Team cohesion attributes to success in sports. It creates a sense of unity and pride which drives team members to work collectively. With the concepts of team, personal, leadership and environmental factors, this paper examines how these work separately and holistically to form cohesion in a team. Team factors that influence cohesion of a group include factors that are relevant to the group as a whole. Personal factors refers to individualistic characteristics that influence the team cohesion. Leadership styles are also important because it relates to how the coaches and trainers provide a foundation for cohesion and allow it to develop.
Environmental factors include external sources that influence cohesion within a team. Thus through examining these concepts with help of theories and empirical findings, a deeper understanding of the positive effects of team cohesion in sports is shared. Positive Affects of Team Cohesion in Sports Team cohesion is an essential component in sport success. Team cohesion is composed of a variety of elements that when synchronized have a harmonious effect. Yarmey (2013), defines team cohesion as a group of individuals working collectively to attain a common goal despite opposing factors.
Within this term there are numerous elements that drive the attained goal of cohesion. Following this definition the function of team cohesion is to enhance performance as well as satisfaction of being included in a particular team (Yarmey, 2015). Therefore it explains team success as well as the importance of being part of group (Yarmey, 2015). It relies heavily upon the degree of integration toward team goals and as well the degree of integration toward social and emotional satisfaction (termed social cohesion) (Crocker, 2016). This ensures that the common goal and satisfaction are included in order to reach a desirable goal.
It is also necessary to note that teams are in constant change because it is a complex dynamic that requires continuous modifications (Yarmey, 2013). Within this umbrella framework four concepts are crucial in the formation of cohesion in groups. These include team development, personal factors, leadership styles, and environmental components. To understand the complex dynamics of these group cohesion concepts, theories and empirical findings must be examined Concepts of Team Cohesion Team development Team Cohesion includes many factors concerning the team holistically.
Firstly, there are four stages of building a team, forming, storming and norming and performing (Yarmey, 2015). The beginning phase, forming, begins when team members are selected and players compare their strengths and weaknesses. The second phase, storming, includes the difficulties of coping with the extensive training and practice regimes (Yarmey, 2015). Next is the norming stage which consists of team members begin to think of themselves holistically and who can compete together to attain a goal. Lastly, the performing phase addresses the stage in which the team players collectively join heir skills and energy to create a team with strong cohesion.
This will allow for a greater chance in team performance and success (Yarmey, 2015). In addition to the four stages of team development there are also other important elements that need to be utilized to create team cohesion. Firstly, collective efficacy is necessary for cohesion (Crocker, 2016) This correlate is defined as a team’s shared perception that they have the ability to achieve a goal (Crocker, 2016). With this awareness a team will exhibit much more confidence and exertion to collectively pursue a task. Subsequently, team stability contributes to group cohesion.
This is because teams who have been together longer have developed a stronger sense of unity (Yarmey, 2013). Thus, they are more connected and involved with attaining the same desires. Another influential element is the team’s homogeneity. Yarmey (2013) states that similarities increase team spirit which results in a collective action. This is a result of perceiving the self as part of a team leads to the athlete seeing other team members as more similar to them. This creates an increased level of in-group identification (Martin & Good, 2015). These factors all uniquely influence a team and how it operates.
If all conditions are met then a team develops a cohesive environment. In “Remember the Titans” the team demonstrated group cohesion in the creation of the team. The video demonstrates the four stages, forming, storming, norming and performing. The coaches diligently worked to increase team in-group identification regardless of ethnicity (Creation of a Team, 2009). After intense practice and training the athletes were able to visualize themselves as an organized unit that had similar strengths and weaknesses that could be used to form interpersonal bonds and achieve a goal (Yarmey, 2015).
Personal Factors Because a team is the sum of its athletes, each individual player’s well being must be taken into account. Therefore individual satisfaction is a strong predictor of cohesion in a team (Yarmey, 2013) When each team member experiences greater satisfaction then they are more motivated to excel (Yarmey, 2013). With the motivation present then success emerges which in turn drives individual satisfaction (Yarmey, 2013). This circular relationship often is observed to be very influential in performance and victories. Individual adherence is also critical in team cohesion (Crocker, 2016).
