Integrating New Team Members
Ashley Halsey provides five steps to integrating new soccer team members.
Like any other sport, soccer has had its fair share of players coming and going. And every once in a while, a new team will have to introduce a new player to the team. It is never a good idea to throw your new player into uncharted waters, and hope that they do well on the team.
So, what can you do to make the new player's welcome warmer?
First and foremost, if you want your team to continue its high performance, then it is vital to make your new player feel right about being on the team and make sure that they fit seamlessly into the team. With that in mind, here are five steps to successfully integrate your new player into your team.
Know Your Players
“When bringing a new soccer player onto your team, you have to know more about them, rather than just the particular soccer qualities that they possess,” says Trip Davis, a sports blogger. “When you get to know your new players as individuals – rather than commodities – you will improve your ability to integrate and motivate them when the time comes. And, it shows newbies that you care about them as people.”
In short, do not just focus on your “star” players; make it your job to motivate everyone – including newcomers.
Utilize Your Senior Players
Do not just view your senior players as “star” players; utilize them in seeing how you can best integrate new players. It would be best if you also asked your senior players how the new players are settling in.
One great idea is to pair up new players with experienced team members, so that the newbies can feel less like outsiders, and more like family.
Encourage Teamwork, Not Cliques
While cliques are meant to have groups of players stick together, that form of grouping is very detrimental to your team. Cliques in your team can discourage new players from participating in group discussions and or teamwork activities.
To avoid cliques, split up your players to work in different groups or on other teams in training. Plus, have team discussions that promote positive relationships within the team and make players aware of how cliques can be damaging to the team. Remember: diversity and inclusiveness are critical to a great team.
Have Effective Team Meetings
“The purpose of team meetings is to not only educate your players – old and new – but also motivate them to do better, and to keep up the good work,” says David Shelley, a coach at Draft beyond and Research papers UK.“ Therefore, make it your job to spend a good amount of time before and or after training with effective meetings with everyone on your team.”
New players can especially be allowed to work with other players in small groups (thus avoiding cliques, as mentioned earlier). And then, newbies can be assigned the responsibility of sharing their feedback with the whole squad, or about a particular issue.
“Coaches should let new players know in advance, or even discuss to them on a one-to-one basis, what their feedback should include when giving commentary,” adds Shelley. “This allows the player to have time to prepare for the next discussion, and to feel like a part of the squad.”
Establish Roles And Responsibilities
Finally, make sure a new player understands (and accepts) their role within the team, along with any responsibilities that go with it. Be sure to clarify any expectations, including behaviour, match-day dress, etc. As mentioned earlier, effective communication is key; so, new players must get wind of all expectations once they are onboard.
One effective way of doing this is to create a list of all the responsibilities that each player has in a specific position. If they have any questions or concerns about a role or any of the responsibilities listed, then you will be there to clarify any discrepancies. And, when you establish roles and responsibilities, make sure that everything is understood and agreed to by the player.
As you know by now, it is important for every single member of your team – old and new – to look out for each other, and to perform to the best of their ability. As you keep in mind these five practical steps, your soccer team will continue to be successful for many years to come.
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About the Author
Ashley Halsey is a writer at Nursing Assignments. As a professional writer, she has been involved in many writing projects nationwide. In her spare time, she would guest-talk at various business training courses.