Sporting Bounce
Posted 04/20/2022

How to build togetherness in teams: The social identity approach

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View a 90 minute recorded webinar on demand - at a time that suits you - exploring how to build togetherness in sports teams.  

How to build togetherness in teams: The social identity approach

In high performance sport there is often a primary drive to improve each individual athlete, and, to the detriment of the overall team performance, the psychological connections between athletes – their sense of togetherness as a unified team– can be overlooked. The social identity approach shifts the focus from examining individual star athletes to looking at teamwork as a whole. In the social identity approach, it is proposed that high performing teams are based on leaders and team members feeling a strong sense of psychological belonging and emotional attachment to their sport team – a shared sense of team identity. This team identity reflects who “we” are, and what matters to “us”. 

In this workshop, Matt will introduce the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of the social identity approach in sport. Matt will define social identities and explain their importance for performance and wellbeing. Matt will also outline a social identity-based intervention framework that is inclusive, empowering, and successful in creating togetherness in high performance environments. A number of activities and tasks typically used in practice will be shared. No previous knowledge of the social identity approach is needed for this workshop.  

Dr Matthew J. Slater

Dr Matthew J. Slater is an Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology at Staffordshire University and a British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Psychologist. Matt’s expertise focuses on the psychology of group dynamics and leadership. For over 10 years, Matt has drawn on the social identity approach to both understand and promote teamwork and leadership excellence. Matt has published 40+ peer-reviewed research papers, various book chapters, and a book titled ‘Togetherness: How to build a winning team’, in 2019. As a practitioner, Matt has applied his expertise on group dynamics and leadership in sport, exercise settings, the military, and across public and private sector organisations. 

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