MarathonVERBAL AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATIONIN SPORT ENVIRONMENTMarian Victor ZAMFIR1AbstractAny change of information between individuals is called communication, whetherintentional or not, conscious or not, whether transmitted through words, gestures, bodylanguage or facial expressions. Being an incredibly complex process, communication isalso very difficult to define in such a way as to cover all the aspects which it entails. Thisessay aims to tackle the important aspects related to the communication phenomena andits’ implication for sport teams. Training and especially competitions require efficientcommunication between teammates and between coach and team. Communication skillsbecome a necessity for tactical interactions and for success in sport competitions.Keywords: education; sport; coaches; athletes; competition.JEL classification: L831. IntroductionCommunication represents a large field of interest for researchers ofdifferent areas. The problem with the phenomenon of communication in the sportsenvironment is stretched out over a vast research area, following large interestareas such as the capacity to communicate as an individual aptitude, the individualaspects of the socio-cultural environment in which communication is performed aswell as the institutional environment in which it is performed (school, sports club,etc.).The education that we have received, the way in which we have been raised,the society, culture and experiences we have had, as well as other factors influencepeople making all of us unique individuals. Knowing this, it becomes easier tounderstand that the differences between individuals are very real and that we havedifferent ways of seeing a situation, feeling it and interpreting the world around us.This essay aims to tackle the important aspects related to the communicationphenomena and its’ implication for sport teams.The process of communication is the foundation of society. The forming ofany group of people (at least two individual) implies an interaction without whichit could not be possible. What else is an interaction between people if notcommunication? Any change of information between individuals is calledcommunication, whether intentional or not, conscious or not, whether transmitted1Dimitrie Cantemir Academy, marian adi [email protected], 40770186424Vol. IX Nr. 1 201799

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication in Sport Environmentthrough words, gestures, body-language or facial expressions. Being an incrediblycomplex process, communication is also very difficult to define in such a way as tocover all the aspects which it entails. Although it exists since the beginning of man,the perception of it as an element fundamental to human existence dates toantiquity, the multitude of areas in which it is manifested and the complexity of theforms in which it is found make the process of communication to be, to this day,researched and analyzed on a continuous basis. It is a dynamic process that findsitself in a continuous transformation.Each of us develops our preferences in relation to the way in which wegather information from our surrounding environment. It could be done throughour senses: vision (seeing and thinking in images), through audition (using soundsand voices), in a kinesthetic way (through which we feel our environment), throughstimuli (which are physical sensations; such as taste and olfaction). Some of us aremostly visual; others perceive best the sounds or can learn especially by doing.Knowing these individual preferences helps us to know how to adapt our languageand speak to another “in their own terms”.2. Verbal CommunicationThe communication of thoughts, feelings and desires is done mostly throughlanguage, this being the most specific and used method of inter-humancommunication. Language is a complex system of interpersonal exchangecomposed of articulate sounds which represent more than a simple method oftransmitting information and data. It’s “a different/unique type of individualconduit, namely verbal conduit, which implies diverse activities (speaking,listening, idea exchange, retention of audio code and the reproduction andtranslation of it)” (Zlate, M., 2000).One of the first researchers in the area of linguistics which established ascheme of verbal communication was Roman Jakobson. In his point of view, thefollowing constituent elements apply to any act of oral communication: broadcaster(the speaker) –he who conveys the message, the receiver (intended listener orrecipient), the context –general area which determines the initiation of thecommunication, the message – which, in its own right, requires a code – a set ofrules that are communal between the broadcaster and the receiver in order to codeand decode the message and ultimately the channel – the physical space andpsychological connection between the broadcaster and the receiver, all of whichallow for communication to be maintained.Pânișoară, I. O. (2008) states that “thought and language are developedtogether; such as each individual’s thought structure is unique, so is their method ofspeech. This individuality of language can be embedded into verbal style. Thechosen communication style will determine how pleasant will the work climatewill be. An open, relaxed working environment expresses trust, encouragement forstudents and increases the pleasure of exercising. A rigid behavior that is always100Vol. IX Nr. 1 2017

