How Does Communication Affect Sports Performance in Multicultural Teams
Does diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds affect sports performance in multicultural teams?
Some basic requirements for communication success in diverse teams seem to be:
- Everyone understands verbal communications, especially those of the coach
- All players have a clear picture of their own role and how it fits with the big picture
- Players and coach have a common language
- Cultural 'mindsets' and mentalities do not conflict too much with the above
Non-Verbal Communication in Multicultural Sports Teams
- the norms people are used to when decoding the non-verbal cues in their own culture.
- body language
- eye-contact - length and manner of eye-contact
National Stereotypes in Team Communication
People usually (rather often than not) use national or cultural stereotypes about other cultures. Germans are like this or the Italians behave like this, the Japanese don't do this, and so on.
Though they may, at surface level seem to give a good working tool, they can be very misleading. If you start using the three tips about the English way of communicating you got from a consultant with experience from the banking industry in London and start applying it to everyone from the UK, you are surely in for trouble.
So, avoid national stereotypes!
The best advice is:
- Discuss the ways of communicating used regularly and how it is working
- How each member understands the communication
- Expects to be understood and
- Is used to communicating and interpreting
Maximum Number of Foreign Players in a Team
Is there a limit to the number of foreign players in a sports team that will not prevent a team from performing successfully and actually be an advantage?
Quite often we see national teams with hardly any indigenous player. This is very common in high profile sports such as the soccer team of USA with all foreign born players.
15% of NBA (National Basketball Association, USA) players are of foreign origin. They are from Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Lithuania, Serbia, Spain, Turkey. The NBA sees the situation as an opportunity for reverse marketing and spreading its influence in those countries.
So, the answer is, it depends.
Here's an interesting article on diversity in a sports team.