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The Features Of Team Building Intervention

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Senécal et al. (2008) have outlined the main aim of the study was to determine whether a season-long team-building intervention program could improve team cohesiveness. Authors define cohesion as a “dynamic process in which a group remains united in the pursuit of its objectives”, and interestingly, it is believed that the level of cohesiveness within a team may result in improved performance and success. The use of a team building intervention – a method of enhancing unity to enable the team to function more effectively – becomes paramount within the study, in which the topic of team goal setting to enhance cohesion is exclusively focused on. It is therefore evident that the purpose of the study was to distinguish if implementing such strategies result in heightened perceptions of cohesion within a team of female high school basketballers, compared to their control counterparts. A total of eight female high school basketball teams (14-18 years) participated in the study, in which each athlete had played the sport for approximately 5 years, and an average of 1.3 years in their current team. Throughout the season, each team trained a minimum of twice per week and played once per week. From the eight participating teams, four were randomly assigned as the control group and the remaining four were placed under the experimental condition of team goal setting. The four teams placed under controlled conditions continued with their traditional team sport without the psychological interventions of the experimental groups. The experimental group developed appropriate short and long term goals following education about the importance of the intervention to build group cohesion. These goals were closely monitored and reinforced by the coach before each game, and by a sport psychology consultant who reviewed these goals after every third game. Measurement of team cohesion was completed twice throughout the season in both the control and intervention groups – time 1, beginning of season and time 2, end of the season – using the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ), in which responses were recorded on a 9 point scale, with 1 = I strongly disagree and 9 = I strongly agree, thus higher scores reflecting greater team cohesion. The four dimensions of cohesion examined in the GEQ set out to determine Attraction to Group-Task (ATG-T), Attraction to Group-Social (ATG-S), Group Integration-Task (GI-T), Group Integration-Social (GI-S).

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Results indicate that there were no significant differences in perceptions of cohesion at the beginning of the season (Time 1) between the individuals in the team-goal setting condition and the control group (p >0.05). However, the end of season (Time 2) analysis shows that the four groups under the prescribed team goal setting conditions had experienced heightened perceptions of cohesion following the season intervention (p < 0.05), compared to their controlled counterparts, who had reported a decreased perception of team cohesion. Interestingly, a preliminary analysis was conducted to determine whether playing experience, team performance or team tenure had any impact on these results. Findings conveyed that the experimental groups had a greater basketball experience of 5.38 years, a winning percentage of 67.5% and a team tenure of 1.18 years, compared to the control group, who had a playing experience of 4.90 years, a winning percentage of 55.5% and a team tenure of 1.40 years. These results suggest that increased team cohesion in the team-goal setting condition may be attributed to their relatively low team tenure – in which they are still a developing team in comparison to control groups and thus, they may be experiencing heightened levels of motivation as a new team, which positively influences team performance. Moreover, improved team performance and cohesion in the teams with low tenure could be attributed to their longer individual history in the sport (5.38 years vs 4.90 years), indicating that these athletes are more experienced and therefore, this may not be such an influential factor on their performance within a new team. Furthermore, a post hoc analysis examined whether changes in cohesion occurred between the goal-setting or control group. Results revealed that cohesion did not significantly increase (p >0.05) on any of the four dimensions examined (ATG-T, ATG-S, GI-T, GI-S) in the team goal-setting group between the two time periods, however, athletes in the control group showed a significant decrease (p > 0.05) in team cohesion between the two time periods on three of the four dimensions (ATG-T, ATG-S, GI-S). Post-intervention, 68.4% of players under the goal-setting condition conveyed that the team-building strategy improved their team cohesiveness as it allowed them to set realistic goals, remain focused, and work harder as a team to achieve set goals. Individuals in the control group specified that the coaches did implement a variety of one-off activities, however, it was concluded that no team-building activities were conducted, thus indicating such minor efforts are not sufficient to enhance or maintain team cohesion.

The results of Senécal et al. (2008) support the notion that team building interventions are an important strategy implemented to maintain a team’s cohesiveness throughout a sporting season. This can be seen as athletes in the team-goal setting maintained their perceptions of cohesiveness, while athletes in the control group experienced a significant decrease throughout the season on three of the four dimensions (ATG-T, ATG-S, GI-S). As the control group showed such a significant decrease in cohesion, findings of the current study support the hypothesis that team-building interventions may motivate players to achieve a common goal, and consequently improve cohesiveness. Despite the findings of the study, future research on the topic of team goal setting to achieve cohesiveness is required to further demonstrate the effectiveness of this strategy as the study was limited in its execution. The study focused solely on young female basketball players (14-18 years), in which the results of this study may not reflect the success of team building in an older or more experienced populations. The outcomes could be attributed to the increased conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion of females in general. Moreover, the study’s intervention was conducted over the season’s competition phase, and although findings supported the hypothesis, it is uncertain whether the same result would occur if the study was conducted over the entire macrocycle – that is, preseason, in-season and postseason. It is possible that the team goal-setting condition outcomes could differ if cohesion was monitored over the entire year, whereby cohesiveness may decrease postseason and be difficult to regain in the following season. The final limitation is that only one factor contributing to team success – cohesion – was focused on during the team-building intervention. The success of a team relies on a range of factors that collectively contribute to the success of a team, including communication, confidence, cooperation, and cohesion (Gould et al., 1999). Thus, the results of the team-building intervention on the goal-setting group may be different if more than one factor of team-building was focused on. Furthermore, future research should seek to address cohesion in different sporting populations, monitor cohesion over the entire macrocycle, and determine whether other factors of team success could be more beneficial to focus a team-building intervention on, or whether all factors of team success should be monitored.

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The Features Of Team Building Intervention. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
“The Features Of Team Building Intervention.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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The Features Of Team Building Intervention [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Mar 21]. Available from:
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