Marathonbased on authority or a suspicious and criticizing attitude will more likely bring agrey environment and a defensive posture from the students (Jinga, Pop, 2008).3. Non-verbal communicationNonverbal communication is a message expressed differently than throughwords, and these messages are 4.5 times more rapidly decoded than words.Nonverbal messages can confirm, support, contradict, complete or replacemessages transmitted through words. They constitute of body-visual signals whichoffer information through the collocutor and information about their participationmethod to the process of communication. These signals could be (Cristea, D.,2000): Static (natural, developed, superimposed) with express reference tophysical appearance (physiognomy, morphologic type, wrinkles, clothes,makeup, etc.) Kinetic (general body-language, gestures, mimic, position of gaze) Sensitive (olfactory signals, thermic signals, tactile signals)Mehrabian, A. and Weiner, M. were the first to study non-verbal messagesand they underlined the complexity of the process of communication through theprism of the multitude of information which are transmitted through the attitude ofthose involved. A study from the 1970’s, conducted by Dr. A. Mehrabian, stillvalid to this day, after a prolonged and thorough studies, shows that in ourcommunication process with those around us, the proportion in which we useverbal language and non-verbal language is in oral communication as follows(Mehrabiab, A. 1968): 7% words, 30% paralanguage (mostly intonation andinflections of the voice), 55% other elements of non-verbal language (generally theexpression of the face, the gestures, or the posture of the body).Each time we communicate we exteriorize signs and signals, conscious ornot, intentional or not, through way of methods such as: Facial expression – shock, amazement, smile, frowning, blushing, etc.; Gesticulatory – movement of the body or the hands, gestures that usuallyaccompany verbal messages to accentuate their content; Orientation between the interlocutor and the position of the body duringthe process of communication; Proximity – the distance between interlocutors; Visual contact – whether it occurs, how it occurs and how long it lasts; Touches – a gentle pat on the back, the grabbing of shoulders, etc.; Movements of the body – which suggest approval or disapproval,encouragement or discouragement, the interlocutor to continue; Exterior aspect – their physical appearance, clothes, makeup;Vol. IX Nr. 1 2017101

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication in Sport Environment Intonation, rhythm and the topic of speech – these are considered elementsof paralanguage; Nonverbal aspects of writing – the general visual aspect, organisation,positioning of text orientation, inclination, etc.;These signs and signals, to some authors, meaning the same thing, are termsthat imply certain meaning differences in the opinion of others. Chelcea, S. (2005)considered that the two terms be used interchangeably, although it is recommendedto use the term of signal when referring to non-verbal behavior and the term of signwhen referring to somatotypes, artifacts or odors emanating from the body.The assembly of the elements of non-verbal communication is named, bysome authors, meta-communication (meta, Gr.- beyond, extra). Metacommunication means everything that is more than communication, even silence asa form of communication, which makes us often, to consider that “silence is ananswer”. Other authors speak of the language of silence, the language of space, andthe language of the body over time refining more disciplines of non-verbalcommunication, all including, as well as the diversity of communication channels,the multitude of factors that can positively or negatively influence the authenticityof the communication (Pop, Zamfir, 2015). It is a proven fact that only 50% of theverbal message is perceived from first hearing.The position of the body is betrayed by verbal language. 6 positions ofthe body that “speak”:In the opinion of the psychologist Tănăsescu A. (2017) people have thetendency to focus on words, on articulate information that they want to transmit.They are so focuses on this that they don’t take into consideration that some partsof their body contradict them. “This major discrepancy between what the mouthsays and what the body transmits has become more acute in the era of Facebookbecause people lost face-to-face communication abilities. People have forgottenhow to transmit real emotions. They have forgotten the entire process ofcommunication; our body confirms or denies those transmitted. What is worryingis the fact that people have forgotten even the importance of para-verbalcommunication. Many cannot succeed in adapting the tone of their voice to thesocial context; they speak either too slow or, in opposition, much too fast, too loudor too quiet. Because of these inadvertences, people no longer understand eachother face to face and this can lead to loss of temper from both sides or evenconfrontation”, such is the affirmation of Andra Tănăsescu.102Vol. IX Nr. 1 2017

MarathonArms and legs “speak” more than we doThere are at least 6 positions of the body to pay attention to when speakingto a person. If we were more attentive to the posture that we adopt when we hold aconversation with another person we immediately observe that the other personbecomes more receptive, interested and open in this communication with us.3.1 Arms crossed at the chest. When a person with which you are speakingcrosses their arms at their chest means most times that the person is looking at anunconscious level towards self-protection and they are using their arms as a shield.“The method in which they cross their arms as well as the moment in theconversation at which they do it can determine the cause for which the otherperson adopts this posture. The most commonly encountered motives for doing thisare: uncertainty or distrust in themselves, reticence or holding back in theexpression of their emotions, invasion of their personal space and the need toprotect themselves against boredom or hostility (in the situation where thedominant arm is the right arm)”, explains Andra Tănăsescu.3.2 Hands in their pockets. The specialist believes that, “when the personwith who you are communicating puts their hands in their pockets can be a sign ofuncertainty or a sign of shame. Depending on the context and the way in which thisgesture manifests itself it can be viewed as a gesture of sexual availability, thehands acting as indicators to the sexual organs”.3.3 Open and relaxed arms. “When we observe a person with relaxed armsfalling to the sides of their body, this is a sign that the person is relaxed andcomfortable, in the majority of cases is an indicator of a calm and open person.This combined with a straight posture (straight back, forwarded chest and raisedeyes). This can indicate the fact that the person is sure of themselves andconfident” declare the psychologist.3.4 Closed legs – crossed or in contact. “Such as the case with crossedarms, in the case of crossed and connected legs, the person feels the need to protectthemselves. Such protection can be an indicator of uncertainty, lack of self-trust orthe sensation of loss of control and fear” says Andra Tănăsescu.3.5 Stretched legs –crossed or straight. “When we observe a person sittingdown with their legs stretched and crossed it can mean that this person feels unsureand is trying to mask this by adopting a position that they perceive as relaxed. Ifthe person holds their legs stretched out without crossing them they are looking toexpand the space that they occupy, thus dominate through position and a relaxedattitude. Depending on the context and situation, such position can be a genuineVol. IX Nr. 1 2017103

