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Nonverbal communication in Sports

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NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION CS202B Research Topic Essay Nonverbal communication in Sports Due Date: March 25, 2004 Project description: 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. ...read more.


By reading this book I should gain the fundamentals to understand how different coaching strategies are applied. When it came to football, I came across an interesting article that changed my view on nonverbal communication in this sport. From ESPN's website, "Coaching Elements," was an article that became an important factor in my research. This article discusses the changes in communication technology, which have led to changes in communication among coaches and players. Nonverbal communication may still be used on the lower levels of football, where money is not available to use these new technologies. However, in professional football, the NFL, the coach has a headset microphone in order to communicate with his quarterback. The coach can simply call the play, which is relayed through his microphone to a speaker in the quarterback's helmet. The quarterback can then tell the other players, what play is called, during the huddle. The defensive squad of the team is also communicated with the use of this technology. This was to my surprise because I did not know that coaches used this new technology to communicate with players. This allows players and coaches not to have to memorize the signals that would be needed otherwise (ESPN the magazine). In professional football, my research shows that nonverbal behaviour is not as important as one would have thought. Method: I will begin with reviewing the rules and regulations of these sports in order to have a complete understanding of each sport. This will allow me to proceed with my research with the knowledge necessary to carefully depict the use of nonverbal communication. ...read more.


All of this can be done within a timeout and with its use, the coach do not have to physically show them how the play is done. They can view where their teammates are going to be and how the play will come about. Plays that are taught to the players on a regular basis all have different names assigned to them, which are signalled to the point guard with hand gestures. The point guards that I will be interviewing should enhance my belief that nonverbal is very important to the game. Again without it there would have to be major adjustments in order to continue playing the game with all players on each team playing together. Coaches would have to show their players how exactly each play occurs on the court in order for them to get a full understanding of how the play should go about. Nonverbal behaviour is an essential part for both basketball and baseball, however football might prove otherwise. The use of nonverbal communication in football will prove not to be as important on a professional level. In the National Football League (NFL), expensive technology is used to communicate with players. I believe that the quarterbacks that I interview will discuss the changes that these new technologies have brought to the game. I hope to gain proof that nonverbal was a very important part of the game. Some players should remember what it was like without this technology when they played for their college and high school teams. During those times, I'm sure they will be able to prove to me that nonverbal communication was imperative and used drastically. Although, on the professional level the use of nonverbal is rarely seen, if this new technology was not used, the use of it would become important once again. ...read more.

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