Do Members of a Winning Soccer Team Engage in More Communication Than a Losing Team? A Single-Game Study of Two Competing Teams

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 University of Saskatchewan, Canada
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Emerging evidence suggests that team success is associated with communication among group members. This study built on those findings by examining the degree to which members on a winning (n = 13) and a losing (n = 13) men’s soccer team exchanged task-related information during a single head-to-head game. Social network analysis was used to compute athlete information exchange at the individual and team levels by asking players to identify the specific members with whom they exchanged information during the game. As hypothesized, athletes on the winning team had higher average individual degree centrality and higher network-density scores than athletes on the losing team. This indicates that individual members on the winning team exchanged task-related information with more of their teammates and, as a result, engaged in more collective information exchange as a team. While replication is necessary to increase generalizability, this study suggests a possible link between the degree that team members exchange information (at the individual and team level) and team performance outcome (i.e., win or loss).

McLaren is a doctoral student, and Spink, his advisor, in the College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

McLaren (colin.mclaren@usask.ca) is corresponding author.
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