«Naturally there are going to be some ups and downs, particularly if you have some individuals trying to achieve at a high level. But when we stepped in between the lines, we knew what we were capable of doing. When a pressure situation presented itself, we were plugged into one another as a cohesive unit. That’s why we were able to come back so often and win so many close games. And that’s why we were able to beat more talented teams.». Michael Jordan, I can’t accept not trying. Harper Collins Publishers, 1994
Anyone involved in team sports has undoubtedly encountered many coaches who stress the importance of teamwork and cooperation. The continuous emphasis on these two factors not only reveals their essential role but also highlights their value in a team’s internal function. In the realm of team sports, where victory is often the ultimate goal, effectiveness depends largely on member’s ability for harmonious cooperation. When the individual parts of the whole operate as a unified mechanism, then the players maximize their performance, make sacrifices for their teammates and ultimately seem to enjoy each other’s company. It is evident that by cultivating such a team culture each sports academy could reap multiple benefits.
The who is who and the importance of winning in team sports
According to McEwan’s and Beauchamp’s study, teamwork is defined as “a dynamic process involving a collaborative effort by team members to effectively carry out the independent and interdependent behaviors that are required to maximize a team’s likelihood of achieving its purposes.”1, Whilst cooperation, according to the widely accepted definition of J. Coakley, is “a social process through which performance is evaluated and rewarded in terms of the collective achievements of a group of people working together to reach a particular goal”2.
From the aforementioned definitions it is evident that when a sports club is able to improve teamwork and cooperation in-between team’s members throughout a season, then collective efficiency will inevitably be enhanced. In the case where athletes trust each other and remain committed to the collective goal, the team maximizes its chances of winning. As Michael Jordan acknowledges in the opening quote, in the realm of team sports, victory is directly linked to the team’s performance.
Teamwork & Cooperation: The Unseen Benefits
Beyond the somewhat narrow scope of victory and defeat, a sports academy should adopt a broader perspective on promoting teamwork and cooperation. The reason is that it can draw multiple benefits. Let’s see specifically how.
- Shaping a culture of cooperation and teamwork as a primary guiding principle can strengthen the sense of community within the team. Recognizing yourself as an integral part of a collective, within which you find support and encouragement, contributes to the enhancement of the athlete’s self-confidence. Thus, a bond of trust and solidarity is formed in-between the members. We see in practice how sports are intertwined with culture. Could you ever imagine a youngster who would not want to be part of such a club? Or, could you ever imagine a sponsor who would not want to associate his brand with this endeavor?
- If we accept that the achievements of the team and its players are perhaps the most commercially exploitable element of the club, then promoting cooperation and teamwork is the first step in this direction. Once a collective spirit like the one described in (1) has been accomplished, it signifies that the groundwork has been laid for further improvement on the individual as well as on the team level. Each sports academy will be able to develop new talents, who could potentially become the future stars. But beyond individual skills, the cooperative approach towards the game itself is a crucial factor in achieving collective goals. Is there a better way to promote the brand name of the academy but through its rising athletes and team successes?
Do not forget
From the above, we would like you to keep in mind the following:
- Sports means culture, of which the duo of teamwork and cooperation is a key element.
- Approach collective success as a commercially exploitable product through the duo of teamwork and cooperation.
By taking into account these remarks, your sports academy will become much more attractive to young athletes and potential sponsors who would want to contribute to your endeavor. Read more in the sponsorship manual on the myTeam blog.
Recognizing the significance of teamwork in sports and its impact on the enhancement of each sports club, myTeam has incorporated into its app features that promote cooperation, skill improvement, and communication among administration, coaches, and athletes.
Book a presentation to see how a sports club can benefit from myTeam app by clicking here
- Desmond McEwan & Mark R. Beauchamp (2014) Teamwork in sport: a theoretical and integrative review, International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 7: 1,229-250.
- “Jay Coakley,Sport in society: Issues and controversies, McGraw-Hill Education, 1994.