Groups & Teams

The aim here is to understand the reasons for success and pitfalls involved in team sport participation (Equivalent to UK A Level Physical Education)

Team: "Two or more persons interacting with one another and influencing each other" (Shaw, 1976)

Group: "Has a collective identity, sharing a common purpose with structured communication patterns" (Carron, 1980)

Group Performances

The following equation was produced by Steiner (1972) to demonstrate the relationship between performance of the team and the individuals:

Actual productivity = best potential productivity - losses due to faulty processes

These faulty processes can be divided into two groups:

Co-ordination problems:

Tactics and plays involving more than one individual (most in team sports!) are subject to problems due to a lack of coordination. Examples include making a run too early or a poorly times pass.

Motivational problems:

Team performances often result in individuals performing below their best, there are two theories as to why this is often the case:

The Ringlemann effect:

Research has demonstrated that a team does not usually work as many times better than the number of individuals within the team. For example, a tug of war team containing 6 members, may not perform 6 times better than an individual. This is due to:

Social loafing:

Team players loose the motivation to work as hard because their efforts are not clear and a good performance is not wholly dependant on their performance.

Cohesion and Performance

Cohesion: The reason that a group of people has come together and the resistance to the group breaking up


Two types of cohesion may be present in different teams:

Task-oriented cohesion: The team exists and survives in order to be successful at the chosen sport. Everyone in the team has the same goal

Social oriented cohesion: The team exists and survives due to the social relationships and interactions within the team. Results do not really matter, enjoyment is key to the team's survival

Task-oriented teams have a higher potential for success than social oriented teams. This is especially clear in sports such as football and basketball, as opposed to badminton and athletics.

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The aim of this lesson is to learn about the characteristics of strong leaders and the types of leadership style.

Social Influences

The aim of this lesson is to understand the effect our social environment and experiences have on our performance (Equivalent to UK A Level Physical Education)