Team Work makes the Dream Work
The phrase – “man is a social animal” is something most of us know since early grade school. This need for socialization is probably what makes team sports so exciting. Team sports are less about the winning equation, rather its much more primal. They fulfil the extremely human need for being in a group of likeminded and similarly focused individuals for one purpose – Hunt! In sport terms hunt equates to trying to get victory over there opponents in their given sport. So, most team sports fulfil this requirement quite well.
When we say – team sports, its understood to be one of the many sports highly enjoyed by the majority like Football, Basketball, Cricket, Rugby etc. And most combat sports like MMA, Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai etc., are considered individual sports. And this is one of the right criteria to distinguish team sports from individual sports, judging them on the basis of the number of competitors during the actual match/fight stage. Team sports = more than 1 per team, Individual sports = 1 competitor.
Categorizing most team sports as such is the rightful thing to do. And if you try to break down team structures there is even more compelling reason to think so. For example, in a football team there has to be extraordinary teamwork, strategy and skill development to enable a bunch of individuals with quite often vastly different skills and roles to work and win together.
The purpose of this particular article is just one – Individual sports need to be considered as team sports. This is true for all individual sports, but with respect to my expertise, its even more so to Combat Sports.
Yes, while the competitors are in the competition arena, in the middle of the ring/cage, they are by themselves, as individuals. But the long list of team mates they’ve had on the way to the cage cannot be ignored. The journey starts with a Coach who’s responsible for all the learnings and strategy, who’ll be there before and after the fight, and who gets the fighter – fight ready. Assistant Coaches and Strength and Conditioning coaches who take care of getting the fighter ready with their respective fields. Then come the team mates, fellow fighters, who might or might not have fights for themselves coming up. These are the guys you literally have to sweat and bleed with, guys who are going to go on the limits with you. Physios, dieticians, chiropractors etc also exist.
Without the above mentioned individuals, a fighter cannot be a fighter. That’s my definition of a team sport.