At my current stage in life (retired) I am able to get out and watch a LOT of football games. In the last two weeks I have attended 3 high school games, 2 college games, and 1 middle school football game.
I have begun really studying something as I attend these games.
Not X’s and O’s…
Not scheme or systems…
I have really been paying attention to body language… the body language of the athletes on (and off) the field.
Here is a distillation of my thoughts.
I am not sure if you can fake body language… it is like a lie detector test … a non-fiction documentary film on how you are really feeling… feeling on a deep, inner level.
It shows how you will react to adversity… and how you will react to success.
Body language never whispers… it screams!
I can pretty much tell if an athlete’s “hype” is real, or just show… and not by observing when they are getting “hyped”, but observing their body language the rest of the time… when their real “film” is playing.
It seems that body language must be hard to change… maybe because it is not taught, stressed or coached. The reason I say this, is that I have observed athletes that I have been around in middle school and high school, that are now participating in high school and college ball. The same athletes that had issues with “body language” in middle and high school are having identical problems in high school and college.
After hearing TV commentators talk about the body language of a former player, I turned to my wife and said “we had the very same issues with him in middle school!”
I suppose that body language is so hard to change because people develop and “practice” it daily over the entire course of their lives… it become really ingrained in their being. It may be hard for the athlete to realize what exactly their body language is “saying” and how it is perceived by teammates and coaches. To see and understand this, an athlete needs to have a very good self-awareness, which demands a pretty high level of maturity.
I know as a coach, I didn’t spend a lot of time teaching or coaching body language. About the closest I came to it is demanding that my players physically “keep their heads up”… adding that “If an opponent sees you with your head down, you are beat.”
So that leads me to the somewhat, but not totally rhetorical question of “Do you teach/ coach “body language” and if so, how/ what do you do?”
Comment or shoot me an email… I am really interested in your thoughts on this subject.
Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org