Teamwork is important in some sports because achieving a victory almost always requires the effort of every team member. Even sports that are considered individual sports often form teams to benefit from a support system for the individual athletes. One or two players on a given team may dominate some team sports, but in many team sports, every athlete’s performance matters.
In a sport such as baseball, each player relies on his teammates to perform slightly different functions than his own. Football and soccer are similar in these respects, as a defensive player strives to keep the other team from scoring, but must rely on offensive players to do the scoring for their team. Sports such as competitive swimming or gymnastics rely on the team’s overall score, but each participant is active at different times. Tennis is usually a single-player sport, but in doubles matches, two players form a team and rely on each other.
Generally speaking, the fewer players that are active at a time, the more each player is responsible for the outcome. Accordingly, a single player can dominate team sports such as basketball, which uses only five players at a time. By contrast, football teams feature 11 players at a time, and the game is rarely dominated by a single player.