By Amy Harder
This is a well-known warm-up game that is frequently spotted at youth camps, scout meetings, and drama classes. It’s another one of those group games that helps reinforce the idea that a team has to be connected and alert to what is going on around them in order to make things work.
Set up. Gather your players into a circle and have them hold hands. That’s it. You’re ready to play.
Action. Play begins when a designated player squeezes (gently, now!) one of the hands he is holding. The receiver of the squeeze continues by passing the squeeze on to the player on his opposite side. And so on. One of my coaches called this a “squeeze wave”. Cute. See how fast your group can pass the squeeze.
This is a simple task, but watch for players to anticipate the squeeze and pass it on before they actually receive it. If your group is having trouble with this, have them close their eyes so they cannot watch the motion as it passes from one player to the next.
Variation #1. Squeezes are easy but can easily become boring. Change the squeeze to something else, like a pat on the back, high fives, or my favorite alternate: the lean. To pull this one off, your group has to be standing in a fairly tight circle–almost shoulder to shoulder. Then instead of squeezing hands, players simply lean over and bump shoulders with their neighbor. Fun, eh?
Variation #2. Who says there has to be only one “squeeze wave” moving through the circle? Start one squeeze and then another. And who says that the multiple waves have to go the same direction? Heh heh heh.
Variation #3. Add a new rule. Players cannot pass the motion until the squeeze has been completely received. This means that the wave can be dramatically slowed down if a player decides to give a good long squeeze. The receiver of the squeeze would not be allowed to pass the motion until the first player finishes squeezing.