Trust Activities

Trust activities are used to help participants develop a relationship with their group.  This relationship helps the participants focus on the physical and mental challenges at hand without worrying about their safety.  They are also integral to learning the importance of spotting, and the commands involved in order to maintain clear communication. 


Important things to Remember

Bumpers up - Arms up and ready to support the leaner at all times.

Rockers on - Knees bent and feet staggered for stability

Eyes - Always on the participant

Always bring the participant back to a standing position before proceeding.

Always operate within your own ability level and the comfort level of the participant.

Communicate with your participant and with your spotters.



            Participant                                         Spotter/Spotters

1. "Ready Spotter/Spotters?"       2. "Ready (then use the participants name)"

3.        "Leaning"                          4.            "Lean Away (name)"


Trust Leans - This is the most basic form of trust.  It can be as simple as having a partner, with their eyes open, lean back a few inches and having the second person lightly support them and bring them back to a standing position.  When partners are clear on their communication and show proper spotting technique they can increase challenge by having the leaner close their eyes, as well as letting them lean further before giving them support.


Pendulum - The pendulum is the next level of trust activities.  It involves the same core concepts as the trust fall but instead of having one person to lean backwards into, you have two spotters that pass the participant back and forth like a pendulum.


Willow in the Wind - This activity is the next progression of trust activities.  Now the entire group surrounds the participant making a circle.  Now the participant will use the same commands as the previous two but will fall in any direction.  The group will gently pass the participant around in any direction while keeping them safe.  If the participant is daring the group as they feel comfortable may let the person lean farther and farther. 


Walking Trust Leans - This is exactly the same as trust leans but instead of being stationary, the participant will be walking and then, either with a command or without, will just lean back.  This allows the group to work on trust as well as their spotting ability and making sure they are ready at all times.


Trust Falls - This activity is only done with a group that has truly proved that they can spot very well and show good attention.  It is closely supervised by at least one facilitator at all times.  The participant will now be doing a trust lean, but from an elevated height (such as on a picnic table) into a group of participants' arms.  This is a trusting experience for the participant.  "Eyes closed" increases the mental challenge even more.  This activity builds trust with the group, improves communication, and gives a great experience.


Trust Dives - This is exactly the same as Trust Falls but instead of "falling" the participant dives into the groups arms.  The participant's eyes must be open during this activity.