Second Shift Sentiments
By Oliver Taffe, PhD
When someone says Team Work, a flurry of sporting events and ideas comes to mind, like a great reception in a ball game, or an infallible relay team, or the Pit-crew changing tires on a moving car. To think sports seem a natural phenomenon. Sport however, although dependent on teamwork, demonstrates the effects of such, yet gives only glimpses of the massive Team Spirit present among teammates. While the reality of Team Spirit is obvious to some, it remains a “Fantasy” to others. The missing sounds, for example from a Charlie Chaplin movie, or a magician’s trick to saw a volunteer in two; are probable attempts at describing Team Spirit. Thus, we witness events, but pay little or no attentions to the emotions present that made them possible. We are able to identify teamwork and its results, but struggle to pin-point the source of Team Spirit and to tap its resources. This malady is hidden by a blind-spot (strongholds) in our perceptual acuity. Only a clear definition of Team Spirit and how it’s generated, harnessed and used will provide some incandescence.
To have a grip on Team Work we must have the self-concept of Team Spirit in view. To say what Team Spirit is, seems easier saying what it isn’t. It’s not the other side of the coin scenario, when compared to Team Work. It’s not the air in the balloon. It is however, like the atomic forces that give a coin its unique metallic properties, like the pressure created by the compressed air in a balloon that keeps it inflated, or from a drafting-frame-of-reference. It’s like “Auto Max/min in UG” the visible entities are pushed to one corner of the screen while the “invisible” portion occupies the seemingly blank area. A current flowing through a normally dead wire tied to a light bulb should shed some light on this idea. A final analogy, just to “over-kill” a bit, would be that of a “Catalyst” in a chemical reaction, it controls the rate of the process, but takes no physical part in the event. Team Spirit, as the name suggests, is “Spiritual” yet it is the core and driving energy of every great successful team. Team Work is produced only where Team Spirit is present.
You do not develop Team Spirit by simply wanting to win badly enough. You must first subscribe to the idea, that you are an integral part of a noteworthy and functional team. What is more important, you must be aware of the principles involved. The attitude of Team Spirit, which I might also add, is a feeling that feeds on the premise of the “Double Win,” i.e., Team Spirit is generated from a constant need to be victorious. However, only when accompanied by a solid understanding of the principles involved, and, that in this arena Winning cannot be achieved individually, will teams have Team Spirit.
It is perfectly sound to equate sports to the mention of Team Work, as long as the context is not in mental conjunction to childhood losses in games, but rather, fixed to a stadium where we are pros at our game; not spectators and Team Spirit are soundly in place, in every play…THROW ME THE BALL!!!