From Groups To Teams (Sports Psychology) Essay, Research Paper
Teams of people can be witnessed everywhere throughout today’s society. They are commonplace in schools, and businesses are attempting to implement their use in the work environment. The overwhelming question that many of these people strive to answer pertains to the way in which groups of people form into a team. Take twenty male college students, for example, who are between the ages of 18 and 22. A person or group may take these individuals and put them together forming them into a group, nothing more nothing less. They have a common identity, a shared objective, and other similar traits that have thrust them into their current position. Over time this group can develop into a team through several steps.
The first of these steps is very obvious and has to do with the members becoming well acquainted with each other. The more time the members of the team spend together the closer they will become. To make a strong group the people involved in the group must know personal information about each other. Although they need not all be best friends they need to get along well and know the background of the other members of the team. This allows the group to be sensitive to each other’s needs and wants. It also helps members to understand why some act the way they do and in what fashion they desire to be treated. An individual is much more motivated when they are playing for their friends then when they are playing for a group of total strangers.
The next step that must be realized is the formation of leaders and followers. In many ways a group is kind of like a pack of wild animals. Certain individuals in the group struggle for the leadership role while others are content to sit back and be the followers. Once the leader or leaders are ascertained the followers in the group will know whom they should look up to for encouragement and strength. The leaders must be sensitive and yet strict. They should not be the type of individual who would pick on others in the group. If this occurs members of the group may become segregated and the group will not perform to its highest standard. Without defining the leaders of the group the team will sometimes become split and the focus on the common goal is lost.
Probably the most important element to forming a team is the fire that binds the team together. This is accomplished through some type of a rebellious phase. The best way the group of college students above could be bound together would be by having a common hate for a separate individual or team. Many times a person whom every member in the team is against makes that team stronger. This individual makes them work. It is this initial challenge that the team must overcome. This work could be through practices or other things in which the members would rather not be partaking. In order to reach their common goal they must overcome this individual and the hardships that are imposed upon the team’s members. This first challenge makes the members support one and other. They rise up together to overcome this individual and it molds them into one body. They become tied to the next person and stand up for that person as if they were standing up for their family. Many times if a team fails this immediate challenge it can destroy everything the team has gained thus far. It is important to make sure the group succeeds the first time and that way a precedent is set for the rest of their work.
Now that the team has one victory under its belt it can go about pursuing the common objective that it was formed to meet. The sense of cooperation and unity that was experienced in the first challenge is carried over into the quest to meet the team’s goal. As the team works together for longer and longer periods of time they become accustomed to each other’s behaviors. The team begins to act cohesively as a single unit. They realize their job and they complete it to the best of their ability striving for success.
In the end it takes many steps in order to forge a group into a team. As in the example with the college students the process takes commitment and time. It is something that every individual must work for but it is not a conscious progression. The transformation of a group into a team happens sort of overnight and it is not something that any member can see on the horizon.