The Power of Body Language

The Power of Body Language

Body language includes your gestures, facial expressions and posture. Messages, both positive and negative, are conveyed to others through your body language. And, equally as important, your body language can affect your own attitude and performance. 

Simple things such as an upright posture, a smile and eye contact can have a profound effect. Think for a minute of Annie Thorisdottir, Tia-Clair Toomey and Usain Bolt when they enter an arena. They are larger than life...shoulders back, arms up, a smile on their faces - total POWER STANCE! 

You will never see these top athletes displaying negative body language such as:

  • Folded arms
  • Slouching
  • Frowning
  • The body turned away from others
  • Poor eye contact

But, you will most definitely witness them with positive body language like: 

  • Open body position; arms unfolded
  • Upright posture – shoulders down and back, head up and eyes looking forward
  • Relaxed and open facial expression
  • Consistent, comfortable eye contact
  • Smiling

Reading competitors' body language can also give you a competitive advantage. So, start paying attention to others. Similarly, showing up to a competition with positive body language can give you a competitive advantage not only because of how others interpret it, but for how it makes you feel.

Your homework: practice a power stance at every training session this week, keep going until it becomes part of you. Make yourself big, take up space, exude confidence, especially during workouts you know will be harder for you. 

Want to learn a little more? Here’s a great TED Talk on body language.

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