Bodily communication in volleyball and new data system.

Author:Raiola, Gaetano


Volleyball is a sport where the use of body language is very frequent, it is a sport with very narrow game space (81 square meters per team) and actions extremely rapid and dynamic, whose technical characteristics, tactics and logistics constantly allows nonverbal communication among the players on the court. The players through perceptive and intuitive processing, decode the signs, gestures and facial expression of team-mates and/or of opponents in a few thousandths of a milliseconds through the anticipation and interpretation of the consequences of the actions, one's own or other (each others), confirming the proactive role of the brain that is not restricted to acquire all sensory events of the world, while it interrogates the world according to its conditions in order to predict and anticipate behavior, adjusting the sensitivity, combining messages, pre-specific and values estimated, according to an internal simulation of the expected consequences of the action (Berthoz, 2000).

In particular, the decoding of signs or of facial expressions is "functional" when it refers to the same team and when communication act among players is involved or that one between the trainer and the athletes on the tactical intentions, strategies and the problems of the game. Decoding can be "diagnostic" when it is possible to recognize the different kind of nonverbal communications of the opposing team, through signs and elements that characterize the communication styles (Argyle, 1986 and Hall, 1966) of athletes and coaches. The third form of decoding is "tactics" when the gesture or the action simulates a game intention to solicit a reaction of the adversary who helps their own team.

That's why the sensorial information is encoded as motor acts and our motor system is activated as if we carry out actions that we observe, involving the simulation of the same actions and making possible the 'reciprocity' of acts and intentions which is basic for the immediate recognition of the meaning of the gesture of others "as soon as we see someone to perform an act or a chain of acts, its movements, which it wants to or not, it gets an immediate meaning for the observer."

The system of mirror neurons and the selectivity of their answers determines a shared action space, where every act and every chain of acts, our's own or others, are immediately written and understood, without any express or deliberate learning process" (Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia, 2006). Hughes and Franks (2004) suggest that notational analysis is primarily concerned with the analysis of movement, technical and tactical evaluation and statistical compilation. Therefore, the notational analysis is a technique to analyze different aspects of performance through a process which involves a permanent registration of the events. These aspects of a soccer coach's main tasks (i.e., to analyze sports performance: So that feedback) may be given to players immediately and future training sessions must be planned that way. Not surprisingly, the majority of published notational analysis work in sports derives from academics with an interest in soccer, basketball, volleyball and they are not necessarily involved in the coaching process.

Many volleyball coaches do not agree how to attribute the outcome points to the single volleyball fundamentals for all action. That happens when the decision of the attacker attribution and the opposite defender is borderline. Often, the inference of the outcomes in these actions is due to the feint and, generally, by the use of bodily communication in fast motor skills. The exact evaluation of these outcomes, as such as the attribution of the point, could help the coach to analyze the...

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