Family Systems Approach in Building Soccer Team


  • Zissis Papanikolaou University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Asterios Patsiaouras University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Panagiotis Keramidas University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science



Family systems approach, soccer team building, communication, cohesion


The purpose of this study was the investigation of the possibility that selected principles, methods, and strategies from the family systems approach will enhance team players’ communication behaviors and perceptions of differentiated cohesion on two men’s soccer teams. The subjects involved in this study were male soccer players at Hellenic Football Association of N. Y, Division I. The participants were selected by the coaches, 8 subjects in group 1 (control group) and 9 subjects in group 2 (experimental group), including two coaches in each group. The intervention program used a modified family systems approach, combining selected aspects of Bowenian extended family and communications family therapy. Multiple assessment techniques, including paper / pencil instruments, videotape analysis, and post treatment interviews were used to measure the outcomes. The data produced in these two studies were all descriptive. Pre and post testing of both the experimental and a control group yielded mixed statistical results. The second source of the qualitative data was content analysis of the videotaped sessions. The experimental group (E. G.) was markedly verbal in comparison to the control group (K. G.). Participants of the E.G. expressed satisfaction in their success, however, and made explicit, verbal commitments to one another to improve the patterns. Coaches, post season, reported improvement in the patterns. It seems that the family systems approach did increase cohesiveness among team members and the self – confidence. There wasn’t negative motivation after the defeat of the games. Also, the players of the E.G. used the expression ΄΄I΄΄ more often to accept the coaches did report improvement in the concept of communication and cooperation during the season.


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How to Cite

Papanikolaou Ζ., Patsiaouras Α., & Keramidas Π. (2003). Family Systems Approach in Building Soccer Team. Inquiries in Physical Education and Sport, 1(2), 116–123.




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