Nonverbal Cues – Locker Rooms

Earlier this week we covered nonverbal influence in hockey also known as the fighting penalty. That post brought some wonderful comments about other ways we communicate a message nonverbally in sports.

Locker Rooms
Go to the home team’s locker room and you will find it pleasantly fragranced (a fancy way of saying it smells good) by a professional. If you saw the Casino article you know that there are professional scenters. Companies that develop a fragrance just for you/your team/your building. These professionals take into account the various smells that will be coming in or created and not only counteract them, but also layer a pleasant scent.

ScentsThe home team wants its suits to smell fresh after the game.

How does the visiting team fare?

Part of home court advantage is getting to influence the opposing team’s locker room situation. Martin Wright said it best this week when talking about a tour of Chelsea Football Club, “the cramped, hot and smelly away team dressing room with slippery floors, and the luxurious sweet smelling home team dressing room. The icing on the cake for the home team was that their lockers were air conditioned with a rose scent so that their (Armani) suits smelled nice when they got dressed after the game.”

Hot, smelly, cramped and slippery . . . that might get to you if you’ve been on the road for a while.

In the US there are mandates on professional arena locker rooms to counteract this very human way of influencing our competition. All in the name of being cordial?

Probably not.

Annually at the high school level we have incidents like this one where the home team left a sloppy surprise for the visiting team. This high school team had the rest of its season canceled. That stuff doesn’t come out of wrestling mats. Imagine how much more ridiculous the behavior would be at the professional level.

So when it comes to building an arena the professional leagues set standards. From a construction cost stand point, it makes more sense to just build the locker rooms the same . . . though you can cut back on the shower/spa/sauna set up.

What about the color?

Think Pink.

pinklockerroomIowa fans and foes enjoyed the years of a pink locker room for the opposing team. And as former coach Hayden Fry might attest, it was a bit serendipitous. Turns out the opposing team locker room was desperate for a coat of paint (perhaps after an incident like the one above) and facilities management only had pink paint available. Viola, pink locker room. The rumor quickly swirled that pink was chosen to pacify the opposing team.

Okay, what was facilities doing with pink paint?

Seriously, what needs to be painted pink on a college campus?

But, I digress.

As opposing teams shuffled through the doors the pinkness would freak out the opposing coaches who would psychologically play right into Coach Fry’s hands. This is a brilliant use of nonverbal influence – paint the room pink, let a false rumor about the sedative effect of pink walls circulate and viola, you build a remarkable football program.

Thank you to Iowa Alumni Magazine for the photo

P.S. Coach Hayden Fry is a Texas boy who played at Odessa and then Baylor then the USMC. Upon finishing military service he did what most Texas boys dream of doing, he taught History . . . and coached football.

Image courtesy of Custom USB

13 thoughts on “Nonverbal Cues – Locker Rooms”

  1. Great post.

    You reminded me of another tactic at Chelsea in the away team locker room:

    Have the boot locker low down, close to floor level, so that the away team player player has to bend down (and hopefully strain their back in the process) … and then position very large coat hooks for their kit at head height, so that when they stand up again they crack their head!

    I can’t believe it’s someone’s job to think of all this! “What do you do for a living?” – “I’m an away team dressing room saboteur”!

  2. Funny, but I don’t know if I can get the pink locker room out of my head now. Could be an interesting day.

    Robert Martin

  3. You know? I am just like the men whose brains fuzz over seeing the photo of a pretty girl when I see the words


    Mentally I start to froth over a the mouth
    stanley cup?
    Mr. Kotter, Mr. Kotter

    Great post and you GRABBED my attention
    then again
    you know how


    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell

    Single Baby Boomer Dating Success Expert

  4. Pink locker room – ya gotta love it. I use to watch his show all the time. I didn’t know he was from Texas though.

  5. Yes I agree with Rob…I think they would have to remove the urinals if it was for me!!! Thanks for sucha wonderful post!!!

  6. I love it– a pink locker room. It would be better though if they removed all the urinals…

    And maybe a potpourri…

    Seize the Day,

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