Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

Group Effort

Each of us has most likely had experience in being part of a group, whether it be a sports team, an organization, club, group project, etc. Within these groups/teams, everyone has their own role. The textbook defines a role as “a set of behaviors expected of a person in a particular social position or setting” (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). For example, if it’s an organization, there might be positions like the president, vice president, secretary, auditor, etc. Work teams may include positions such as manager, assistant manager, supervisor, employee, etc. The individual who is chosen for each position has criteria and requirements that they are asked to follow in order to perform efficiently within their role for the team. Through this, there is role clarity in which the chosen individual has been given a clear definition of exactly what their role on the team is and what they’ll be required and expected to do (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). Following that stage is role acceptance in which the individual who is chosen for the position is aware of what they’re required to do and is in agreement to their tasks (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). Then comes role performance in which the chosen person takes on the tasks of the position clearly and efficiently (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016).

Within my own life, I’ve been a part of several groups, like a sports team and a dance team. I’ve taken part in clubs as well as group projects. In regards to organizations, at my workplace I take on the role of “employee” and I work under people who are considered my supervisors, bosses, and other administration. Those titles are the roles of those individuals who took on the tasks of those positions in order to create an efficient job environment that runs smoothly. When it comes to the football team I was on, I took on the role of “wide receiver” for some time. At that time, I was just starting to play and this position seemed to be what I was good at, so therefore, that was my role. I was required to run far out on the field and catch the ball when passed to me by the quarterback. However, I realized that running quickly that far wasn’t the best of my skillful abilities. To do so and then catch the ball wasn’t bad but it also didn’t seem to work for me to perform efficiently. There was another individual on the team who was playing the quarterback and they were having a similar situation. They had the ability to run well so our coach tested it out and had us switch roles. This happens during stage four of Tuckman’s notion of development stages (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). We found that I had more skill in throwing the football, especially when it came to throwing far. My other teammate was able to run a lot better than I could, so therefore, revisions were made to the roster so that we could both play in positions that fit us better than the ones we already had.

We all worked as a team to be able to perform efficiently and win games. If we didn’t win (actually even if we did win), we came together, communicated with each other, and figured out how to be better when the next game would come around. The textbook talks about team confidence and how it’s so important for team members, especially in sports to have confidence in each other (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). Every player has to believe in themselves and believe in each other. One person can’t do it all on their own. One person alone can’t “carry” the team. Every person plays a key factor in the game, in the role they’ve been placed in. An article by Journal of Sports Sciences indicates that even though a player’s performance is based a lot off of the player’s skills physically as well as the player’s traits/characteristics, sport confidence “is viewed as critical to human functioning and sport performance” (Hays, Thomas, Maynard, Bawden, 2009).

In the case of one of the dance teams I was a part of, we all had our own roles on that team as well. There was a person who was more like the leader of the group and we referred to them as the president, with another person as the vice president alongside them. There was a treasurer to handle all of the funds we obtained to be able to participate in competitions/shows as well as funds to There was a person who held the role of being responsible for creating the choreography, with the help of another individual. There was someone who was responsible for creating the tracks and music instrumental combinations for us all to dance to. With everyone placing importance on their responsibilities within the group, we were able to be in sync and successful in the dance world. Every single role in any group is very important to the entirety of the team/group. Even though one position might be considered “higher” to the outward eye, that doesn’t make any role less vital to the efficiency of the team’s survival and function as a whole. Everyone must work together, take on their own responsibilities and do their own part, as well as communicate, for things to go smoothly and be successful and done well.


Works Cited:

Gruman, J. A., Schneider, F. W., & Coutts, L. M. (Eds.). (2016). Applied social psychology : Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Retrieved from

Hays, K. (n.d.). The role of confidence in world-class sport performance. Retrieved from


  1. I love that phrase and honestly only heard it for the first time a few years ago. Teamwork always seems to be easier in concept than in execution, as it is not always easy to ensure that everyone has the same views on goal achievement. It sounds like you were quite fortunate in your football situation, in that you were not only able to recognize your shortcomings, but your coach and quarterback were also willing to step back and analyse the situation from a “what’s best for everyone” standpoint. In Tuckman’s stages of group development, the storming stage tends to be fairly uncomfortable for most people. It’s a time when everyone starts to show stronger opinions, and conflict becomes more apparent and harder to ignore. I would have thought your quarterback would have been hesitant to switch positions, considering quarterbacks are usually the most coveted position in a football team. It sounds like the teams’ desire to win games overcame any issue with ego.

    It sounds like your dance team functioned as its own committee or club with everyone having defined roles, which allowed the team to compete without external help. This is not only impressive for the amount of organization and work it must took, but also impressive that you were in both football and dance teams. These are two highly competitive and time consuming sports that require loads of practice, so kudos to your ambition and motivation. I would think that being on a dance team would be hard enough without having another role to play, such as treasurer. It sounds like your team was able to develop a sense of common purpose and create a cohesive environment for moving forward toward goal achievement.


    Gruman, J. A., Schneider, F. W., and Coutts, L. M. (Eds.) (2017). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  2. Trevor Jay Zimmerman

    Your blog entry seemed a little similar to my own. While our roles were very different, and the sport was very different, we were both on teams, both had clear roles, and both had our roles changed. In my example I was on a race team, we had clear roles and good role acceptance. However, once the season started, we found that there were roles that needed to be performed that weren’t assessed in the first 2 stages, and that there were some roles that I was better at than others and vice versa. Very similar to your example, the biggest thing that I noticed when typing up my blog was that the norming stage and the performing stage seemed as if they were going on at the same time, and it is interesting to hear that yours was similar. I think that this is a distinction that needs to be made and understood. The norming stage is for changes that need to be made, but one think that I did not see mentioned is that roles can be reassessed at any point. As with your example, you and your team were already involved in the performing stage, you were playing games. However, during the season it was noticed that your role was not best suited for you and was therefore changed to better fit. I think that in all group/team environments it is critical to know that if certain roles are better suited for someone else, than the roles should not be concrete and should be able to be assigned to another member.

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