The Importance of Teamwork in The World of Sport

Team spirit forms a vital part of the sporting world. In this article, we'll tell you more about the importance of teamwork, and the various benefits of working as a team.
The Importance of Teamwork in The World of Sport

Last update: 27 July, 2020

Teamwork is an essential and inherent part of any team sport. The saying, “United we stand, divided we fall” is popular in the sporting world. It underlines the importance of working together to achieve a common goal: victory.

However, teamwork isn’t always done properly. There are certain things every team needs in order to work effectively and to ensure that the team as a whole has a positive impact on each individual member.

Coaches, captains, and athletes can’t underestimate the importance of teamwork. If they want to perform well, i t’s essential to leave personal feelings and conflicts aside, and think about what’s best for the team. In this article, we’ll go on to discuss the different advantages of working as a team.

Synergy: the most important quality in any team

To give you an idea of what synergy actually means, you could think about it like this: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. This means that the team performs better when everyone works together than each member would if they worked alone. Synergy is a magical quality, that adds value to the team as a whole.

In the same way that an individual affects the group, the group will also have an impact on the individual. When a team has synergy, it can actually improve the performance of each individual member in the team. Everyone’s physical abilities – speed, flexibility, endurance, and so on – are enhanced as a result of being part of the team.

Working as a team helps to fulfill emotional needs

A sports team isn’t just a group of athletes who come together to train. During both training and competitions, members form strong emotional bonds, to the point where a team often feels more like a family.

Teamwork is essential for any group to succeed.

Being part of a team can help fulfill an individual’s need for close relationships, and foster emotional expression. Teammates become sources of support and understanding, in whom they can trust completely.

Whether they win or lose, succeed or fail, teams go through so many important experiences together. As a result, their emotional ties to one another are incredibly strong. The situations they face are so emotionally charged that they help to forge long-lasting, tight-knit emotional relationships.

Team cohesion as a key indicator of success

In sport, cohesion is the glue that holds the team together. Psychologists have studied this concept, not just within the world of sports, but in all kinds of different situations that require teamwork.

One of the main psychological indicators used to assess team performance is the group cohesion index. Cohesion can be calculated in a very simple way – using questionnaires to give an overall score that indicates how united the team is, and whether it’s split into different subgroups.

Such studies have shown that there’s a positive correlation between group cohesion and performance. In a study published in Revista Internacional De Ciencias Del Deporte (International Journal of Sports Sciences) carried out on a group of soccer players, it was found that group cohesion is also positively related to other variables. These include cooperation, effectiveness, and group performance.

Teamwork – shaping identity

Sports teams are more than just a collection of people. Each team has its own unique set of values, rules, and ideas. These have an impact on each individual and become a part of their identity.

A men's rowing team.

The feeling of belonging to a group is a basic need for most humans. Not only because being part of a team fulfills certain emotional needs, but also because it provides people with a stronger sense of identity. Aside from our own individual personality traits, we can also define ourselves based on the groups and teams to which we belong.

Teamwork is essential in sport

In many ways, team sports are more complex than individual sports. This is because the team is greater than the sum of its individual parts. It’s also important to consider the different group processes that take place, and the interactions between team members.

The relationship between a sportsperson and their team is a two-way street. The athlete, with their own individual actions and personality, is capable of affecting the group as a whole. In the same way, the group influences the individual, shaping them and instilling them with new values and ideas.

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While the roles a captain assumes on and off the pitch ultimately depends on the sport, all captains play an essential role for their team.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Marcos, F. M. L., Sánchez-Miguel, P. A., Sánchez-Oliva, D., Alonso, D. A., & García-Calvo, T. (2011). Incidencia de la cooperación, la cohesión y la eficacia colectiva en el rendimiento en equipos de fútbol. RICYDE. Revista Internacional de Ciencias del Deporte. doi: 10.5232/ricyde, 7(26), 341-354.
  • Ortiz, J. M. C., & Mendo, A. H. La cohesión en los grupos deportivos.

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