Batter Up!

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - Around the Office

How an SEO Agency Started an Underdog Softball Team And Hit The Big Time

Team building. Those two words are a tough sell to most employees. Most people think of forced fun, or being stuck with officemates trying to make the best of a bland excursion somewhere. This reputation is totally unfair, though! Team-building events are some of the best investments you can make in your employees. They build trust, co-operation, collaboration, and create engaged employees. Perfect for an SEO agency, if we can be so bold! But that’s not really anything new, is it? The fact is, team-building events and outings are already a viral phenomenon. We see stories or articles about exciting team-building activities all the time. This isn’t about how we did some cool axe-throwing thing, or how we kicked butt at archery tag. This is about how we came together as a team… by starting a team.

Trying something new gave us the opportunity to grow and have fun.
Mark contemplates the field before the game.

Trying Something New

According to psychiatrist Manfred Spitzer, the pleasure centres of our brain aren’t focused on finding everlasting, eternal happiness. They’re dedicated to permanently finding new things that make us happy. Put simply, we’re happier when we’re trying new things. Our staff here at SEO TWIST got together and decided we wanted to try something new. So, naturally, we skipped cool axe-throwing. We said no to escape rooms. We didn’t even think about going zip-lining—well, some of us did, but we skipped that too. Instead, we chose to start… …a softball team.

The SEO TWISTers were the underdog of the league, but we won big in more ways than one - not bad for our SEO agency team!
When you’re designing a team logo, it helps having a team of expert graphic designers on staff.
While some of us had a bit of experience in a ball diamond before, we were still pretty much rookies. It was, effectively, brand-new to us. And it was a blast. Because we were teammates on and off the field, it gave us a sense of camaraderie and unity that pulled us together.

Pros and Cons

As fun as everything had been, there were a few downsides. We overcame the rain, mud, and snow… mostly—the perks of playing in the late fall. As a rookie team, the SEO TWISTers:

  • Cheered the loudest, bar none, to the point of intimidating the other team: PRO.
  • Scored a whopping 3 points to the other team’s 40: CON (Although, by the time we got to our last game, teams were only beating us by 10 so: PRO!).
  • Had the best coach and organizer: PRO (Thanks Rox!).
  • Had 3 (three!) injured players (one took a legitimate fall; another tried to block a softball with his finger; and the last took a grounder to the knee), which slowed us down for our next few games: CON.

Building a team doesn't just happen as part of office initiatives - it's something staff need to take ownership of.
It was all smiles on the field. You gotta have fun, right?
Okay, so we’re not going to be making the Blue Jays scouting list any time soon. But the simple fact we were all playing together went a long way! It built valuable trust and helped us work out the normal stresses of the work day in a fun way. And those simple things stuck with us when we got back to the office the next day. We built positive energy that lasted. Because this wasn’t a one-off thing, we had an energy that kept us going and brought us closer together.

The Perks

We did get a few awesome perks from this experience. Our team had, bar none, the coolest shirts around. We even customized them with individual numbers and nicknames. And you know what? That got us noticed. The first week after our printed jerseys came in, we posed for photos and sent them in to the league organizer. A few days later, Coach Rox got a response. We’d been declared “Team of the Week!” Most of all, though, the best thing that we got from our softball team was how it brought us closer together. We’re a tight-knit group at SEO TWIST, and it’s something visitors often remark on. The thing is, team building isn’t something you need to plan. It can be something as simple as having a conversation with your coworkers over lunch. It can be going out for lunches together when everyone has time. It can be trying new things together, too! While organized team building activities will always be important, it doesn’t need to stop there. Try something new, and swing for the fences!

Nothing beats celebrating as a team at the end of a hard-fought game.
No matter how the game goes, you have to celebrate afterwards!


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