Mind: Awareness In Football

Photo: Aleksandar Kamasi
Being in a group (team) can have a certain affect on your own judgement and perception of things. You are probably wondering why?

Let me try to explain how can a group affect your behavior without you even noticing you are acting opposite of what you would do if you were alone. Let's take for example a person that has a bit of a lack of social skills and is new to the team. If he or she for e.g. has some abilities that are new to you, and has a different sense of humor or opinion about something and has trouble to adapt to new people. The group will unconsciously and automatically consider him as a treat to the cohesion (cohesion- the feeling of belonging, sticking together and functioning well with the group) that has been in the group by now and will not accept him immediately. (We are driven by our unconscious around 90% of all our mind activities during the day). 

The bigger the group (team) the bigger the conformism ("an individual's giving in to the under-pressure of the group in judging or action, which comes from conflict between his own opinion and opinion whom the group represents" Krech Crutchfield & Ballachey 1962). 

Have you ever been in a situation that you are doing something you wouldn't usually do, but the members in your group are doing it and it suddenly became interesting and somehow you see it in a different way? Of course you have, we've all been teenagers and did something stupid just because it looked good at that moment and everybody was doing it. Don't be that person that is doing something just because everybody else is!

One of the very important things that every good player in American football will tell you is the all mighty term AWARENESS. What does that have to do with the group behavior? 

Well, just as well as you must be aware of every single detail in the game, aware of what your body can do, aware of what might happen if you do this, if he does that, aware of where are your teammates, aware of what are they doing and how will they react in a certain action - it is just as important for the team functioning to know when some acting off the field is wrong. Don't let others affect on what's common sense thinking. You might be judged, you might feel a bit rejected, but doing what's right is what makes you sleep better at night.

What makes a good team? A group of individuals that are different but functioning as one organism. Think about your team as a human body. You and your team mates are organs. You wouldn't expect your lungs to think, right? You wouldn't expect your hearth to process food just because stomach is doing it, right? You all have different functions but all have one goal; to live, to play...

Kristina Fruza