Body language is language of movements, voice, signals and the language of gesticulation and mimicry. Human contact (communication) occurs at different levels. Words compose only 7% of the communications, and the remaining 93% body language composes. People don’t pay to this any special attention.

In the sport body language is also very important. Players between themselves, coaches with the players, and also with referees always communicate using body language.

Referees, in the view of their profession, cannot communicate verbally, but knowing the language of mimicry and gestures it gives you chances to transmit, send messages, express thoughts, and send information to partners, players and coaches. This is a necessary mean of communication, especially at present time, which should be learnt.

Experienced referee can express his thoughts, transmit reaction to what proceeds, take decisions or make remarks about actions of players and partners without saying a word. It is possible to say one phrase and express your thoughts by mimicry, gestures and the way you look. This is the professional language of contact, communication. It is built on the base of general knowledge of communications and transmission of information.

Speaking about body language, we imply: the height of voice, the rate of speech, the way we walk, the methods, by which we present ourselves to others, as we establish visual contact, position of eyes, our motions (hands, legs, etc), position of back, arms, of chest, position of hands, brushes, our signals, etc.

BODY LANGUAGE — method of your communication with other people

Imagine you are in one room, and you feel very nervous. Each, who is also there, will understand that you are nervous just by looking at you, your actions, speed of movements, gestures, and by hearing your voice. You yourself can feel it. For example, remember your actions, when you passed examinations and you were not completely ready to answer. You survived, but you were disturbed, looked lost, your hands moist, your motions fussy, nervous, your eyes running, etc.

You can understand and feel when someone is sad, happy, stressed. We can obtain (receive) many information about people just by studying their body language. Approximately the same occurs with us during the games. If we are not ready or lost “game language”, we begin to be nervous, to be disturbed, our motions, our mimicry and gestures reveal what we feel. When we are assured in ourselves, prepared to work, we control the situation and we cooperate with the partners, use body language, and it confirms our confidence and professionalism on the court and outside the court.

In practice we can speak with anyone by means of our eyes, by mimicry, by using our body, torso, arms, by looking at people differently, and all can understand us, all our “body words” are expressive, clear and accessible. When we use this language, we can show for everybody our fairness in the game, strictness, apologies, doubts, humor and happiness — and many other feelings/emotions. Player and coaches will understand you without verbal communication.

One of the men’s games of FIBA Cup in Athens was indeed much stressful. In Greece there is no such thing as simple game, though. Professionalism is earned at such games. The head coach of Greek team during a second-half of the game psychologically attacked the referees. He made remarks about referees’ behavior, told what he wished from referees and so on, albeit in the correct form. Game approached the end, and coach understood that he could really lose the important game. So he went into a conflict with the referees in order to receive attention and to try to break the game’s course. Surely referees did not give him a chance to succeed in doing this.

After one foul, coach began to attempt to provoke referees. Crew referee went directly to the coach. He looked quite militant, his shoulders and hands were rigid, his torso advanced forward, with eyes penetrating the coach and eyebrows moving. When only some meters remained between the coach and the referee, Greek coach grasped the situation quickly and went back, and he left the team bench area. Referee’s body language said what he thought about the coach’s behavior. Referee didn’t say even one word. Only gestures, mimicry, movement were telling. Body language as itself!

Then coach himself apologized for his behavior. But it was possible for referee to say much more verbally. And, for sure, verbal way of explanation will not be the best one in this situation. This is an example; how it is possible to handle the game, knowing how to manage it using body language correctly.

We can learn much more about people by observing how they walk, sit, speak, and we can notice something really interesting in their motions and in everything that makes people who they are, even without saying anything.

Most repeated errors in the conversation:

- We say too rapidly;

- We say too much;

- Sometimes we do not know, about what to speak further;

- We ask too many questions;

- Incorrect body language: hands are crossed, and feet are located too closely to each other, etc;

- In the conversation with the stranger we feel ourselves not comfortably;

- We forget what we wanted to say.

This must be done in the correct version:

- To take hands out of pockets;

- To stand firmly;

- During walking hands must not freely dangle;

- Not to look onto the floor (downward view must be avoided) during walking;

- To occupy as much space as possible;

- Not to wear too much dark clothing;

- Always, when you sit, be slanted back. When you are slanted, people around you begin to be inclined toward you, so that it is better to hear you;

- Touch the people, when you communicate with them, because you are obligated to create contacts at all levels, not only on the verbal one. You first must understand why and how people make decisions. Why you have an effect of attracting attention to yourself, why and how it works, and the whole body language — eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, the position of arms, torso, the position of legs and arms, head, the turning of neck.

The value of body language is very important, especially for referees. It helps us to use different methods of the transmission and exchange of information, and to widen the possibilities of communication. It is extremely necessary to learn body language, if we want to be the best. We must understand that we can successfully use that knowledge, obtained according to the methods of communication, in our daily normal life. This is big advantage in solving many vital, life questions and problems.

Дмитриев Фёдор

Судья международной категории