Sunday, October 25, 2009

Team Cohesion

A few different kinds or cohesion to think about within a team are as follows:

Social Cohesion- Involves bonds made between team members based on social aspects and personal beliefs. Members often enjoy each others company and may engage in activity outside of the sport setting. Commonly referred to as unity, balance, chemistry.

Task Cohesion- Team members are bonded by a strong desire to accomplish a common task or goal. Team members may not have a high affinity for each other outside the sporting arena.

Although both of these are important, I think a fully functional team will often have high doses of both, but can a coach develop both?
I think a coach may have some impact and influence in task cohesion is because I believe a coach can educate athletes and practice things relating to task cohesion such as teamwork, effective communication, and player roles. All of these improve your ability as a team to accomplishing a task and therefore task cohesion, so there can be some impact from a coach in this respect.
Like task cohesion, social cohesion can have a significant impact on any team's ability to perform and the level of enjoyment within an activity. However, in contrast to task cohesion, I do not think a coach plays much of a role in social cohesion. Unfortunately the social cohesion of a team lies primarily within it's team members and individual personalities. Social cohesion, like any group dynamic, will likely involve individuals, groups within the team, and the entire team as one. All of these different groups are important in the social cohesion of the team in general.
One of the most dangerous situations in sport and social cohesion is the formation of opposiing groups (clicks) within a team. This can ruin a team's social conhesion because opposing forces and ideas will erode any healthy energy. If a coach can do things to avoid clicks forming, this would be a huge success. The fact that coaches understand the importance of social cohesion is very good, but a coach's over interaction in the formation of positive social cohesion is not. Try and stay reserved when it comes to social cohesion and let the athletes come together primarily on their own.
Thank you for reading today, best of luck with your practice this week!

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