Nonverbal communication in Sports

My research will be focusing on the use and importance of nonverbal communication in sports. From all the major sports, I will concentrate on baseball, basketball and football. In each of these three sports, nonverbal behaviour is an important factor for success and victory. Nonverbal signals are used in order to relay messages from coaches to players and vice versa. These messages are the tactical methods used by coaches that are apparent for victory. With the use of these signals, the opposing team will have great difficulty to decode them, which will deny them the ability to conjecture what game plan is being utilized.

Without the use of nonverbal communication, teams would have difficulty maintaining their plan of action in different situations. These issues are extremely important to the game’s understanding and are the reasons for my research. As one will see from my research, in football and basketball, some freedom is given to the players due to the fast paced nature of the games. However in baseball, my research will attempt to discover just how much freedom is given or not given to the players. Coaches have the opportunity to dictate what their players are to do in every situation.

There is about 20 seconds in between every pitch and this time is taken for the coach on both teams to relay messages to their players. Through my research I hope to determine how this is exactly done and why it is so important to take that time necessary for this to occur. Many people complain about how a baseball game takes an excessive amount of time and could be reduced if pitchers did not take so long to throw each pitch. It is the understanding of what goes on in between each pitch and why it goes on to truly enjoy the game of baseball and the appreciation of nonverbal communication.

During a basketball game, the coach has the ability to dictate what method of scoring and defending his team uses. He does this by allotting hand signals, which can only be decoded by his own team. One method of trying to score a basket is known as a “pick and role. ” The coach while on the sidelines can call this scoring technique by simply making a hand gesture towards the point guard. An example of this would be designating a signal for this play such as X2, where the coach would cross his arms to make the X and then put up two fingers to make the call when he deems appropriate.

The understanding of this procedure can enhance the experience of watching the game, along with making a team more successful with its use. In football, every play on the offensive and defensive end is called from the sidelines. It was believed that coaches used hand signals to relay calls to the quarterback for an offensive attack and to the defensive captain for a defensive stop. However, as one will see in my outcomes section of this essay, football on a professional level does not require the use of nonverbal communication to the extent that basketball and baseball require.

It is this reason that I wish to perform my research, where I can find out which of these three sports is the most dependent on nonverbal behaviour. Without the use of nonverbal communication, coaches would have to figure out some way to communicate with their players in order to control their game play. Verbal behaviour could be used but this might seem rather difficult in extremely noisy arenas where players cannot hear their coaches from the sidelines. Also, opposing teams could easily pick up the meanings of their verbal messages and will in turn adjust their game plan to defeat their opponents.

The importance of nonverbal communication in sports is relevant because of this and along with my interest in sports, is the reason I have chosen to pursue my research in this topic. There are other places in sports where nonverbal is used such as referees and in between players but the most important place where nonverbal is used is between the coaches and players, so that’s where my focus lies. The proper use of nonverbal communication in sports could lead to the difference of a successful team and lack lustre team.

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