Analysis of Nonverbal Communication Ability in Relation to Cohesion of the Representative Women’s Basketball Team – U16

Abstract

Basketball game involves, beyond physical preparation, the individual technical-tactical knowledge essential for the good development of the game, a proactive attitude towards the goal of the action or a “team spirit”. It consists in the interaction of players and is based on mutual knowledge, acceptance and understanding, on cooperation for reaching the common goal. The athletes’ ability to communicate and create relationships can be analysed in connection with the individual ability to shift attention, with the sociometric and preferential statuses, consequently with the team cohesion level. Sociometric analysis will be achieved periodically, according to the team structure, composition and evolution in order to ensure an optimal integration of athletes into the team, to increase its cohesion and eventually its performance. Sociometric analysis correlated to nonverbal communication ability, while knowing the preferential status indices (Psi), is the purpose of our research. The 20 subjects are members of the representative women’s basketball team, juniors U16. Nonverbal communication ability positively correlates with the preferential status index of the team player. Research methods: bibliographic study, PONS (Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity) test, Moreno’s psycho-sociometric analysis, statistical and mathematical method, graphical representation. Average score obtained by calculating the Psi has a negative value, very close to zero, namely -0.000006. Regarding the minimal (-0.15) and maximal (0.26) values, it can be noted a balanced distribution of scores, as compared to central tendency. The value of Pearson’s correlation coefficient for PONS and Psi variables is rf = 0.833, which indicates a very close positive correlation between variables.

Keywords: Nonverbal communication, basketball, Moreno’s psycho-sociometric analysis

Introduction

Basketball is characterized by the game speed, the players’ task to play effectively on any position,

the fantasy of their technical-tactical execution, their team spirit and sacrifice, intelligence, nervous

resistance and creativity. Throughout the years, there have been developed different throwing, passing

and dribbling techniques, but also related to the positioning of players in the offensive and defensive

structures, as well as various communication forms/interrelations (Predescu & Ghițescu, 2001: 124). It

is important to know the type of nonverbal communication and the level where it occurs, in order to

increase efficiency of game actions particularly when emotions and state roles are significant, but also

for the situations where verbal communication is not reliable, is ambiguous (Preda, 2006: 74).

According to Shannon (quoted by Dragnea &Teodorescu-Mate, 2002: 158), “communication can be

defined as the transmission of a message from one point to another, from a source to a receiver’’,

where the source encodes the information and the receiver decodes it and has to understand the

language in which it is transmitted.

The sociometric status of players is another important element in the individual development

process, as well as in that of integration into the team, through the very influence the player exerts

voluntarily or not on the other teammates and the entire team.

Materials and methods

2.1. Hypothesis

Nonverbal communication ability positively correlates with the preferential status index of the team

player.

2.2. Research methods

This paper is an ascertaining pedagogical experiment and the research methods used were the

following: test method, graphical method, statistical and mathematical method with the statistical

parameters: percentages, Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) (Popa, 2008: 163).

2.3. Period, location and subjects of the research

The experiment tested the members of the Romanian representative women’s basketball team, with

ages between 15 and 16 years. Testing was conducted on 8 May 2013 at the Olympia Sports Hall.

2.4. Tests used

It was applied a nonverbal communication test, PONS (Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity) N.

Ambady 1980, translated and adapted by Loredana Ivan (the only scale of cultural and linguistic

competences). The test assesses the ability to decode nonverbal signals of the face and body (facial

expressions, gestures, looks, touches, vocal clues), used to transmit dynamic nonverbal messages. This

involves applying a questionnaire for the correct identification of 40 nonverbal scenes after watching a

movie. Out of the 40 nonverbal scenes, 20 provide clues situated at the face level, and 20, at the body

level (positions of arms and body). The scenes are displayed on a screen every 6 seconds, for the

duration of 3 seconds. In the 3-second break between scenes, the athlete must write on a sheet of paper

the response related to the nonverbal message transmitted in the respective scene. For each message

identified, 1 point will be granted. The values according to which the nonverbal competence level will

be established are: below 20 points obtained - low nonverbal competence, between 20 and 25 points

obtained - average nonverbal competence, above 25 points obtained - high nonverbal competence.

proposed for the first time in 1934 by the Romanian-born

American psycho-sociologist Moreno, the sociometric method involves a set of procedures,

experimental and mathematical techniques intended to measure the configuration, intensity and extent

of psychological affective substructures that arise within social micro-groups. It aims to highlight the

informal dimensions of group life, the sympathetic interrelations spontaneously created between the

group members, the sets of behavioural norms generated in the process of direct interaction between

individuals, recognized and accepted as such by each group member, without external constraints.

Through this instrument, it is made an attempt to study the group structures in terms of psychological

factors, especially the attractions and rejections manifested within the group.

Results

Table 1 - Table 1.
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Table 1 shows the results obtained by the girl athletes assessed using PONS test, and from their

analysis, it can be noticed that in all cases the score exceeds 25 points, which places nonverbal

competence at a high level.

