The Dynamics of Team Sport
Team sport involves teammates facilitating the movement of a ball or similar object in accordance with a set of rules to score points. Team sports require a large number of players and thus the likelihood of injury is higher than with individual sports. Despite this, they can be great fun and offer an excellent way to keep fit. They also teach valuable life skills such as cooperation, working in unison with a diverse range of personalities and learning how to overcome disappointment and loss.
Studies indicate that improved team function and performance are associated with leadership, supportive team behaviour, communication and performance feedback. In the context of high-performance sport, it is recommended that research into the dynamics of teamwork in support teams is prioritised to enhance health and performance outcomes.
The analysis of training and competition data is central to the understanding and translation of physical preparation into performance in team sport. However, interpreting the gathered information is challenging due to the dynamic nature of the sport and complex inter-team interaction. Tracking systems that utilise spatial and temporal data to integrate tactical context can help provide an enhanced view of the sporting environment and enable a more accurate interpretation of external load.
In the future, this approach may be further developed to include the assessment of other contextually relevant characteristics such as team possession time and space occupancy in conjunction with player tracking metrics. This would help to reduce the over-emphasis on aggregated external load and allow for a more holistic understanding of sporting behaviour and how to optimise performance.