When the subject of teams come up you probably start to think about a football team or a team in a different sport. Maybe you wander off in your thinking to include military units as teams or your co-workers forming a team at your place of work.
In all of these instances you are thinking about groups of human beings working together to reach a common objective. Whether that be winning the next game, completing the mission or reaching this months sales quota.
Within these different types of teams you can probably recognize that there are usually smaller teams, groupings of players (or co-workers) who seam to work better and more often together in a certain context.
These groupings can manifest themselves differently depending on what the topic (context) is. We humans differ from other animals in that we belong to many different social hierarchies. For example you are in one hierarchy when you’re with your team-mates, a different one with your friends and yet another one in your family and so on for every context in your life.
When you are coaching a team you might recognize that you have different teams within the team with different hierarchies depending on the topics you are coaching. When you are coaching attacking there are some players who are at the top of the hierarchy, when you are coaching defending there might be others.
To further complicate things you probably have teams within your team based on for example origin, ethnicity, socio-economic status, experience, beliefs and values. Your players could belong to different variations of these examples of teams within the team and might have different places on the internal hierarchy in each one.
Identifying the different types of teams within your team and the internal hierarchies that exist will help you understand why some players behave differently in certain contexts. This understanding gives you as the coach a chance to become more efficient in your coaching of the whole team.