Outline of a theory of efficient teams in Sport.

Seiler, Roland (May 2014). Outline of a theory of efficient teams in Sport. In: The SFPS' 5th International Congress of Sport Psychology (p. 69). Nice: Université Nice Sophia Antipolis/SFPS

So far, social psychology in sport has preliminary focused on team cohesion, and many studies and meta-analyses tried to demonstrate a relation between cohesiveness of a team and its performance. How a team really co-operates and how the individual actions are integrated towards a team action is a question that has received relatively little attention in research. This may, at least in part, be due to a lack of a theoretical framework for collective actions, a dearth that has only recently begun to challenge sport psychologists.

In this presentation a framework for a comprehensive theory of teams in sport is outlined and its potential to integrate research in the domain of team performance and, more specifically, the following presentations, is put up for discussion.

Based on a model developed by von Cranach, Ochsenbein and Valach (1986), teams are considered to be information processing organisms, and team actions need to be investigated on two levels: the individual team member and the group as an entity. Elements to be considered are the task, the social structure, the information processing structure and the execution structure. Obviously, different task require different social structures, communication processes and co-ordination of individual movements. Especially in rapid interactive sports planning and execution of movements based on feedback loops are not possible. Deliberate planning may be a solution mainly for offensive actions, whereas defensive actions have to adjust to the opponent team's actions. Consequently, mental representations must be developed to allow a feed-forward regulation of team member's actions.

Results and Conclusions
Some preliminary findings based on this conceptual framework as well as further consequences for empirical investigations will be presented.

Cranach, M.v., Ochsenbein, G. & Valach, L. (1986). The group as a self-active system: Outline of a theory of group action. European Journal of Social Psychology, 16, 193-229.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Science II [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Seiler, Roland


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment


Université Nice Sophia Antipolis/SFPS


Roland Seiler

Date Deposited:

02 Jul 2014 12:18

Last Modified:

02 Jul 2014 12:18

Uncontrolled Keywords:

team sport, theoretical concept, action regulation, team performance, information processing



Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback