Duke basketball player, Grayson Allen, is taking over headlines today and not for his basketball skills. Last night, Allen tripped Elon’s Steven Santa Ana on the court, which is his third time of foul play.
An uproar about sportsmanship and consequences such his repeated behavior is ongoing.
Let's take a closer look at Allen and Coach K's body language during and after the incident.
Allen doesn't look up at the camera during his apology and Coach K stays stern during his post game interview.
I noticed is that Allen briefly favored his right arm on the court immediately after the trip. He looked at his right arm as though something was wrong with it. But, off the court when he showed his anger he flung his arm around as if nothing was wrong. That’s peculiar.
Now, after the game Allen apologized and accepted responsibility. He said, “Same thing. I don’t plan on doing it again. But, I made another mistake. And I have to try to be better again. Just like I tried to be better from last year.”
Two things he said. 1) He said, “don’t plan”. Don’t plan isn’t a commitment to not do something. It might sound good, but you’re still leaving wiggle room to not follow through. I can say, “I don’t plan on smoking.” But, I’m not committing to not smoke. For the record, I don’t smoke.
2) Tried. When you try something that doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be successful at it. I tried to learn French. I tried to quit eating donuts. The word “tried” doesn’t mean “completion.” So Allen said, “I have to try to be better again. Just like I tried to be better from last year.” He didn’t do better. He tripped yet – another player. He failed.
Coach K tried to control his nonerbals. However, he showed veiled anger, eyebrows were pulled in a tight line, eyes tightened and he showed a hint of disgust when he talked about not worrying about other people’s opinions. What happened here is that Coach K said to not let other people get to you. Yet, he showed how other people are getting to him through the anger and disgust on his face.
In my opinion, Coach K wants to curb the media by sending out this message and not turn situations into bigger issues than they have to be.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.
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