Team flow in a Japanese university baseball team: narrative study of a university baseball coach

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tsutomu Fuse (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Diane Gill

Abstract: This research focuses on the role of the coach in developing team flow and achieving successful results in Japanese university baseball. The purpose of this study, which was addressed using narrative analysis of coach interviews and participant observation, is to understand the team flow state in a Japanese university baseball team. The specific aims are to describe the characteristics of the team flow state, and describe how the coach is able to guide the team along the path to team flow and successful results. In this narrative research, the primary method was a life story interview with a coach who had the central role of team building over 4 years with a university baseball team. The initial life story interview and follow-up interviews were analyzed based on the constructivist grounded theory advocated by Charmaz (2006). A team in the team flow state practices an excellence-centered philosophy premised on doing everything to maximize use of everyone's potential ability, which is the Successful Result or "SR" that may in turn lead to a team victory. By building the coaches' and players' thinking, actions, and tactics from an excellence-centered philosophy with the SR standard as the foundation, it is thought that the team flow state can be achieved. From the analysis of the Japanese baseball coach's narrative, five characteristics were identified as characteristics of the team in the team flow state: deep understanding of successful result (SR), successful results realized through a regular routine, players perform with a feeling of ease in a self-directed manner, players understand what they need to do, and bond of trust between players and coach. It has become clear that to guide a team with these 5 characteristics toward team flow, it is important for the coach to establish an unshakeable philosophy and communicate this to the players in various ways. The coach's philosophy should be rooted in his own value system and way of thinking. It should be the foundation of the coach's actions and should exert influence on the will and actions of the players. The players should experience this philosophy on a daily basis in various situations so that the players comprehend the coach's value system. Furthermore, through capturing these experiences in words, players can develop a deeper understanding, and the value system can be spread across the entire team. By incorporating the SR within the team framework the evaluation point of the coach, teammates, and the athlete him or herself is something other than the result and can be something that is controllable. This allows the athlete to continually challenge without fear and to feel relaxed and happy while continuing to challenge issues with a forward looking attitude. This state is the same as what Csikszentmihalyi (1990) referred to as the flow state. In the current SR flow model the SR is controllable and is the aim of all members of the team from coach and staff to the players, which in turn allows them to attain the SR result they seek and thereby a collective flow state. This collective flow state is in fact a team flow state.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Baseball, Coaching, Flow, Narrative, Japan
Baseball coaches $z Japan
Baseball $x Coaching $z Japan
College sports $z Japan

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