I am going to share with you the first lesson I teach at every volleyball camp and clinic and I encourage you to do the same. Why, because the results are instantaneous and massive!

 

 
Amy Cuddy, a professor and researcher from Harvard Business School offers powerful insights into her years of research on the topic in her “TED talk”, called “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.”
 
In her talk she reveals how “power posing” – standing in a posture of confidence, even when you don’t feel confident- can affect the measures of testosterone and cortisol levels in your brain. Her research shows that you literally change your body chemistry by changing your body position.
 
As a coach how many times do you start your first practice and your middle school or high school players are slouched over, arms crossed looking at the floor. You can literally see who is insecure and lacks confidence from the moment you walk into the first huddle.
 
Personally, I immediately start by correcting them. I review and discuss Amy Cubby research. Rules for my practice include: no arms crossed, look each other in the eye, hands on hips and take up space in a “Power Pose”. Try and look the way you want to feel!
 
I ask players to come up with 2 “Power Poses” for huddle and one silly power pose. The last is like a body builder on stage and we use to make “light” intense moments. Think Usain Bolt or Arnold Schwarzenegger – Mr. Olympia. 
 
The Wonder Woman pose is the ultimate power pose, where you put your hands on your hips. Standing with your feet apart and your hands on your hips may feel odd at first, but this is a power pose in its essence. 
 
The quickest way to change your emotional state is to change your body language. If you mimic successful body language you will feel and become empowered. If you mimic disempowered body language you will instantly feel disempowered (depressed, angry, guilty, fearful…).” – Tony Robbins
 
“Power Posing” is also important for matches. I have heard many coaches tell me, “My girls walked into the gym, took one look at the opponent and lost!” You do not want to hear from coaches: “My boys are looking like desperate old casino slots machine in the corner of Las Vegas casino”.
 
I encourage you to review these ideas with your player’s parents. Teams I work with send out an email to the parents who are most often extremely grateful.
 
For clubs directors this is an important way to justify your value as a program. I like to call this: “It’s Bigger than Volleyball”. For clubs we work with this is an important reason most have grown by on average 30-50% over the last year.

 

author: Andor Gyulai