Sports, a model of team work

By Bibiana Crocilla


Sports are a clear example of the advantages and characteristics of group interaction in organizations

One of the challenges for organizations at the turn of this decade will be the power in their hands to build up true working teams. New scenarios inclined to the need for a change will require a high level of training and the development of abilities to generate team work while making their work more professional.
In practice, it is not easy to shape up genuine working teams.
A working team arises from the need to achieve a goal or an objective within a certain period of time, where individual members must unleash all their competences. In addition, all members must cooperate with their peers to favour the achievement of each and every team objective.
Sports, as a discipline, are an excellent example to outline these requirements. For example, a football player has to train every day to achieve his utmost performance, but on the field itself he will need the contribution of all the members of his team to achieve a favourable outcome.
Professional players train day after day both physically and tactically, and concentrate together to attain their best condition in view of the encounter with their opponent.
It is on the field where each team tries to win by using a certain strategy: the main objective is to hold the ball the longer the better, to surprise their opponent and to trigger a definition to the game: neither sooner nor later, just when appropriate.

Permanent interaction
From this angle, team work is not the addition of individual results but the permanent interaction of its members. It is not a question of pooling competences individually, but rather within a group context in order to generate a permanent effect of complementation.
This also means that members should perceive the importance of considering themselves as a polyfunctional resource within the team, which requires an ongoing training for the different roles that every member is responsible for.
The same applies to football, when one player gets suspended or injured: it is common to see a change in roles – the fore player moves to the back and vice-versa, and the team functionality changes immediately.
This is why each member should develop his or her objective assessment, which increases the level of self criticism and strengthens the interest for further learning.
The interest for intensive training as well as the individual and collective assessment will have an impact on the better performance of the team.
True teams are difficult to constitute. Nevertheless, the presence of a good manager or leader should be favourable to obtain the expected results.

Better performance
What is necessary to have a true team?
Surely positions should be filled with the best possible applicant; however, this does not guarantee the constitution of a winning working team.
The teams that have been successful in football are those which have, as a technical support, a leader outside the field, and one on the field, and both leading the teams to win.
As a general rule, these leaders are capable of making each player attain his best performance and complement with his peers.
Starting from this point, the view is different and so is the importance to count on leaders or managers who are not tied up to their desks but instead accompany their team; they defend it, encourage the feeling of belonging, and show that there is no star player holding a golden cup for the glory of a goal, but a team who scores goals to the benefit of the whole team.

The importance of the leader
The presence of a true leader is one of the basic keys to consolidate a team and to make work easier.
A leader should be orientated to:
• Know and train team members.
• Implement strategies and co-ordinate the work.
• Encourage innovation and facilitate a common language.
• Instill the passion for work within the team.
• Motivate and carry out the role of a leader among the members of the team.
• Be mild with his or her opinions and have permanently a flexible attitude.
• Share with the team his or her knowledge and all the information available to carry out the team activities.