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication in Sport Environmentdesire to relax after a long day, the person in question looking to relax through acomfortable and leisurely position”, explains the specialist.3.6 Relaxed legs; feet steadied on the ground. “In a majority of cases thistype of position is adopted by confident, optimistic and open people. Also, a personwhich sits in this way know what they need to do, how to do it and is conscious oftheir own abilities and capacities. Such person knows the way in which to actalways manages to find a solution towards competing tasks”, concludes thepsychologist and trainer, Andra Tănăsescu.4. Particularities of communication in the sports environment.Whether we refer to verbal or non-verbal communication, communicationbetween athlete and coach or the communication between athletes, even theinteraction between athletes and spectator’s (which also represents an actor in theprocess of communication) we consider that in sports this is always a veryimportant component in the process of optimization of performance.“Communication through body-language exists from the beginning of time but itsscientific analysis began only in the past twenty years. It has become popular in the1970s. By the end of the XX century it was discovered throughout the entire worldand we have motive to believe that its impact on the meaning of humancommunication will become constitutive elements of official training” (Stânea, R.2012).Dragnea, A. (2006) speaks about the importance sociometric representationsand their role in communication, noting that these are strongly influenced byprejudice, stereotypes or routines. Superstitions and prejudice dominate emotionaland motivational life without having any real basis. Controlling athletes, theirroutines and stereotypes, determines sociometric representations which favour theathletic activity and are controlled by the athletes. As a language, sport, isunderstandable to all, regardless of race, age and occupation. As an educativeimpact, well used, sport can be a positive educative mean for everybody.The importance and advantages of sports communication Sport remains the best way to manifest, demonstrate and inform a man. Through sport the necessity to demonstrate our power and will to fight issatisfied. Through sport one can reach the knowledge of performance, to always beabove the competition. Through sports the limits of human performance capacities are expanded. Though sport culture and tradition are developed.104Vol. IX Nr. 1 2017

Marathon Sport information amplifies the phenomenon thus transforming it into anathletic spectacle. Sport has become a way of technological, artistic and aestheticcapitalization. Sport can trigger emotional states such as love, hate, respect and fear. Sport can trigger group bonding and socializing between different groups. The athletic performance is of interest for a diversity of areas of research.All those who benefit from this system of communication through sport are:athletes, coaches, referees, specialists, officials, journalists, spectators and readers.5. ConclusionsDominance over the process of communication through knowledge,understanding the phenomenon of verbal and non-verbal communication in theconduct of basketball as a sport is an essential element in leading a team in trainingand competitions.Communication in basketball is very complex due to factors which intervenein form of messages through verbal language, motor language and body-language.Knowledge of non-verbal communication types and the level on which thismanifests leads to an efficient cooperation during team plays.Knowledge and mastery of the process of communications during practice isan essential element in leading the athletes as well as pre-existing interrelationships among the groups of athletes. Communication skills become anecessity for tactical interactions and for success in sport competitions.The coach-athlete relation of communication, in the process of training andcompetition, compared to the realities that the professor can identify in his day-today supervision and work lead to major dysfunctional between the motor potentialand the athletes’ capacity to express themselves. The use of a complex range ofcommunication ways (verbal, non-verbal and gesture) brings an appeal bonus tothe trainings, maintaining players’ interest.REFERENCES1. Chelcea, S., Ivan, L., Chelcea, A. (2005) Comunicarea nonverbală: gesturile şipostura, Editura, București2. Cristea, D. (2000) Tratat de psihologie socială, Editura Pro Transilvania,București3. Dragnea, A. (2006) Elemente de psihosociologie a grupurilor sportive, EdituraCD PRESS, București4. Jinga, Gh., Pop, C. (2007) Didactica educaţiei fizice în învăţământul superior,București, Editura ASE5. Mehrabian, A. (1968) Communication without words, Psychology Today 2: 53–56Vol. IX Nr. 1 2017105

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication in Sport Environment6. Pânişoară, I.-O. (2008) Comunicarea eficientă, Editura Polirom, Iași7. Pop, C.L., Zamfir, V.M. (2015) Optimizarea comunicarii in sporturile deechipa, Editura ProUniversitaria, Bucureşti8. Stânea, R. (2012) Cursuri universitare, Tehnici de comunicare eficientă9. Tănăsescu, Andra (2017) Poziţia corpului ne trădează gândurile. available poate-dezvalui-limbajul-trup)10. Zamfir, V.M. (2015) Mijloace de comunicare in baschet, Editura ProUniversitaria, Bucureşti11. Zlate, M. (2000) Fundamentele psihologiei, Editura Pro Humanitate, Bucureşti106Vol. IX Nr. 1 2017

essay aims to tackle the important aspects related to the communication phenomena and its’ implication for sport teams. Training and especially competitions require efficient communication between teammates and between coach and team. Communication skills become a necessity for tac