Studies have observed that team involvement such as showing up on time for practices and games developed stronger social cohesiveness (Crocker, 2016). This is valuable in forming a team that functions and operates together. Another personal variable that contributes to cohesion is the notion of sacrifice athletes are willing to make for their team. Internal sacrifices such as giving up other aspects in one’s life had a dominant effect on a team (Crocker, 2016). An experimental study conducted by Brunner and colleagues (2014) showed how cohesion of a team is associated with higher levels of positive youth development.
This intriguing finding was correlated with the aspects of personal sacrifice, effort and satisfaction (Brunner, Eys, Wilson, & Cote, 2014). Thus, team cohesion has evidence for positively affecting not only a team’s development but also an individual athlete’s development. Leadership factors The leaders of a team have a critical role in influencing the outcome of team cohesion and success. Thus the coaches and trainers are the primary role models that must exhibit sensitivity and acceptance to make sure every athlete feels included.
Their role is to ensure high quality training, social support, positive encouragement, a coaching style that relates to the athletes and a trustworthy disposition (Crocker, 2016; Yarmey, 2013). These traits are extremely detrimental to the formation of team’s “togetherness. ” In addition, how decision making is done is important for a team. Democratic decision making style is when the leader permits greater involvement from the players in determining on team goals, training procedures, and game strategies (Crocker, 2016).
The final decision is made collectively so that all have equal participation. In addition to collective decision making, coaches need to provide team building opportunities. This is so that there is an increase in motivation as a result of the team building exercise enhancing selfdetermination (Crocker, 2016). Additionally, a leader who will make an incredible difference is one who strives to be a transformational leader. This leader type will form relationships with the athletes through inspirational interactions that assist to intensify motivation, confidence, and satisfaction (Crocker, 2016).
Thus by recognizing the needs of individuals, and creating an accepting but high performance expectations, leaders will build a team high in cohesion (Crocker, 2016). Therefore it is evident that the leaders of a team are influential in constructing a team that is high in cohesiveness. In the movie, Remember the Titans, the coaches and team members demonstrated the importance of shared leadership. Shared leadership was correlated positively to cohesion in a team (Mathieu, Kukenberger, D’Innocenzo, & Reilly, 2015).
This impact led to greater sense of equity and unity for each football player and coach. Environmental Factors External factors that influence the effect of team cohesion work interactively to enhance overall team cohesion. Firstly, group size is a major determinant of the outcome of team cohesion (Yarmev, 2013). The greatest levels of cohesion are observed in teams of five to six individuals. These teams display excellent communication skills and dedicated individual effort are noticed to contribute to this effect (Yarmey, 2013).
Therefore all the team members collectively display team cohesion. Physical proximity such as adjoining lockers, residence and training locations allow the athletes to interact together regularly. (Yarmey, 2015) In addition it is important to include team pride. This is exemplified through team uniforms, inclusion of newcomers, special privileges (Yarmey, 2015), and pregame chants (Yarmey, 2013). These allow the athletes to embrace the team spirit and feel united as one. Final Wrap Up Team cohesion is composed of a variety of elements that when synchronized have a harmonious effect.
Therefore it is relevant that when team development, personal factors, leadership style, and environmental components are integrated together, team cohesion emerges. With cohesion in a team it is evident that it positively influences the performance and success of a team. The various team cohesion concepts contribute to the ongoing accomplishments. Team development involves many strategies to increase each player’s perspective of team in a holistic manner. Personal factors describe the basic recipe of how certain attitudes and behaviors contribute to a cohesive mind set.
Leadership styles set a foundation and structure that provide a group with the opportunity to develop a cohesion amongst the team. In addition to these three concepts there are also environmental components that also determine the “togetherness” of a team. As Crocker (2016) stated, a team is made up of the sum of its individual players. Thus integration of the concepts affect the cohesion of a group by working through each individual athlete. Subsequently, team cohesion has positive affects upon a team’s performance and achievements.