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Teambuilding: Social Vs. Task Cohesion

It is important for team captains and coaches to understand the difference between social cohesion and task cohesion. So says Missy Wright — an assistant professor at California State University – East Bay and a former collegiate tennis player and coach — in this video. Social cohesion produces team unity from teammates liking each other personally; task cohesion depends more on athletes rallying around a common cause regardless of their feelings for each other.

Wright points out that social cohesion is more likely in youth or high school sports. Task cohesion, she says, is more common at elite levels of sport. The two are not mutually exclusive, but understanding your team’s strengths and weaknesses in those two types of cohesion can help you identify how to improve team dynamics.