The Ryder Cup is really showcases the importance of group dynamics to winning teams.


The Ryder Cup is a co-active sport where excellent individual participation is needed but aggregation of total team performance decides the winning team - Social cohesion is of paramount importance to achieving a win.


A team’s performance on the day will be shaped by the social process operating within the both teams and between individual members and the extent they get on with each other on and off the course. 


It will be really interesting to identify which team appear to have the best group dynamics and if this correlates to the best score.  Look for how well each side tries to develop a shared objective, their collective identity, sense of shared purpose and a clear structure of communication and leadership.  Look for how teams try to develop their social bonds while socialising as a team off the course with the aim of better performance during the competition.


Winning the Ryder Cup is not just about picking the best technical players it’s about building group cohesion ensuring the team sticks together in pursuit of a winning the cup. Look for the following indicators of both teams building a competitive advantage by building group cohesion:


- Team members working effectively with each other during practice and during the event.  Look for them developing protocols tactics and team norms.

– The extent to which team members get on socially.  Look at how they appear in front of the press and how well they get on off the course. 


As the match progresses watch out if either side shows signs of: cliques, separate reciprocal, perception that team mates are not trying, or a perception that some members efforts are not being recognised, negative past experience.


This fantastic golf tournament is a great example how all teams can benefit from improving their social cohesion.  This is something that Pinnacle Performance stresses in all our team development programs and while using the Team Development Kit.  If you want to start building your team social cohesion try some of the activities in our Team Development Kit and watch our Activity Videos.  As for the Ryder Cup, who do I think has the best social cohesion?.  It’s a close run thing but I think the Europeans will pip the Americans at the post.