Bringing these elite teams together outside of “the real game” – which in this case would be warfare – allowed them to observe the dynamics of other teams, thus enhancing their knowledge and understanding of which tactics worked best. Of course there was no lack of will-to-win during this competition, but with this added collaborative dimension the teams were able to learn from the process rather than just going for the victory. They also exemplified two important but often under-appreciated characteristics of successful teams. They took part in positive social interactions, and gained individual as well as team benefits. The result was a growth and progression of the special operations field as a whole.
In the context of the military, successful training exercises are paramount, as a lack of preparedness may have dire consequences. However, other performance contexts such as sports can also benefit from such mutually rewarding competitions. The NFL does so when it has the Pro Bowl every year. Although it is one of the most important competitions of the year for individual extreme sports stars, the vibe of the “X-Games” promotes camaraderie and an overall progression of the sport. It is refreshing to see athletes, performers, and soldiers taking part in events that are more about performing at your highest level than they are about getting the self-satisfaction of knowing that you performed better than others.
Sauceda, A. (2010, May 12). U.S. Marines take first, third place at ‘Warrior Competition’ in Jordan. Retrieved from http://www.marines.mil/unit/24thmeu/Pages/MarineteamtakesfirstatWarriorCompetit