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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 who work together to achieve the common goal of winning the game. There are 4 characteristics that individual members and the team as a whole need to be successful. These 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 must depend on each other. When trust is lacking, members play as individuals, weakening the unity of the entire team. Trust is built when team members get to know each other and their skills and commitment. It grows as the team practices together until a developed team has an almost instinctive feel for each other. In an effective sports team, there must be trust between teammates, trust between coach and players, and individual athletes must trust themselves and their own abilities. If an athlete lacks confidence in himself or her abilities, it is often expressed as 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 excited to train and play. The entire sports team needs to share an enthusiasm that stems from the desire to be a member of the team. Each member of the team should feel proud of the team, as this creates social cohesion.
Ambition gives direction to the team. Individual team members and the team as a whole must have ambition to achieve the goal of winning ethically. When a team is united in the pursuit of a common goal or ambition, they have a good cohesion in the task.

Each member needs to 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 of the players have the goal of being recognized as outstanding players. To be recognized, they have to play a series of matches. Therefore, the overall goal of the individual player is determined by the team’s performance in matches, and in that way, the goals of each individual player are integrated with the goal of the team.

Motivation is what drives the team to achieve it. Individual players need good motivation before they can perform to their full potential. Motivation comes from having a challenge that the player believes he is capable of achieving. Teams are also challenged when they think they are capable of winning the match. Even the bottom dog can, on occasion, beat the heavy favorite. In fact, the favorite may underperform because players “go with the motions” without motivation, while the underdog is challenged and motivated to succeed. 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 efficacy.

A single arrow breaks easily, but not ten in a pack.

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