A team sport is an activity in which participants compete against opposing teams to achieve a common goal. Examples of team sports include baseball, hockey, volleyball, swimming, rowing and cycling. Teamwork and strategy are essential for success in these sports. In contrast to pure individual competition, where the performance of each competitor is assessed only by a rating based on their own performance, team competitions also take into account the performances of other competitors in order to determine a winner.
Sport team processes are distinct from other group types because they are largely regulated and controlled by the external environment, for example leagues stipulate the number of athletic scholarships that may be given to a college or university sport team. This external control enables sport teams to act as dynamic “labor market laboratories,” in the words of Kahn (2000).
As such, sport teams are able to provide researchers with a rich source of data about the internal dynamics of groups. This includes the emergence and persistence of norms that dictate the level of effort players are expected to exert during competition, or the degree to which they may deviate from these norms.
In addition, team sport teaches athletes how to work with a variety of personalities and scenarios. This is a valuable skill that will serve them well in their future careers. Furthermore, the commitment and determination that sports requires teaches students to fight for their goals and not give up even in the face of challenges.