Private Instant Message Groups, Cohesion and Performance in Sport: A Mixed Methods Case Study
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Online communication has been related to positive and negative outcomes for users outside of sport, but there is no known work looking at the effects of online communication in team-based sports. Therefore, this mixed methods case study explored how online communication impacted a team and their cohesion and performance over a season. A quantitative phase measured cohesion and online communication networks among teammates to examine the potential relationship between the two. A qualitative phase of interviews followed. Abductive analysis aimed to first compare the findings from interviews to other research in the field and second, to generate themes unique to the experience of the participating team. Themes of organized communication, inclusion and tension (or lack thereof) among teammates emerged and help to answer the research questions. Strengths, limitations, future directions and actionable findings are discussed to move this topic forward in the field of sport psychology and sociology.