What factors lead to team success?

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by Glen Coblens, MA
SPINw consultant

There are many factors leading to team success in sports. In addition to factors impacting individual sports performance such as confidence, emotional control and focus, three factors can positively or negatively influence team performance.

  • Roles
  • Teamwork
  • Always keep your head in the game

Clearly identified roles helps create team harmony and reduces confusion. Athletes who know, understand and accept their role on the team are more satisfied and enjoy their sport experience. Coaches should communicate to each athlete and confirm roles have been identified.  Continued open communication that is consistent with practice settings leads to a greater understanding of roles and less distractions in competition. Coaches can enhance player satisfaction and maximize performance by demonstrating each athlete is a valuable team member.


Also known as team chemistry, teamwork is vital to team success. Each athlete must put the team’s needs above their own and play to their collective strengths. Teamwork is essential as teams work together to reach a common goal. Teamwork is also a transferable skill teaching life lessons such as taking responsibility for actions and cooperation.


Always keep your head in the game
There is a saying that coaches like to use… “When you are in the game, you are in the game and when you are out of the game, you are in the game”. This means when you are not physically playing, you should be focusing on what is going on in the game so when the coach inserts you into competition, you are ready. This is particularly important in sports with multiple substitutions like basketball and hockey. Sport Psychology helps athletes control the controllables and maintaining your focus when you are on the bench is 100% in your control.


Coaches, athletes and teams that have clearly identified roles, demonstrate strong teamwork and collectively have their head in the game will be rewarded with superior performance and greater success.
Team first… Team Always!

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