Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

1 Applying your learning: communication in motor racing

Before addressing the main questions in this session, you will use this opportunity to consolidate your learning and insights from Session 1 by revisiting the earlier motor racing film featuring Chris Hoy.

Activity 1 Revisit the earlier motor racing film

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Watch the video again. Please remember that this clip contains some swearing.

Download this video clip.Video player: e119_2018j_vid008-640x360.mp4
Skip transcript


Front right, flat spot. I've flat spotted the front right tyre with bad vibration.
OK, see if you can keep your pace up. If the vibration is too much, then we'll bring you in. Jonathan, if he locks the tyre and goes through, we'll have a puncture and we're fucked. Soft set for the car please. Soft tyres for the car immediately. Johnathan, why change all four? He's just going to kill us.
I can't do anything about that. If he's on track and he's losing that much time, he's going to kill us anyway.
Just put one.
I can't make sets, Stuart. That's just stupid. There will be a balancing difference.
They do it in Formula 1. They do it in this series. Just put one tyre on.
Can you please stop talking. I'm going to have to come in. I can barely see the windscreen.
Chris, you have to wait. I'm afraid you've buggered the tyres. I cannot just fix it like that. You have to continue driving until I've got to a point where I can stop you to fix the problem.
What are they? We need hot soft. Johnathan, there's no soft tyres at all. You'll just have to go with one tyre.
He's flat spotted both fronts. Just do the whole set.
I'm going to have to come in, this is getting fucking dangerous now.
OK, we've got to take the chance. Box now.
They're cold, all the tyres.
Oh, fuck me.
Using cold tyres can be like driving on ice.
I'm sorry about that. It was so annoying. Flat spotted going into the Mulsanne corner.
So what's done is done. We can't change it. Just concentrate and we'll go again.
Are you going to tell him these are cold?
We'll do it once you're done. OK, Chris, nice and easy. The tyres are cold. So just be careful with them.
Chris, really careful, the first two laps, extreme care. I know what's happened. Because Jonathan's worried about each cycle you were waiting to put the next set of mediums in. But what happens is, if you wait, you get fucked. Fuck him. I know what I'm talking about. Always have a set of hot tyres in.
OK, Chris how are you feeling? Is everything OK?
End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

This time, identify:

  1. two examples of non-verbal communication in the film
  2. why the race engineer uses paralinguistic features (i.e. pace, volume, rhythm and emphasis) in his radio communication to convey messages
  3. what you think team members’ impressions are of their team principal.


  1. One example of non-verbal communication is during the disagreement about the number of tyres to be fitted. The race engineer uses considerable hand gestures even while using the radio. At one point he uses a one-handed stop sign as the team principal says, ‘Just put one … [you stop].’ It appears that the listener, the team principal, can’t see the gestures. This demonstrates how non-verbal communication is deeply integrated into language. When their conversation heightens to open disagreement he ends the exchange without words: he uses a dismissive overhead throw-away movement.

    The other example is when the team principal speaks with the pit-crew afterwards in which his hand gestures reinforce his frustration and he also points inwardly to himself to reinforce his ‘I know what I’m talking about’ message.

  2. The race engineer tries to remain calm, speaking clearly and slowly to his colleagues on the radio: an important characteristic needed in his role in supporting the driver. He places emphasis on certain words, in italics, for effect, e.g. ‘soft tyres to the car immediately’ and ‘OK Chris, how are you feeling, is everything OK?’ This highlights in the first example the urgency and in the second the personal care in his relationship and support of Chris.
  3. It is likely that the team members describe their team principal as being passionate, or similar, and that this sometimes is expressed as frustration or anger when mistakes occur. You could describe him as being confident in his own judgement: he often refers to his knowledge of motor racing. It is likely that outside this pressure environment he behaves very differently.

The videos that you will watch through this course feature speech and non-verbal communication. But what about communicating in writing: how is it different to speech?


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371