The effects of communication type and player roles on soccer players' performances
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different types of communication (verbal and non-verbal/nonverbal only) and player roles (offence/defence) on the performance of amateur soccer players (with their 'performance' measured as either the number of goals they scored or stopped successfully in their main 'on-pitch' role).
Participants in the present study were amateur, male, soccer players aged between 18 and 40 years (n = 22). The experiment took place over 3 training sessions. In sessions 1 and 2, the participants were trained in either non-verbal communication alone or in non-verbal + verbal communication. These soccer player participants then engaged in a practice training drill designed by the main researcher and the players' coach (run during sessions 1 and 2). In session 3, the main data collection occurred, where the soccer players' performances were formally recorded (i.e., the goals they each scored or stopped successfully during the specially designed training drill). This data was then analysed using SPSS to test the 3 hypotheses proposed for the study
Using a 2-way ANOVA, the results of the study indicated a significant difference in the performance of the players based on the type of communication style they used (verbal + non-verbal communication versus nonverbal communication format only). A significant difference in the performance of the players was also found to exist based on the players' 'on-pitch' role (offense versus defence). Finally, a significant interaction was recorded between the communication style (verbal and nonverbal versus nonverbal alone) and players' role (offense versus defence).