When Suddenly Nothing Works Anymore Within a Team – Causes of Collective Sport Team CollapseCollective team collapse occurs when multiple players of a sport team experience a sudden and extreme underperformance within a game. To date, minimal research has been conducted on the causes of collective team collapse. Thus, goals of this study were to explore perceived causes of collective team collapse in different sports and to define team collapse in contrast to negative momentum. To investigate factors causing and maintaining collective sport team collapse, an inductive, exploratory qualitative analysis of individual interviews was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 10 athletes of professional German teams of various sports playing in between first and fourth division. Participants were interviewed about a team collapse event they had experienced with their team during the past year. Data were collected and analyzed using a grounded theory methodology. Collective team collapse appeared to be induced by a temporal cascade of causes rather than by single triggers. This cascade included antecedents, which represent factors that make the occurrence of a team collapse more likely; critical events, which include specific events within the game that trigger a team collapse; as well as affective, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes that foster a maintenance of the collapse. Within this theoretical framework, social factors, such as decreased performance contagion or emotional contagion, played crucial roles in causing a team collapse. These results illustrate that collective team collapse is more than the sum of individual choking of multiple players at the same time. In conclusion, a new definition, differentiating team collapse from negative momentum, is introduced. Furthermore, a process model of causes of collective team collapse is proposed. The results provide first insights into causes of collective collapse in a variety of team sports. The developed model is supposed to help future research to better connect to practice and to support athletes, coaches, and sport psychologists.
Autor / Fonte:V Vanessa Wergin, Zsuzsanna Zimanyi, Christopher Mesagno, Jürgen Beckmann Frontiers in Psychology 2018, 9: 2115