“People want to engage in something whole-heartedly in order to find meaning.”
(Ryumon Gutierrez Baldoquin)
In an unbelievable review The Daily Beast talks about the greatest stars who had failed in the role of coaches and manager. Among them myths like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson: http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2013/06/14/from-great-to-blah-star-athletes-who-failed-as-bosses.html#815027b6-2b8e-4092-9a13-dc2dcb24cde5
It’s still continuing the Stephan El Shaarawy’s crisis, Milan football player, after a good first half of the season, he played a rather subdued the second part and this crisis seems to continue in the national team. Crisis are quite common in young players and, maybe future champions, as it is not easy to maintain high performance levels when everyone expects it to be so.
Many athletes feel these emotions and should have to follow a program of psychological coaching to train mentally to handle them effectively. I hope that Prandelli, the Italian team coach, is not one of those coaches that says “do not worry, as soon as you score a goal all these thinks get out.”
The main training mode are the following:
- Relaxation associated with mental rehearsal of the performance – it’s about knowing how to relax reducing usefulness tensions and charging with those who promote the performance.
- Identification of the optimal emotional state – Allows the player to train himself to stay in the optimal psychological condition, experienced in the past on the occasion of his best performances.
- Simulation – Replicate the match conditions in training helps to improve the performance and prepare for the unexpected situations that may occur. Consists, for example, in producing in training stimuli that may distract the athlete from the execution of his performance.
- Acceptance of competitive stress – It’s essential to accept that the emotional condition felt before the game is an important individual reaction; it emphasizes the value that is attributed to that match. In fact, without the stress perception the matches would only other workouts. Instead, they are carried out to prove to ourselves our competitive value through comparison with others.
Mindset and technical skill are trained through the development of specific game vision. The Barcelona videos on the goals at youth teams show how these two aspects are part of a way of teaching football. Barcelona has its own … how many Italian teams works in this way rather than just teach tactics and technique? Without the mind there is no game vision and the young players are trained to become soldiers.
“What do you mean when you write that the critical ingredient for a championship is love?”
“I know teams that get along well, they party together, but they’re not about the sharing and the deep care that you have to have as a team. You have to protect each other. You have to cover the other’s butt when he’s getting beat offensively. You have to know how to deliver the ball so people can get a good shot. You have to move outside yourself and think others.”
(By Belinda Luscombe, Time, June 3 2013, 10 Questions).
“If Argentina beat Brazil, in the final, I’ll kill myself said the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, a few days before the start of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the first citizen of Brazilian city is aware of the fact that the Brazilian coach Sabella is among the favorites for the title and that the eventual victory of Argentina in Brazil would be a sport tragedy for the Brazilians, as was that suffered at the 1950 World Cup in home which were defeated Uruguay.
At this regard, in order to avoid this dramatization I suggest you to read what Eduardo Galeano wrote in a chapter of the book “El futbol a sol y sombra” (1995) entitled “The sin of losing”:
“Nel calcio, come in tutte le altre cose, è proibito perdere. In questa fine di secolo, la sconfitta è l’unico peccato che non ha redenzione. Durante il Mondiale del 1994, un pugno di fanatici diede fuoco alla casa di Joseph Bell, il portiere sconfitto del Camerun, e il giocatore colombiano Andrés Escobar cadde crivellato da colpi a Medellìn. Escobar aveva avuto la sfortuna di segnare un autogol, aveva commesso un imperdonabile atto di tradimento alla patria.
Colpa del calcio o colpa della cultura del successo a tutti i costi e di tutto il sistema di potere che il calcio professionistico riflette e integra?”
Think Mr. Eduardo Paes and accept the idea that Brazil can also lose, discovering perhaps as it soothes the pain and brings people together the will to share it on.
Coaches and athletes frequently ask me examples of mental visualization to practice during the sessions. Here you find an exercise concerning one sprinter.
Exercise: 10 times 200m in 35sec
Mental task: start only when you are ready, otherwise wait some seconds till you are this feeling
- running every 200m at this time,
- at the end of each one, walk and take some deep breathing and before to reach the start line visualize the next 200m; on the line, start only when you have the feeling to be ready.