Cues to informing perceived task cohesion in the sport setting The case for teammate effort

Kevin S. Spink, Colin D. Mclaren and Jocelyn D. Ulvick

College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

Although the outcomes of cohesion are well established, we know less about the potential antecedents that inform these perceptions. This study examined the effort-cohesion relationship, with a primary focus on teammate effort as a cue for task cohesion. Youth soccer players (N = 92) completed different measures of effort and task cohesion early and late in the season. Results of a path analysis revealed a significant relationship between the proportion of teammates players nominated as working hard early in the season and players’ perceptions of task cohesion early and late in the season (ps < .05). Late season task cohesion was significantly related to late season self-reported effort (p < .05). Effort nominations received from teammates were not significantly related to task cohesion at either measurement period (ps > .10). Findings are discussed in terms of the conceptualization of cohesion, and implications are drawn regarding the triangulation of self-reported effort metrics.

Keywords: Group cohesion, Social influence, Teammate effort, Team dynamics, Youth sport.