved organically. But it happened in part because the culture was ripe for fun and then the organization fostered it through social media.
How can you take a lesson from Boston’s playbook to encourage bonding and camaraderie with your “players”? Is there a small ritual that you can help cultivate into a tradition? Can you give permission for silliness to occur — or model it yourself? There’s more to playing ball than what happens during the game.