Teamwork in sports
“The strength of the team is each individual member… the strength of each member is the team!” (Phil Jackson, coach, Chicago Bulls)
For a sports team to exist, you need a group of talented athletes working together to achieve a common goal of winning the game. There are 4 characteristics that individual members and the team as a whole need to be successful. They can be described by the acronym:
T – Trust
E – Enthusiasm
A – Ambition
M – Motivation
Trust allows team members to depend on each other, and good teamwork is based on trust. In team sports, players have to rely on each other. When trust is lacking, members play as individuals, weakening the entire team. Trust is built as team members get to know each other and their abilities and commitment. It grows as the team trains together until the developed team has an almost instinctive feel for each other. In an effective sports team, there must be trust between teammates, trust between the coach and players, and individual athletes must trust themselves and their own abilities. If an athlete does not believe in themselves or their abilities, this often translates into a fear of failure.
Enthusiasm is the glue that holds the team together. Most people participate in sports for the fun and enjoyment of the game. If the game is fun, you will be enthusiastic to practice and play. The entire sports team must share an enthusiasm that is born from the desire to be a member of the team. Each team member should take pride in the team as this creates social cohesion.
Ambition gives direction to the team. Individual team members and the team as a whole must have the ambition to achieve the goal of ethical victory. When a team is united in the pursuit of a common goal or ambition, it has good task cohesion.
Each member must know the goals and ambitions of the team and be committed to achieving them. People need ambition to attend training sessions and focus on improving their skills for the benefit of both themselves and the team. Most players aim to be recognized as exceptional players. To be recognized, they must play well in a series of games. Therefore, the overall goal of the individual player is determined by the performance of the team in the matches, and thus the goals of each individual player are integrated with the goal of the team.
Motivation is what drives a team to achieve. Individual players need good motivation before they can reach their potential. Motivation comes from a challenge that the player believes they can achieve. Teams are also challenged when they believe they are capable of winning the match. Even the underdog can sometimes beat the overwhelming favorite. In fact, the favorite may underperform because the players are “going through the motions” without motivation, while the underdog is challenged and motivated to achieve. When all team members believe that the team can overcome obstacles on the way to achieving the goal, we say that the team has good group effectiveness.
One arrow breaks easily, but not ten in a bundle.