The fall season is almost upon us an a new group of teams are about to get into full gear, with the NFL and collegiate football about to start their seasons. Collegiate volleyball and soccer are almost underway too. Countless teams at the high school level are also forming. The challenge for all is to find a way to get the team performing well from the beginning.
The process the individuals have to go through has been described as Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing, where teams come together (Forming), are likely to experience conflict (Storming) as they establish rules of behavior, determine who the leaders are, and determine what they want to accomplish (Norming) to finally work as one in attempt to achieve success (Performing).
A factor that can have an influence on a team’s ability to perform is having several new members of the team. Those teams that quickly, and successfully intergrate the new teammates into the team are more likely to be successful.
One of the first things teams can do to intergrate a new player onto a team is to provide a clear expectation of what role the athlete is going to be asked to play. This is even more important if that role is dramatically different from any prior roles the athletes has had on other teams. Clearly identifying the athlete’s role will help reduce interpersonal conflict among athletes that might play the same or similar positions.
Having clearly identified the athlete’s role, the next thing a team can do, is to quickly expose the athlete to opportunities to fulfill his/her role on the team. Early opportunities in practice or actual competition can go a long way towards moving an athlete towards being comfortable with his/her role.
A final important action for teams is to encourage social interaction among teammates, in particular, social activities with the leaders of the team can often help the new players learn the accepted rules of the team as well as quickly make new players feel a part of the team. Social activities off the field with opportunities to work on a task can foster development of positive working relationships necessary of all Performing teams.
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