You’ve had a long season.
It’s hard to imagine back to the beginning of the year when everything was new and exciting. There was a sense of wonder. Endless possibilities.
Your athletes are different now.
You’ve changed as a coach.
You’ve had experiences together as a team that have helped you learn and grow. You’ve all had your perspectives challenged - more than once.
Your team cycles through the four stages of team development: FORM-STORM-NORM-PERFORM throughout the season.
There’s a 5th stage called transformation. During this stage, some athletes may feel a sense of loss or grief and others may feel a sense of relief - depending on their perspective, experience, and outcome.
The TRANSFORM stage is when members of the group move on...for a variety of reasons.
Athletes quit or transfer to another team.
Coaches may ask an athlete not to return based on behavior and expectations that are no longer aligned with the direction the team is going.
There’s a lot of different stuff going on under the surface for athletes who will be returning to your team.
The juniors may be overwhelmed - with the realization of all that's coming up for them in the year ahead.
The sophomores may be starting to get comfortable (maybe a little too comfortable...???).
The freshmen may have already checked out - just ready to go home.