Mind flexibility in dance

This week will start the camps of the Italian sports dance teams, the guiding theme will be the flexibility in its physiological, bio-mechanical, postural and psychological aspects. My speech will focus on “The flexibility from a psychological point of view: relaxation and specific types of training.” I shall devote through exercises based on different breathing techniques in order to impro

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ve the athletes’ self-control improving their ability to relax, psych-up and stay focused during th

Parents in sport resource or obstacle?

Conference entitled “PARENT IN SPORT RESOURCE OR OBSTACLE?” to be held Saturday 1 October from 17.00 to 19.00 hours at the Aula Magna of the I.C. Leonardo Da Vinci in Civitanova Marche by Prof. Alberto Cei. The conference stems from the managers and coaches of local sports clubs to reflect on the influence of parents in the sport of their children in an attempt to create an educational alliance. In the last years the relationship between parents and children has changed a lot, as well as the degree of parental involvement in the children lives. Sports clubs and coaches are often crippled by this presence, which are not used to relating and, on the other hand, parents often do not seem to know how to give clear boundaries to your role. Probably the young who are in the middle of this sort of triangle, are likely to be confused. From this disorientation was born the idea of ​​the Conference, we would like to try to build together some “way of living together” and an alliance that will help us to be for our kids the best parents and the best possible coaches. The meeting is open to parents, managers and coaches of youth swimming areas and other sports, teachers and sports fans.

Guardiola’s winning mind

Guardiola’ different mind as a player - He was always looking for ways to make not only himself better but also the team. From the beginning, he had an unshakeable winning mentality and understanding of team chemistry.

His mentor - It’s not a secret that Guardiola’s philosophy and game understanding come by Johan Cruyff. He  has often stated that it was his biggest idol and mentor. He was immediately aware of the need to possess, both for recovery and maintenance – two ideals that are the foundation of his game philosophy.

Continuous search for improvement - not only work hard, but he is relentless in pursuit of improvement, his aim is to become the best that can be Pep Guardiola.

Sense of the common - It means knowing how to think of others, not only the team but also to the social context in which the team alive.

The value of having values ​​- Over the love of football are: sacrifice, accountability, respect, honesty and teamwork.

Discipline and awareness - On his first training session at the Barcelona, Guardiola said to coach the Barcelona is an “absolute honor.” He spoke of the need to restore order and discipline and the need to be more professional.

Game goals - “I do not want that all seek to dribble like Leo Messi, but pass the ball, pass and pass again … Pass, move well, do it again, pass, pass, and pass … I want every move is clever, any given pass, that’s how we make a difference from the other teams, it’s all I want to see. ”

Study the opponents - “All I do is watch the movie of our opponents and then try to figure out how to demolish them.” This proactivity pushes Guardiola to know not only his team, but also the opposing team, inside and out.

Player assessment – With Guardiola the players must be prepared to be continuously observed. Deco and Ronaldinho did not have this attitude and were sacrificed for the good of the team.

Behavior consistent with the words -You are what you do. Consequently Guardiola arrives first at practice and leaves last. He studied very carefully the opponent teams. Internal communication is a service to answer  the players needs. He work regularly with staff.

Welcome back champions!

The Paralympic Games are the ultimate expression of competitive sport for persons with disabilities, with a media very significant level of visibility. The stories of these athletes are, unfortunately, almost told only this time, and the same is true for their performances, which often are truly outstanding in quality and intensity of effort. Athletes’ photos and videos show this very well and it is impossible not to be involved.

They are people who in the De André’s words march “in obstinate and contrary direction” compared to the culture of sedentary lifestyle, based on the conception the physical and psychological limits are only editable through medical , surgical and therapeutic interventions. Paralympic athletes, however, show that there is always a way to get out of a limiting condition, as Bebe Vio, gold in fencing, says speaking of her return to sport: “I always knew that I could go back to doing fencing. When asked the doctors, I can say, they spit in my eyes. When I asked those of prostheses, they laughed. But I immediately realized that I would be able to return.” The same applies for Alex Zanardi when dissatisfied of the prostheses on the market, he designed by himself a couple of new artificial legs, with the purpose of returning to racing.

Welcome back champions. Here there is much to do to spread the idea that sport is a dress that everyone can cut to his/her measure. Usually sports who win medals at the Olympics, in the following year, enjoy an increase in their membership. It occurred in skiing when Alberto Tomba won, with Luna Rossa in sailing or swimming in the era of Rosolino and mates. I’m not so optimistic for the sport for the disabled, in Italy there are few clubs who deal with it and most of the young people with disabilities of school age are sedentary. The successes of these Paralympics could however favor  the changes, especially among children and adolescents, because despite all its negativity (doping, excessive emphasis only on competitive results) sport continues to be one of the pillars in the search for freedom and autonomy that always draws the human being.

Mourinho winning mind

Lead the men - “Football for me is a human science, above all else.”

The coach is a global leader - “A coach has to be everything: a tactical, motivator, leader, methodologist, psychologist.” “A teacher at the university told me ‘a coach who knows only football is not a top level. Every coach knows football, the difference lies in other areas. He was a teacher of philosophy. I got the message.”

Football is global - “I do not do physical work. I defend the globalization of work. I do not know where it starts the physical part and end the psychological and tactical side.”

Customize communication – Adapting communication to each individual it is the most difficult task of a coach and he has to know how to challenge the players’ emotions.

Know the men - “There are many ways to become a great manager … but above all I think the hardest thing is to lead men with different cultures, minds and quality.” At Inter conceded a holiday to Wesley Sneijder who was exhausted. “All the other coaches have spoken only of training,” said Sneijder. “He sent me to the beach. So I went to Ibiza for three days. When I came back, I was willing to kill and die for him.”

