A Quantitative Assessment of Factors Affecting College Sports' Team Unity

Article excerpt

The competitiveness of National Collegiate Association (NCAA) schools increases in intensity each year. With the increased pressure on college sport staffs to be undefeated season after season, coaches have to find ways to keep players happy; to do this, they have to find factors that contribute to unify the players. It is nearly impossible to have a winning season one year and retain that same winning attitude among players. Since the chemistry of teams changes with the new addition of players each year, coaching staff have to be able to maintain a positive bond among players. Coaches have to surround players with the necessities needed to maintain this attitude. This study examines variables that can influence and contribute to sport teams at a college in the northeast of the States. The first part of the research utilizes peer-reviewed articles of previous studies relating to this topic. This includes factors that researches deemed important to the chemistry of a team. The second part of this research examines the result of regression models implemented in this paper. A questionnaire was made and sent to one hundred athletes at the college. Several variables such as class standing, team record, funding, travel accommodations, coaching staff, academic policy are considered to improve team unity. Finally, the result, using SPSS Statistical package, is analyzed and appropriate policy recommendations are suggested.

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Review of Literature

Team unity is not a new phenomenon; it has been around since the beginning of time. Because of the success it can bring to a team, and it continues to be implemented in many areas. Team unity exists in businesses and sports alike. It is used to reach a common goal: success. The success factor, however, depends on how well a team can coexist and the effectiveness of the factors that can help achieve that.

In recent years building team unity/cohesiveness has become one of the most popular and widely used tools for improving management relations and organizational effectiveness in the business industry (Yukelson, 1997, p.73). Traditional organizations that implement in individual orientations that do not utilize the power of a team approach can no longer be competitive in the intricate and dynamic world of business (Ibbetson, & Newell, 1996). In today's corporate world, organizations have to boost the morale of its employees to act and operate as a cohesive unified body in order to have a competitive edge. A team consists of different bodies, all with different unique expertise and together operations can run smoothly and efficiently.

Building a unified team environment can only yield positive result in the long run. A three year study by Glaser (1994) on teamwork and communication found that participating members reported a change in several areas. They reported an increase in their ability to raise issues, manage conflicts among employees, give mutual praise, support and cooperate. These are all mediums that can goes along way to helping build team unity and help strengthen a company in the long run.

Human resource professionals have utilized ropes challenging courses and other experimental based adventure activities to develop communication, trust, leadership, problem solving skills, and the ability for a team to work efficiently with one another (McEvoy, & Cragun, 1997) and cohesion among employees. Over the past decade, organizations have realized that employee involvement and participation are crucial to their success (Glaser, 1994). Activities that are used in a business environment may be not necessary be the same for athletes in regards to sports but, building a sense of cohesion and the paying close attention to variables that may contribute to it is something coaches and employees alive must be aware of.

To be successful at anything in life, there has to be factors that work together in order for success to be achieved in the end. …