We're Falling Apart

March 4, 2013
A team is a group of people who function and perform together to achieve a task. When most people think of teams, they think of sports teams: soccer teams, football teams, basketball teams, softball teams, or baseball teams. Often teams become dysfunctional or begin falling apart for one reason or another. Disfunctionality in a team can be caused by the coaches, the players, or outside influences.

Coaches can influence a team in a number of ways either positively or negatively. One of the simplest ways for a coach to tear a team apart is to not prepare them for the task they are supposed to do like not making a team run enough, so they are quickly tired during a game. Then, when the players are playing a game, they become agitated with each other and they don’t play well together. Another way a coach can hurt a team is by putting his emotions before the team’s, or even not understanding the emotions of his players. When a coach becomes angry during a game, he can quickly become upset with the players. This can cause them to be emotional and either play more aggressively or worse than usual. One of the worst things a coach can do is to show favoritism or unequal treatment towards the players. This can be devastating to the team in two ways. Some of the players who are shown favoritism, often get egos or an attitude of “I’m better than you”. When they are placed with someone who isn’t as good as them, they usually get upset. The players who are not shown favoritism often become mad at the coaches and the players who are their favorites. They feel as if they are being mistreated, so they either channel that negative energy into playing harder, or they just quit trying. The coach may not realize it, but he has influences on the team other than just how prepared they are and what they know about the sport. He can tear them apart just as easily as he can build them up.

Outside influences also play a role in the disfunctionality of a team. One of the biggest issues, believe it or not, is the crowd. Often the crowd contains many family members of both teams and almost every player. These family members usually don’t understand what it’s like to be out there playing on the field, but they are very outspoken and vocal. They yell not only at their own child, but also at the other players, and quite often the referees. This yelling can be a distraction and a cause of irritation to the players and the coaches. It can throw off the game. Parents who don’t get along also have a big influence on the players. The parents must support their child in their sport, but when they don’t get along with another parent, they can vent to their child and cause tension among those two players. Referees are also a huge part of how a team plays. When a referee seems to be calling everything against one team and for the other team, it can cause frustration. It causes the team to become angry, which in turn usually means they play rougher, which gives the referees more to call against them. Outside influences are one of the most difficult obstacles for a team to overcome and it can be overcome if the team learns to block them out and ignore them.

The players themselves are usually the greatest cause of disfunctionality in a team. When two players on a team cannot work together, it causes the entire team to begin to slowly fall apart. One reason the players don’t get along is when one player has a largo ego. When one player thinks they are better than everyone else, it makes the other players have an anger towards that one player. Anytime that person is telling someone that they need to do something, they will become irritated and generally not do it. When they are playing together as a team they, most of the time, they will not include that person in the play. This only causes more tension. Also, that particular player will often refuse to work with anyone who they believe is below their skill level. If they are forced to work with them, they will make it miserable for their partner. Sometimes, as humans, the players have bad days. Whether a teammate really did something wrong or not, they will become aggravated with them easily. The person who is receiving the brunt of the attitude will begin to become irritated and respond with an attitude. If it is allowed to continue for long enough, one person will snap, and it will carry on as a mutual dislike for days or weeks, sometimes even the entire season. It is hard to fix the lack of functionality in a team when it is caused by the players. This is because, as humans, none of the players are fully willing to accept the blame.

There are many things that can tear a team apart, and, believe it or not, there are many more that are not discussed. Often people will describe their teammates their family. This is an accurate depiction for multiple reasons. Being a family doesn’t mean you won’t fight, argue, and disagree, but it means that, if you want to, you can work through the issues and come back together. Like a family, if a team really wants to become closer and get over their roadblocks they will if everyone is willing to work at it, but that is something difficult to achieve when so many things that act as road blocks to tear them apart. Outside influences, the players, and the coaches can all be the cause of a team falling apart. Ironically, by working together they can patch the holes.

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