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TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Measurement of Team Cohesion

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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Lesson 36
TEAM COHESION IN SPORT
Intuitively athletes, coaches, and sport enthusiasts understand that there is more to athletic success than the
collective or individual skills of a team. Sport psychologists refer to this extra team ingredient as group or
team cohesion.
There are numerous examples of talented teams that failed to live up to expectations, or to less talented
teams who performed far above expectations. In sports, it is a well-established principle that a group of
individuals working together is far more effective than the same individuals working independently of one
another. On the basketball team, there may be several individuals capable of scoring twenty or more points
a game. However, in the interest of team success, the coach may require that one or more of these athletes
assume nonscoring roles. For example, a point guard has the primary responsibility of setting up plays and
getting the offense started, while the power forward must "crash" the boards and get offensive and
defensive rebounds. Athletes who play these specialized roles rarely score as many points as shooting guards
or forwards. Yet, out of the desire to be "team players", these athletes accept less glamorous roles for the
common good of the team. Thus, as a group or team evolves, a certain structure develops. This structure
varies from group to group and situation to situation, but it is critical for team success.
Not only do members of successful teams have the ability to work together (teamwork); they also enjoy a
certain attraction to one another. In this respect, it seems logical that teams composed of members who like
each other and enjoy playing together will somehow be more successful than teams lacking this quality.
As a social psychological topic, team cohesion ranks as a very important factor for enhancing team
performance and feelings of satisfaction among members. In the following two lectures, team cohesion will
be discussed in terms of:
Its defining characteristics
Its measurement
Its determinants
Its consequences
Its development
Defining Characteristics of Team Cohesion
Albert Carron (1992), a prominent sport social psychologist, defined group cohesion as "a dynamic process
which is reflected in the tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of goals and
objectives. Fundamental to the study of team cohesion is the understanding of group dynamics. Members
of a team or group begin to interact with each other the moment the group is first formed.
Direct and Indirect Measurement of Cohesion
The indirect measurement approach to assessing team cohesion tries to get at team cohesion by asking each
team member how she feels about every other member of the on some basic question (e.g., How much do
you like the different members on your team?). Summed scores from team members would represent a
measurement of team cohesion.
The direct measurement approach to assessing team cohesion is direct in the sense that players are asked to
indicate how much they like playing for the team (individual attraction) and how well they feel the team
functions as a unit (group integration). Research using the indirect approach has generally failed to find a
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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
meaningful relationship between team cohesion and team or individual behavior. the indirect approach to
measuring team cohesion is very rare in sport psychology research today.
Measurement of Team Cohesion
A number of inventories have been developed for measuring team cohesion in sport. An incomplete list of
inventories include:
1.
Sports Cohesiveness Questionnaire (SCQ; Martens & Peterson, 1971);
2.
Team Cohesion Questionnaire (TCQ; Gruber & Grey, 1981);
3.
Sport Cohesion Instrument (SCI; Yukelson, Wienberg and Jackson, 1984);
4.
Group Environment questionnaire (GEQ; Widmeyer, Brawley & Carron, 1985);
5.
Team Psychology Questionnaire (TPQ; Partington and Shangi, 1992)
Of these five inventories, the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ) has been sport psychologists'
primary inventory of choice over the last fifteen years. The GEQ has continued to be used extensively by
researchers and practitioners The GEQ is composed of eighteen items that measure the four team cohesion
dimensions.
The four team cohesion dimensions measured by GEQ are:
Personal factors
Team factors
Leadership factors
Environmental factors
Determinants of Team Cohesion
Now let's focus attention upon the determinants of team cohesion.
In an important study reported by Widmeyer and Williams (1991), factors that determine team cohesion
were investigated. In this investigation, team cohesion was measured using the GEQ. The results of this
investigation revealed that all the four determinants, personal factors, team factors, leadership factors and
environmental factors predictive of some aspect of team cohesion. The strongest predictor of team
cohesion, however, was personal satisfaction. The best way to develop team cohesion is by cultivating a
personal feeling of satisfaction towards the team and team members.
References
Cox, H. Richard. (2002). Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications. (Fifth Edition). New York:
McGraw-Hill Companies
Lavallec. D., Kremer, J., Moran, A., & Williams. M. (2004) Sports Psychology: Contemporary Themes. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers
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Table of Contents:
  1. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY DEFINED:Issue of Certification, The Research Sport Psychologist
  2. SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Successful Performance, Verbal persuasion
  3. SELECTING SELF-TALK STATEMENTS:Skill accusation, Controlling effort
  4. GOAL ORIENTATION:Goal Involvement, Motivational Climate
  5. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTION IN SPORT:Fritz Heiderís Contribution, Other Considerations
  6. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS IN COMPETITIVE SITUATIONS:Locus of Causality
  7. MOTIVATION IN SPORT:Social Factors, Success and Failure, Coachesí Behavior
  8. FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE, Goal Setting in Sport
  9. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING:Clearly identify time constraints
  10. A TEAM APPROACH TO SETTING GOALS:The Planning Phase, The Meeting Phase
  11. YOUTH SPORT:Distress and anxiety, Coach-Parent Relationships
  12. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Information Processing, Memory Systems
  13. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Measuring Attentional Focus
  14. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Personality Defined, Psychodynamic Theory
  15. THE MEASUREMENT OF PERSONALITY:Projective Procedures, Structured Questionnaire
  16. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Athletic Motivation Inventory, Personality Sport Type
  17. SITUATIONAL FACTORS RELATED TO ANXIETY AND MOOD:Type of Sport
  18. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:Emotion and Mood
  19. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:The Inverted-U Theory
  20. ALTERNATIVES TO INVERTED-U THEORY:Apterís Reversal Theory
  21. COPING STRATEGIES IN SPORT:Measurement of Coping Skill
  22. RELAXATION STRATEGIES FOR SPORT:Progressive Relaxation, Autogenic Training
  23. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Team Energizing Strategies, Fan Support
  24. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Precompetition Workout, Individual Goal Setting
  25. IMAGERY:Skill Level of the Athletes, Time Factors and Mental Practice
  26. IMAGERY:Symbolic Learning Theory, Imagery Perspective. Sensory Mode
  27. IMAGERY:Paivioís Two-Dimensional Model, Developing Imagery Skills
  28. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Defining Hypnosis, Social-Cognitive Theory
  29. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Achieving the Hypnotic Trance, Hypnotic Phase
  30. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Psychological Skills Training Program
  31. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Performance profiling, Performance routines
  32. ETHICS IN SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Competence, Integrity, Social Responsibility
  33. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:Defining Aggression, Catharsis hypothesis
  34. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:The Catharsis Effect, Fan Violence
  35. AUDIENCE AND CROWD EFFECTS IN SPORTS:Social Facilitation, Crowd Hostility
  36. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Measurement of Team Cohesion
  37. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Predicting Future Participation, Team Building
  38. LEADERSHIP IN SPORT:Fiedlerís Contingency Theory, Coach-Athlete Compatibility
  39. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Special Populations, Clinical Patients
  40. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Social Interaction Hypothesis, Amine Hypothesis
  41. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:The Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory
  42. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Exercise Addiction, Bulimia Nervosa, Muscle Dysmorphia
  43. BURNOUT IN ATHLETES:Overtraining and Overreaching, Recommended Intervention
  44. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ATHLETIC INJURIES:Personality Factors, Coping Resources
  45. DRUG ABUSE IN SPORT AND EXERCISE:Stimulants, Depressants