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A Team Initiation Ritual For New Players Can Be Fun Without Hazing

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Katie Saylor (@saylorwillrun) played and coached Lacrosse at Division III Wellesley College. She continued pursuing her passion in sports by earning her M.B.A. and Master's in Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Katie spent two years as a member of PCA's Marketing team from 2014-2016. Now you can find Katie teaching, coaching, and advising students at The Nueva School (@nuevaschool). She became a PCA trainer in 2015 and loves to meet student-athletes from across the Bay Area.

Many school teams have traditions of initiating new players on to the team. These traditions can be exciting, but sometimes involve hazing and negative experiences for the initiates. Here, Katie discusses her positive experience as a new member of her college team. Her initiation experience was energizing for her and her teammates, as it involved fun activities for the entire team.

Initiation experiences do not have to be negative but can be silly, fun, and engaging in a way that still makes the newcomers feel like they have had a rite of passage into acceptance by their new teammates.