Men are chosen - He believes in a 24-team players because this shows that every one of them has been chosen and will play a significant role for the team even if they are not famous.

Stimulate the players to understand -He stresses the tactical work, the coach is not a ‘transmitter’ and the team is not a ‘receiver’. He uses the method of ‘guided discovery’; the players reveal how to play based on the information they receive, from practical situations that will lead them on a certain path. ”

Constant focus on the mind - He is focused on the emotional , cognitive and interpersonal players’ dimensions. In this way the players, instead to follow the instructions as the pupils at school, develop the play ideas led by this mental approach to the game.

Teamwork and collective awareness - “I work with the players on a daily basis and I know those who are committed to the maximum are able to do well, while those that are not working properly are not able to play well. You play as you work, and I can say it straight to each player.

Working with intensity - Short training sessions and the presence of the ball encourage players to work at their maximum level of motivation and energy. He constantly pay attention to the mistakes and provoking the players if they make mistakes repeatedly.

Alex Ferguson’s winning rules

Alex Ferguson represents the history of football and a model of leadership studied all over the world. Below his ideas as he has told in his autobiography.
The construction of a football team - It must start from the youth activity, in order to build continuity in supplying players to the first team. The players grow together, producing a bond that, in turn, creates a spirit.
Inspire people to improve - “I have always been very proud to see the younger players as they develop.” In this way the work of a coach is similar to that of a teacher. He teaches the technical skills, the winning mentality and better people. This determines in young loyalty to the Club, since they are aware of the opportunities they have received.
Plan the future - The are players more than 30 years, those between 23 to 30 years and the younger. The success of a team is about four year cycle, and then changes are needed. The aim is to always know what is the team that you’ll want to have with an advance of a few years and decide accordingly.
Each training session is important – It must always be maintained a high training standards. They are important the motivational talks, team building, all the preparation of the team and talk about tactics. Do not ever allow an unsatisfactory training session. What you see in training occurs on the playing field. You always need quality, concentration, intensity and speed.
The talent always works hard – From the talents it must be expected a lot more than the others during the workouts. They should prove to be the best.
The locker room atmosphere must be always safeguarded – You have to wonder if someone is spoiling the atmosphere of the locker room, the team’s performance, and the control of the players and staff. If this happens you have to cut the cord. There is absolutely no other way. It does not matter if the person is the best player in the world. The long-term vision of the club is more important than any individual, and the coach has to be the most important in the club.
Encourage players - Nobody likes to be criticized, and there are few players who improve with criticism.  They should be encouraged. For a player, like any human being, there is nothing better than listening “Well done.” They are the two best words to listen. It is not necessary to use superlatives.
Correct the mistakes immediately - At the same time, in the locker room, it is necessary to indicate the mistakes when the players do not meet the expectations. This is when the criticism is important, immediately after the match, without waiting on Monday. After this time, you think about the next game and everything begins again.
In training we need to repeat – During the sessions the technical skills and tactics must be repeated.  The aim of each session is to learn and improve. This must be done even if the players can think “Here we go again”, because these repetitions help to win.
Manchester United style - Be positive, adventurous and take risks.
The observation - It’s an essential element of the skill management. The ability to see things is the key, more precisely, it refers to the ability to see things that you do not expect to see.
Change is a rule to follow - Typically who win does not think to change. It’s just the opposite. “We had to be successful — there was no other option for me—and I would explore any means of improving. I continued to work hard. I treated every success as my first. My job was to give us the best possible chance of winning. That is what drove me.”

New ideas have old roots: Oddone Giovannetti

It never hurts to remember, in this case Oddone Giovannetti, one of the founders of the largest Italian Association of Sport for all (UISP9. He born in Correggio in 1924 and died a year ago. I want to remember a phrase that reminds us that the basic ideas for the development of human beings can be used regardless of the historical period.

“Free time is a fundamental right. The man who draws from his work just to live is not a free man, but he lives a purely biological life.”

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Oddone Giovannetti at Rome Olympic Games (1960).

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Night cycling race, Catania, 7/9/1958.

Good results from shooting

Buona settimana: Nicholas Antonini ha vinto il campionato italiano jr e Alessia Montanino il campionato del mondo universitario di fossa olimpica.



Federico Morlacchi, a fighter fish

Federico Morlacchi who won a gold and a silver (for the moment) to the Rio Paralympics is one of the “Fish Fighters“. It’s a docu film about a swimmer group, Paralympic swimming champions, and their preparation in Milan ahead of the Paralympic Games in Rio, with the AcquaRio project, multidisciplinary team involving coaches, dieticians, psychologists, trainers. The “Fish Fighters’ are Federico Morlacchi, Arjola Trimi, Alessia Berra, Arianna Talamona, Giulia Ghiretti, Fabrizio Sottile, Francesca Secci, Simone Barlaam e Giuseppe Romele. Young people with different stories and disability that in this year of workouts have become a team.

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Sport motivation is the same in all ages of adult life

The preliminary results of a study on track and field Master show that the intrinsic motivation (“I think that this activity is interesting and pleasant”) and the identified regulation (“ I think that this activity is good for me”) are the two most important dimension to persist in sport in all the different period of the adult age. They do not practice sport  ”because it is something that I have to do” (external regulation) or if you are not motivated: “I do this activity but I am not sure if it is worth it” (Amotivation).

(Source  Fidal, G. Carbonaro, A. Cei e C. Quagliarotti , data not published).