Memphis Tigers football team learns to play African drums in team-building exercise

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 10:37 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The University of Memphis Tigers football team marched to the beat of a different kind of drum Wednesday evening.

Youth Villages partnered with the Tigers to teach them how to play an African drum.

This was a team-building exercise in which the team enjoyed learning the rhythms and cadences of West African music, but this exercise was more than just fun and games.

This therapeutic session is expected to help the team in the spring season.

“Therapeutic drumming provides a lot of different opportunities. We get to work on a variety of things like their social skills,” said Alaina McIntire, recreation therapy manager for Youth Villages.

“We do a lot of coping skills and regulation,” she added. “There’s also a lot of physicality to it. Almost like a workout, so you have a lot of different components that go into one session. But after 15 minutes of drumming, any of our participants, see a calming or relaxed state that’ll last up to two hours. So, focus, attention to detail and task, and just being able to make decisions in the moment generally are impacted after a drumming session.”

Youth Villages and the Tigers football team have had a long partnership, from exercises like Wednesday’s to volunteer opportunities allowing the team to give back to the community.

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