Better together? Examining correlates of teamwork in sport


Although teamwork has been shown to be an important group variable across a range of team contexts, corresponding research within the context of sport has not yet been conducted. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between various aspects of teamwork and several individual- and group-level variables within sport. A sample of 195 athletes from 19 sports teams completed the Multidimensional Assessment of Teamwork in Sport (MATS), which measures five aspects of teamwork. One month thereafter, participants completed measures of team cohesion, collective efficacy, satisfaction with team and individual performance, enjoyment in one's sport, and commitment to one's team. The correlations between each of the five aspects of teamwork with the six external variables were significant (p < .001). Large effect sizes were found for the correlations between teamwork and satisfaction with team performance, task cohesion, and collective efficacy. Medium effect sizes were shown with social cohesion. Small-to-medium effect sizes were evident with satisfaction with individual performance, commitment to one's team, and enjoyment in one's sport. The relationships between each aspect of teamwork and satisfaction with team performance were mediated by task cohesion, social cohesion, and collective efficacy. The relationships between four of five aspects of teamwork and satisfaction with individual performance was mediated by enjoyment and commitment. This research is the first to provide evidence of external validity related to the MATS. These findings suggest that teamwork is an important variable to consider within the context of sport.

Acknowledgments: Funding: Canadian Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council awarded to the first author