Cooperating with your rival: team events in individual sports

Joanna Madey, FLOW Foundation, Poland

Theme: Elite performance

Poster Number: 21

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Many of the individual sports also hold team events. We found the team events very interesting, as athletes, who on day-to-day bases compete with each other – for the position in the world ranking, and for the spot on the team – have to start cooperating and work together for the final result. We conducted a qualitative research, total of 12 athletes form Polish National Teams participated: 7 from woman's fencing team (epee), 3 from man's fencing team (epee), and 2 from woman's table tennis team. The study was in a form of an author's questionnaire. The purpose was to determine psychological implications of taking on a specific role in the team, what are the informal roles in such teams, and how the athletes cope with the emotions that accompany them during this particular competition. Information gathered by this questionnaire has helped to determine the basic psychological issues that athletes face at that time, and in result, the most effective and important ways from the athlete's perspective, to work on creating and maintaining the team spirit. The issues that were stated to be the most important: (1) setting common goals, (2) communication – both informational and supportive, (3) building trust between the team members, and (4) coping with stress and a sense of responsibility. Those findings can be very useful in preparing suitable mental training programs. Full results of the survey will be presented.

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