Sports teams share the properties of many other groups, in that they are composed of two or more individuals who possess a common identity, have common goals and objectives, share a common fate, exhibit structured patterns of interaction and modes of communication, hold common perceptions about group structural elements such as norms and roles, are personally and instrumentally interdependent, reciprocate interpersonal attraction, and consider themselves to be a group.

An intercollegiate tennis doubles team provides a useful example of this definition. The team contains, of course, two athletes, both of whom would describe themselves as partners on a team (common identity). Also, the two athletes would share numerous goals for both practices and competitions and experience success and failure as a collective (common fate). The ...

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