A Phenomenological Analysis of Group Norms in Sport Teams

in The Sport Psychologist
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This study aimed to identify group norms present in sport teams for practices, competition, social situations, and the off-season. Participants (n = 87 males, n = 53 females) were asked to list behaviors prescribed (i.e., expected) or proscribed (i.e., not appropriate) for each of the four situations. Results showed that a norm associated with productivity was the most frequently cited for competitions (16.3%), practice (22.3%), and the off-season (60.1%). Many of the other frequently cited norms indirectly reflected on productivity—punctuality (23.6 and 8.9% for practices and competitions, respectively), attendance (13.6 and 3.0%, respectively), and preparedness (3.3 and 7.1%, respectively). An overwhelming majority of the other norms cited were related to group maintenance (i.e., in the off-season, maintain contact, 8.7%; in social situations, attend functions. 16.5%; and respect teammates, 16.5%). Results are discussed in terms of their relevance to sport team dynamics.

Krista Munroe, Paul Estabrooks, Paul Dennis, and Albert Carron are with the School of Kinesiology at The University of Western Ontario, London, ON., Canada, N6G 3K7.

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