Your TED Talk and your book focus on power posing. What do we need to know?
People tend to think body language is about communicating with others, not with the self. Body language is really about what your body is saying to you, not what you’re saying to other people. When you use your body to respond to situations, especially stressful situations, in a powerful way, it becomes self-reinforcing. I deal with this a lot in business settings, but elite athletes know it’s true. Sport-psychology studies show that posture influences a person’s performance.
What does it look like to respond powerfully?
Power is about taking up space. The ultimate power pose is what gymnasts do right before their routines, when their arms and heads go up. That pose is the universal sign of power and pride and victory. I’m not saying you should be doing that on the golf course. Anything that takes up space will work. When you’re just standing, make sure you have your feet set wide apart and your hands on your hips. When someone else is hitting, don’t hunch over. Take up space.
It’s the same when you’re walking between shots. You can be powerful then, too. Expansive movement is as important as expansive posture. So take long strides when you walk, swing your arms. You want to move boldly and put some vertical bounce in your step. Carry yourself with your shoulders back and down instead of slumping or pinning your arms down.
No matter what shot you’ve just hit, try to keep yourself from tensing up.