Nonverbal signals impact how communication is perceived. It shapes the thoughts and feelings of people, even altering their internal physiology. Since these nonverbal movements alter an individual’s perception of a particular communication, they are important parts of being understood.

This idea is even more important for athletic coaches. Since body movements, posture and facial expressions are so critical, coaches can use nonverbal communication techniques to generate a response from their players. Flailing hands and stomping feet can exude a sense of frustration without the need to say a single solitary derogatory word.

A perceptive coach can utilize a telltale scowl to let his team appreciate that he or she is not pleased with their effort. These kinds of nonverbal communications can prod the team to play harder without using negative comments that could drain enthusiasm. These nonverbal communications are also useful during talks and speeches designed to excite the team.

The most successful coaches understand that using a confident posture when addressing the team can develop a strong mental perception in their players. Coaches need their players to be confident, so when they display a confident nonverbal posture, their confidence is subconsciously passed on to their players.

The same type of situation applies to other types of nonverbal body movements. When someone has their arms crossed when speaking, it gives off one of two indicators. The person could be bored, or they could be seriously intense. There is also the aspect of space. When someone moves closer to the person they are speaking to, it raises the level of intensity.

Besides how a coach stands, paces, or uses exaggerated hand gestures to fire up his team, one of the most overlooked aspects of nonverbal communication is the eyes. There is an aspect of body language that is reflected through visible eye contact when people communicate. Some insist that shifting, wandering eyes are a sign of insincerity or untruthfulness.

To get their message across, coaches give off a strong sense of being 100% sincere. When a coach perfects the nonverbal talent of staying focused on their player’s eyes, they can utilize a valuable piece of nonverbal communication. Whether the coach is praising or chastising their players, the players will appreciate that the coach means business.

Nonverbal communication styles are as diverse as the different kinds of coaching philosophies. However, there are certain types of nonverbal communication that can be extremely useful for a coach to convey a particular message. Being aware of posture and facial intensity are just a couple of the ways coaches can use nonverbal communication to their advantage.