CONTRIBUTED IMAGE / THE SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
Knowing your role for a team and coming together with others to compete for a common goal is the basis of all team sports.
While the makeup of a successful team includes elements such as consistency, determination, and preparation, chemistry is the one tool that ties everything together.
Team chemistry can be the deciding factor for a team that may not be the best ability-wise but still allows them to compete at a high level because of the genuine respect and willingness to play for each other as a group.
“It’s very important for a team to have chemistry because it helps the team be more successful and teammates will want to work hard for each other,” said Kara Hughes, varsity player for Laurier’s cross country team and women’s soccer team.
The willingness to do anything and everything for your teammate goes a long way.
Understanding the person before the athlete can help with team comradery and allow for better communication between members of the team.
“I have been on teams with bad chemistry, when teams have bad chemistry, it just makes everything harder,” said Hughes.
It is easier to spot a team with bad chemistry than a good one because the signs of a dysfunctional team will show. Yelling between the players, what their body language is like, and a lack of respect for one another are just some of the signs of a team that does not gel well together.
Bad chemistry causes problems that affect every part of the game and makes every little thing seem difficult.Everyone on a team does not necessarily have to like each other. With so many different types of people on one squad, it is hard to think that everyone will seemingly mesh without any problems.
Players have egos, come from various backgrounds, and cannot relate to every single person the same way.
Taking the extra step of communicating with others can change the whole dynamic of a squad. Body language, tone, and getting to know your teammates outside of the game also can help bring a team closer together when it is time to compete.
“Communication is a key part of any team, regardless of sports or not. Something as basic as letting everyone know what you’re at good and what your weaknesses are can lead to people helping you, little stuff like that goes a long way,” said Quajuan Jackson, a varsity basketball player for Laurier Brantford.
The little things, especially in the sports field, all add up in creating the right environment for success.
Mentioning what you are used to and what you need to work on can let your teammates know how to highlight your strengths and ways to help to work on your weaknesses.
“Besides genuine skill or talent, communication is the most important part of any team because it’s incorporated in every aspect of the team,” said Jackson.
Miscommunication causes problems and can be one of the top reasons for chemistry issues within a team. Words can be taken personal and offensive towards a player which can cause confusion and mess up the whole dynamic of the team.
When you cannot rely on a high skill level and talent to lead a team, something must be a deciding factor to keep a team together and functioning at a high level.
“Chemistry can be built in many ways, in training, off field, through team bonding outings and these all play a massive part in building the team’s connection,” said Roberto Sosa, a varsity soccer player for Laurier Brantford.
Not every good habit is created in training. Sometimes expanding outside the training area and into more team bonding or off field sessions can help build team chemistry to greater heights and unlock a closer relationship that training ever could.
“Once you really know someone off the field, you can trust your teammates know they will fight for you and with you,” said Sosa.
Being open to different types of social experiences can offer many benefits to a team. Boosting morale, gaining friendships, and understanding the best ways to interact with others are just some of the positive things that can translate over to the game when it is time to compete.
Having team chemistry may be one of the best ways to get everything out of a team. Paying attention to this can provide a healthy cohesion to a squad that cannot be ignored. Hopefully, all Laurier teams can emphasize the value of chemistry to their players which will allow them to perform to the best of their ability.