Research Blog 7

“Non-verbal behavior in Soccer”

This article came from the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology and was published in 2012. Before looking at this source I had narrowed my focus towards sports performance and body language. It is clear from this article that body language plays a predominant role in the professional industry these days. “When viewing televised coverage of sport events, it is noticeable to hear commentators frequently refer to the body language of competing players while also speculating on the level of confidence of those performers.” Players have admitted that they are unintentionally aware of their opponents body language and they can make pre-determined guesses as to how they will perform. Positive body language often correlates with someone who is confident in their ability whilst negative body language portrays the complete opposite. Although when it comes to soccer, goalkeepers say that they fear less confident penalty kick takers as they are more focused. The body language even goes as far as motivation for other teammates. When a person scores a penalty kick, and raises both arms in celebration, his team’s energy level increases and their performance can have a positive outcome. Interestingly, this article also brings up the debate between animals use of body language and power like Amy Cuddy in her Ted Talk. “For example, evidence from evolutionary psychology suggests that the nonverbal expression of dominance and submissiveness has evolved in social animals for fit- ness reasons to quickly and efficiently signal information about rank and status”. I found this source very interesting overall.


“Detection of Nonverbal Winning and Losing Behavior in Sport”

This article discusses how nonverbals can be used in sport to either improve performance or worsen performance. An interesting idea came up in this article as it talked about how the body language of an audience can even influence how a team or individual perform. This is evidently seen in soccer as a team that has home advantage seems to have much more energy than the opposing team as a result of greater support from their fans. “Awareness of ones nonverbal behaviors may enhance performance in sport by allowing the projection of dominance rather than appeasement or submissive behavior to the opponent”.  It has been proven many time that athletes who are able to detect opponents body language, can have a slight edge when it comes to competition as their can pre-determine what traits their opponent will have and they can adjust their approach as necessary.


Both of my sources constantly referred to previous studies or research that had been done in the past on the topic. They used these references as good back ups for their articles as it gave them strength to say what they wanted. I really enjoyed these two sources as they were more specific to sports.


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