Seeing the "we" in "me" sports: The need to consider individual sport team environments

Michael Blair Evans, Mark A. Eys, Mark W. Bruner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most individual sport settings involve groups, as athletes often train in a team environment even though they compete individually and often in opposition to their teammates. Despite the pervasiveness of individual sport, group dynamics research has almost exclusively investigated team sports because team members rely on one another during the competitive group task. However, the reliance on task interdependence to dichotomize sport environments into one of two categories (i.e., team or individual) overlooks further differences in how members rely on each other (e.g., interdependence for individual and group-level outcomes or resources). The purpose of this article is to promote the investigation of group dynamics and social influence in individual sport by proposing a typology that distinguishes types of sport group environments according to levels of structural interdependence. This typology identifies six distinct sport team types and leads to a number of relevant theoretical and practice-based propositions. This work is a call for increased group dynamics research involving individual sport environments that acknowledges the multiple forms of interdependence that are present both in the group structure and the perceptions held by athletes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Psychology
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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