Chances are, you’ve suffered through some truly snore-inducing corporate team-building ideas. Whether it’s the oddly popular “trust fall”, where you put your life (or at least your back health) in someone else’s hands as you fall backwards, the “truth train”, where everyone has to reveal some truths about themselves, or a variety of unexciting games that would fit in better at a child’s birthday party, there are a lot of bad team-building exercises out there.

There is, however, one team-building exercise that is fun, as well as being constructive, and that’s axe throwing. The reason that axe throwing is great for corporate team building is threefold: it promotes competition; it requires people to learn a skill together; and it allows people to vent their frustrations. It does all this while being extremely fun. So, right off the top, if you’re a business here in Hamilton, take note: if you want to engage your employees or colleagues in a fun, constructive way, take them for some axe throwing.

To the first point, in the threefold reason above, axe throwing is a great way to promote a beneficial atmosphere of competition. This isn’t negative competition, as nothing is left to brood underneath the surface – this is plainly open, fun competition that pushes everyone to try their personal best. Since the playing field is level (unless, of course, you have a team member who’s thrown axes before) everyone starts with the same knowledge, and so the competitive aspect is fair. Having everyone take turns throwing an axe at the target is not only fun to watch, but it reinforces the idea that you have to try your best to achieve your goals.

Secondly, it brings everyone closer together in a mutual atmosphere of learning. You get to be there as everyone tries out their chops, shaky at first, but then gets better as time goes by – going through this process together can be both cathartic and humbling. Even the most talented athlete won’t be able to pick up an axe and hit the target the first time (beginner’s luck aside), so, as mentioned, there’s a level playing field. There’s a reason companies choose activities for corporate team building – learning together promotes unity – it’s just a matter of choosing the right activity, one that’s fun at the same time.

And throwing an axe allows you to vent frustrations, which is definitely not a bad thing. Small workaday stresses can add up, causing some to be distracted or feel overwhelmed, but axe throwing allows you to cut through all that (literally) and take some energy out on a wooden target. It can be very refreshing doing physical activities, and even more so when throwing an axe is involved.

A team is the lifeblood of a company, and you want to promote healthy competition, unity and happiness. There’s nothing better for all of those things than axe throwing. Next time you’re thinking of doing the trust fall, don’t fall for it – do axe throwing instead.

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