Tennis: the killer instinct

How many times have we seen ditching the match point and then lose the game? Too many!
How many times have we seen players play a set very well and then lose resoundingly the next one maybe to zero? Many!
How many times after some mistakes have we seen one tennis player lose his/her mind, continuing with this negative sequence until the end of the set? Many!
Are all situations in which the tennis player has not used the killer instinct, the result is that one player dominated the other.
What is the killer instinct:

  • Will to do what it’s reasonably necessary to win or achieve the goal.
  • Awareness about when to push to close a game, set or match, and do it.
  • Knowing that when the we lead, it needs to continue to do it.
  • Knowing that when the opponent is down, we must continue to keep him/her down.
  • Will to react successfully from a negative momentum.
How to develop it:
  • Never think that it will be easy to win. No one can guarantee the outcome, not ourselves.
  • Never relax during the game, if the psychological tension go down give ourselves the stimulus to psych up, to keep the concentration high.
  • When we are leading the match we could reduce the competitive tension, it is dangerous. Use mental images that maintain a constant level of activation.
  • The over-confidence can become a trap that surrounds and supports the emergence of distractions. We must act to stay mentally focused point by point.
  • Never think about the end result but as mentioned we need to stay focused on the present, play at the best.
  • Always keep the highest pressure on the opponent is one of the keys to success. The aim is to convey to the opponent the idea that anything he/she can do, he/she will always remain down.
  • Never be in a hurry during the time between the points, we must always have the same timing is that we serve or return.

Tennis: what to do when you are down

10 rules to manage the competitive pressure

Too often the competitive pressure is the leading cause of poor performances if  compared to the training standards. How could this happen?
It happens because athletes or teams are not able to handle some of the main factors of a race.  They re the following.
  1. Uncertainty - Sport is a typical situation of uncertainty in which only one win, it must know how to accept this condition and live it with determination.
  2. Expectations - The higher the skill level, the higher the expectations, that instead during the competition should be set aside to focus only on the present, forgetting the future represented by the final result.
  3. Time - Every race is marked by time, that must be managed while maintaining the proper timing for each action without fear and without slowing down and speeding to excess of impatience.
  4. Change - The race is a situation in which the changes take place continuously and often without warning,  the competitors have to accept mistakes and be able to adapt flexibly to what is happening.
  5. Visibility - The competition is a public social comparison, each one shows him/herself in the game.
  6. Control - The athletes must know what they can control and what depends to a lesser extent by their behaviors. Certainly can control the effectiveness of their sport performance. They can not however determine the outcome, which depends instead by the interaction with the opponent.
  7. Choices - The race is a continuous situation of choice in relation to the strategy to be used, the shot to perform, the behavioral management. Choose is an ongoing task and the athlete must be trained to do it.
  8. Compete - Sport is not an aesthetic activity, consists of a constant confront with opponents, the start and the end are not decided by the athletes. They must be available to provide the optimal performance by accepting these conditions and rules that are a guarantee of equal opportunities for comparison.
  9. Ourselves - Athlete and team should be the main supporters of themselves, while they are often the cause of their problems. They become impatient, insecure, very little constructive, paralyze by analysis or  overly impulsive.
  10. Motivation - It ‘s the foundation of everything. The situations and the others can provide good reasons to commit at the best, but no one can motivate another person. The motivation stems from the belief that it improves thanks to our commitment.

Mind it’s the driver

Parentes and sports: which role?

Tomorrow in the conference that I will keep in Civitanova Marche (Italy) on the parents role in sports contexts I will talk about these issues.
  • To promote the sport in young people
  • Change the sports culture
  • Sport is a long-term project
  • What it needs young people to develop
  • Teaching task orientation to learn how to win and lose
  • The parents role in these contexts

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

Risultati immagini per dancer breathing quotes

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.