Complexity and Control in Team Sports: Dialectics in contesting human systems, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Complexity and Control in Team Sports

Dialectics in contesting human systems, 1st Edition

By Felix Lebed, Michael Bar-Eli


228 pages

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Complexity and Control in Team Sports is the first book to apply complex systems theory to ‘soccer-like’ team games (including basketball, handball and hockey) and to present a framework for understanding and managing the elite sports team as a multi-level complex system. Conventional organizational studies have tended to define team sports as a set of highly heterogeneous physical, mental and cognitive activities within which it is difficult, if not impossible, to find common behavioural playing regularities or universal pedagogies for controlling those activities. Adopting a whole system approach, and exploring the concepts of control, regulation and self-organization, this book argues that it is possible for coaches, managers and psychologists to develop a better understanding of how a complex system works, and therefore, to more successfully manage and influence a team’s performance.

This book draws on literature from the biological, behavioural and social sciences, including, psychology, sociology and sports performance analysis, to develop a detailed, interdisciplinary and multi-level picture of the elite sports team. It analyzes behaviour across five inter-connected levels: the team as a ‘managed institution’; coaching staff controlling players via cybernetic flows; the team as a playing unit; the individual player as a complex dynamic system expressed through behaviour; and a player’s complex physiological/biological system. Drawing these together, the book throws fascinating new light on the elite sports team and will be useful reading for all students, researchers or professionals with an interest in sport psychology, sport management, sport coaching, sport performance analysis or complex systems theory.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I. Methodological aspects of complexity in team sports Chapter 1. Complexity in modern sciences Chapter 2. Complexity in living systems - in nature and humans Chapter 3. To think complex in team sports Part II. Individuals in team contests - the complexity point of view Chapter 4. Movement coordination and individual performance Chapter 5. Contest cognition and complexity in team sports Chapter 6. Complete complex framework of individual performance Chapter 7. Complexity and emotional states regulation Part III. Complexity in sport teams and organizations Chapter 8. Self-organization in group and team dynamics Chapter 9. Control and regulation of team performance by coaches Chapter 10. Complexity at the elite club level Part IV. Applying the complexity approach Chapter 11. Complexity approach to scientific support in elite teams

About the Authors

Felix Lebed is senior lecturer and head of the Physical Education Department at Kaye Academic College of Education, Israel. He is involved in the interdisciplinary studies of competitive game playing and has published more than 60 papers in English, Hebrew and Russian, a number of chapters in edited collections as well as three books. Dr Lebed was previously senior lecturer at the Ukrainian State University of Physical Education and Sport and senior researcher supervising the Soviet national handball teams’ Olympic preparation.

Michael Bar-Eli is professor and thehead of Sport Management at Zinman College, Wingate Institute, Israel. He is also "Mercator Professor" at the University of Tuebingen, Germany and currently holds the Nat Holman Chair in Sports Research at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Having published extensively in English and Hebrew on Sport Psychology, Dr Bar-Eli has gone on to serve as associate and section-editor for a number of leading sport psychology journals alongside consultant psychology roles for elite-level athletes and the Israeli defence forces.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sport and Exercise Science

The Routledge Research in Sport and Exercise Science series is a showcase for cutting-edge research from across the sport and exercise sciences, including physiology, psychology, biomechanics, motor control, physical activity and health, and every core sub-discipline. Featuring the work of established and emerging scientists and practitioners from around the world, and covering the theoretical, investigative and applied dimensions of sport and exercise, this series is an important channel for new and ground-breaking research in the human movement sciences.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sports Psychology
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / General
SPORTS & RECREATION / Business Aspects