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Forming Expectations and Roles for Your Team

Building a Successful Team

Every team has an opportunity to solidify their mark on the legacy of their program. It’s important to establish a unique identity through the mission and team values they deem most important to their own success for the upcoming season. The team’s success each year largely depends on the roles and norms that the coaches set for the team, empowering athletes to find their place within the culture that has been established. The coaches also need to lead and act in a way that is highly conducive to establishing a sense of cohesion. Depending on if the sport is team- or individual-based, the coach will need to find ways to connect the athletes both socially and through their sport skills.

The most common model of team development was created by Tuckman (1965). He proposed that all teams go through four stages: forming, storming, norming, and performing. All the stages are necessary for a team to develop, address challenges and conflict, tackle problems, and deliver their best possible results. Although this is thought of as a linear model to team development, it is important to understand that each stage varies in the amount of time a team experiences them. They may move forwards or backwards from one to the next. Think about what might influence your team to go through these stages, in which order, and for how long.

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