Figure 1: Fig. 1. Score obtained for nonverbal responses
Fig. 1. Score obtained for nonverbal responses
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Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of scores obtained for the two categories of emotional situations/

scenes (at the face level and the body level). It can be noted that, in 70% of cases (14 situations), the

results achieved for the category of scenes situated at the body level are superior to the scores achieved

for the category of scenes situated at the face level; this finding can be argued by the fact that, during

the basketball game, players’ attention is primarily oriented towards the movement on the playing field,

the body attitude and the travel intention of teammates and opponents, rather than on their facial

expressions and the manifestation of their emotional feelings.

Figure 2: Sociometric matrix - Moreno
Sociometric matrix - Moreno
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Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of the conference

To assess the team cohesion level and calculate the status indices (Moreno’s sociometric analysis),

the players were given a sheet of paper containing four questions and were asked to give honest

responses, without subjectivity. The girls had to name the teammates they preferred, those they did not

prefer, the teammates who, in their opinion, preferred them, and those who, in their opinion, did not

prefer them. They were asked to relate their preferential responses to the game situations, without

considering the professional affinities and non-athletic circumstances. For the first 2 questions, 3

response options were made available and they had to order them according to preferential intensity.

For the other 2 questions, 1 single response was deemed sufficient. Sociometric matrix (Table 2) was

drawn by synthetizing the primary preferences under the form of elections (marked by the sign “+”)

and rejections (marked by the sign “-”).

Figure 3: Fig. 2. Sociogram
Fig. 2. Sociogram
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The next level of sociometric analysis is the interpersonal one, of the socio-affective relations

created within the group. The sociogram was drawn to illustrate intuitively the momentary

configuration of the socio-affective group structure, the extent to which the election or rejection

relations expressed by the girl athletes were unilateral or mutual. The balance of sociometric powers is

schematized in Figure 2; positive elections (attractions) are represented by dotted red arrows, negative

elections (rejections) are represented by dotted blue arrows, and mutual elections are represented by

arrows with solid line, red for the attractions and blue for the rejections. In the group assessed by us,

there are no mutual relations, either of attraction or rejection, which shows that the group dynamics is

not strong and the power of influence and interaction is low.

Figure 4: Fig. 3. Correlation between PONS and Preferential status index scores
Fig. 3. Correlation between PONS and Preferential status index scores
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Preferential status index represents the difference between the number of elections received and the

number of rejections received, related to the total number of individuals in the group, respectively to

the team total minus 1, taking into account that a person may not elect himself/herself. To analyse the

relation between the two variables, namely communication ability and preferential status index, we

have constructed Figure 3, which shows the common tendency of the two lines to change directions.

Figure 5: Table 3. Pearson’s correlation coefficient for PONS and Psi variables
Table 3. Pearson’s correlation coefficient for PONS and Psi variables
See Full Size >

To validate the hypothesis, according to which the two variables (nonverbal competence and

preferential status index) vary in direct proportion, it is necessary to calculate statistically a correlation

indicator. Given the size of the group, we considered it appropriate to calculate Pearson’s correlation

coefficient (marked by an “r” in statistics). Pearson’s correlation coefficient r = 0.833 (Table 3) shows

a strong association between the two variables.

Discussions and conclusions

Knowing and mastering the communication process during the basketball game is an essential

element for directing the team, the interrelations existing within the groups of players, and for building

the game tactics; It is important to know the type of nonverbal communication and the level where it occurs, in order

to increase efficiency of game actions particularly when emotions and state roles are significant, but

also for the situations where verbal communication is not reliable, is ambiguous;

When verbal communication is inefficient because of environmental factors or any other barriers of

language, nonverbal competence is definitely beneficial for the interaction of players within the team

and for achieving the proposed goal;

Nonverbal communication ability can represent a criterion for player assessment. A player with a

high level of nonverbal competence, if put in a key-position, will succeed in mediating the entire

communication process necessary to carry out the specific technical-tactical action; this aspect and the

strong association with the preferential status index lead to the idea that, by intervening positively on

any of the variables, we shall manage to produce changes in the same direction over the other;

Pearson’s correlation coefficient r = 0.833 indicates a strong association between the two variables,

validating the hypothesis according to which nonverbal communication ability positively correlates

with the preferential status index of the team player – The hypothesis is confirmed.

Acknowledgements

Data presented in this paper are part of the doctoral thesis “The role of nonverbal and verbal

communication in increasing performance efficiency of junior cadet basketball teams - U16”. We want

to thank the Romanian Basketball Federation for the support granted to achieve this research.

References

  • Dragnea, A., & Teodorescu-Mate, S. (2002). Teoria sportului. Bucureşti: FEST.

  • Popa, M. (2008). Statistică pentru psihologie - Teorie şi aplicaţii în SPSS. Iaşi: Polirom.

  • Preda, M. (2006). Comportamentul organizațional. Iaşi: Polirom.

  • Predescu, T., & Ghiţescu, G. (2001). Baschet. Pregătirea echipelor de performanţă. Bucureşti: Semne.

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Publication Date

18 December 2019

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Cite this article as:

Marinescu, G., Moanța, A. D., Zamfir, M. V., & Ticala, L. D. (2019). Analysis of Nonverbal Communication Ability in Relation to Cohesion of the Representative Women’s Basketball Team – U16. In V. Grigore, M. Stanescu, & M. Paunescu (Eds.), Physical Education, Sport and Kinetotherapy - ICPESK 2015, vol 11. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 82-89). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2016.06.12