Why do some sports teams stay together and achieve, whilst others seem to fall apart?

There are teams with a huge amount of good team positive spirit and togetherness that succeed, and there are teams that don’t gel in any way shape or form. Sometimes teams can have the most staggering amount of talented and exuberant super stars in the World but they might not bond together preferably well. On some occasions it might be because a lot of them are primadonna’s they regard themselves to be much better then their fellow counter parts, and can’t bare to share any part of the lime light. A football example of this would be the England v Sweden (1st round group game).

Lampard was taking countless long range hopeful effort shots at goal instead of keeping the ball down and slipping in his fellow team mates who were in more promising positions. Never once did he look for another outlet, he did this because he wanted to impress and make himself look good regardless of what negative effect/outcome it could potentially have on the team. Therefore, Lampard is not working as part of a team and could be causing some feeling to develop between him and his team mates.

It could also partly be down to the lack of team Chemistry and how each player benefits/interacts with the other on as well as off the pitch. Successful teams will have a good team forming by having gotten to know each other and worked out their roles.

Unsuccessful teams may undergo a stage of storming, where the players fight competitively for their place/role in the team; this will on some occasions lead to disfunction in the team (Between two or more players) and conflict can develop. For teams to be successful they need to have a certain degree of cooperation and cohesion within the group, without these teams will be unbalanced.

The greater cohesion in a team is the better single members perform. If there isn’t a very good cohesion it can quite often prevent the team from reaching its potential. Teams aren’t exactly sure how to get good cohesion, some think it just comes naturally. In some unsuccessful teams the reasons for failure can be down to social loafing. In the 1880s, French engineer Ringlemann done an experiment where in a group of men pulled together on a rope, each pulled considerably less hard than when they were pulling alone. When eight men were pulling on the rope, each person averaged half the effort they put in when pulling alone.

There are two main factors that determine which response takes place by a member in a group, the complexity of the task and the possibility of observers (Coaches, Leaders, Crowd etc) successfully seeing and evaluating how much effort you are putting in. If your individual efforts can be looked upon easily, your natural response will tend to be highly aroused (thus inspiring you to put in that extra effort)

The coaching management and experienced players of great successful teams tend to be able to fix this dilemma. They may do this through a number of methods; showing their appreciation of individuals by highlighting their efforts/performances, installing them with much needed positive feedback (statistics, encouragement etc), setting them individual goals and making them feel as an integral force of the team. (Possibly giving them specific responsibility roles)

A lot of the framework that makes a team successful or unsuccessful is its level of group cohesion, without these teams will be unbalanced. If they tend to stick together outside sport because they have a vast amount of similar tastes and interests, there may be a total harmony, this is referred to as social cohesion. Never the less even if the members do not like each other they may join together in the pursuit of great success and share goals, thus producing task cohesion.

The things a cohesive team has are well defined roles and group norms, common goals, a positive team identity, a good working relationship, shared responsibility, respect, positive energy, trust, a willingness to cooperate, unity, good communication and pride in team. Another very big indicator of the level of cohesiveness in a team is the frequency of statements of “we” and “our”, in contrast to other statements of I, me and mine. Cohesion usually takes quite a long time but it us very valuable and worth achieving for any team.

To establish cohesion, everyone needs to be on the same wavelength when it comes to team goals. If everybody in the team is aiming towards the same goal then this will naturally help cohesion develop on to a greater level. Teams must set challenges and goals. It is important everybody in the team knows exactly what the individual goals are, for not only themselves but their team mates. If you know what your team mates are striving for you can help them with their goals, this causes bonding and good group cohesion. The sign of a strong cohesiveness team is when everyone knows each others goals.

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