Today is the day of the emotions

Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o, Principessa,
Nella tua fredda stanza,
Guardi le stelle
Che tremano d’amore
E di speranza.

Ma il mio mistero e chiuso in me,

Il nome mio nessun saprá!
No, no, sulla tua bocca lo diró
Quando la luce splenderá!

Ed il mio bacio sciogliera il silenzio
Che ti fa mia!

(Il nome suo nessun saprá!…
E noi dovrem, ahimé, morir!)

Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All’alba vinceró!
Vinceró, vinceró!
EURO 2021: Il calendario, gli stadi, le date e come seguirlo in TV - Italia

Talent and experience

Thoughts on our young talents

Roland Garros opened a period of great emotions for our sport and showed how good the young Italian tennis players are, guys to be proud of. It is not over with tennis because there will still be many prestigious tournaments in which to show their value.

Now the European Championships are starting and after years we have a united and enthusiastic team, led by a true leader, Roberto Mancini. His main merit is to have transmitted a sense of responsibility and belonging to the players who, not surprisingly, have responded to this approach with the quality of their play and an impressive streak of successes. Cohesion is usually at the basis of victories and also in this case, as with young tennis players, a lot of interest and optimism has been created.

The third big event of the summer is the Tokyo Olympics. There are more than 300 athletes who make up our Olympic team. They are the best we have and represent the tip of the iceberg of the sports movement. Many are at their first experience like those in free climbing, for the first time at the Games.

It may not be a country for young people but there are many who are good and competent. The athletes who participate in these sporting events are the best known but alongside them there are many others who are working hard to achieve the same results for years to come. I think it is very important that this is known, it is not rhetorical to remember it and it concerns young people who come from the most disparate social conditions. They are not even the only ones, certainly they are the most popular, but next to them there are many others who are competent in other professional fields and who have satisfactory jobs. It is equally well known that there are for other young people considerable difficulties in employment and often the jobs they find are poorly paid. Psychology has shown that knowing the experiences of peers who have achieved positive results thanks to their commitment and not because they are children of and have studied in public schools is a strong motivational incentive to become aware that these goals are achievable. On the contrary, if the media and many labor organizations will continue to talk exclusively about the laziness of young people who do not want to make sacrifices and the problems caused by the use of smartphones, it seems to me quite obvious that no future law or material incentive will be able to change this type of culture, based on the concept well expressed in the words of Alberto Sordi: “It ‘s better that you get used to injustice as a child, because when you grow up you do not get used to it anymore!”

In the true momentum it needs concentration

 

We are just a short time from the Tokyo Olympics, the most important event in the athletic careers of most athletes. As Robert Nideffer has taught, concentration is what unites Army special forces, managers, and top-performing athletes. The updated chart of the attentional style profiles of thousands of athletes around the world shows that even world champions make attentional errors due to emotional overload.Certainly to a lesser extent than other types of athletes, but this is still the main focus of their mental preparation if they want to perform at their best at the next Olympics.

Marqueza: the body is one and the mind doesn’t know

Pain makes you more human and aware of limits. Everyone knows, but when you feel it on yourself it becomes a terrifying experience. To read the interview to the “cannibal” Marc Marquez, he used to devour his opponents, now he exploits their wake: “It is the law of sport: when one suffers, he tries to survive. The weakest takes advantage of the strongest, and in qualifying I chose Vinales, the best: they used to follow me. Now it’s my turn”.

The interview talks about his pain of realizing how difficult it is to do normal activities like shaving or playing with dogs. He has learned that his head tells him things, which then his body still can’t. It’s like putting old software on a different machine, it doesn’t work.

You understand what it’s like to have a fixed idea, how you go in an instant from the joy of progress to the sadness of realizing how far away you still are from how you were. In an instant your life has changed, and you keep trying to think like you did before the accident, it’s depressive, you’re no longer able to do what you want to do.

Marquez’s struggle is to learn to live with this new awareness of his limits and to continue the treatment to reach a complete rehabilitation, he must also learn to believe in it knowing that all this is not certain.

Will he be able to become the cannibal even of his shadow, which continually puts doubts in his mind?

Tennis: Match plan

Depression in élite athletes

When I started working as a sports psychologist in the eighties, it was written that athletes displayed well-balanced personalities. That seems like a geological era ago.  At that time, there were far fewer athletes, less frequent competitions, less pressing competitive stress, less public exposure of athletes, and fewer sponsors in their lives. This meant that on the shoulders of the athletes there were fewer expectations coming from the social and sporting environment, less pressure to achieve perfectionism and continuous winning results.

Athletes were socially more free and less constrained to meet demands outside of them. I believe that this obvious difference from today is one of the causes of the greater frequency of cases of psychopathology that affect top athletes today. Last among all, the one witnessed by the words of Naomi Osaka, n.2 of women’s world tennis, who retired during Roland Garros.

Unfortunately it is not even entirely true what has been said about the athletes of 40/50 years ago, because if we think even only of the former East Germany we find that the athletes of this nation were not at all free to choose and the scientific use of State doping has created for them not only physical problems but also psychological diseases. The same is true for many athletes in the Western world who used illicit practices to achieve their sporting results.

The basic question to be studied is whether the sporting world that has become extremely competitive (and this is also true of the world of work) is the main (environmental) stressor that provokes in young an existential short circuit that encourages them to feel below their expectations and those required of them. The inability to adapt with effective strategies to these demands can determine an emotional imbalance that the rational mind alone can no longer manage.

Depression - It can be a transitory sadness or a debilitating mental illness, needing clinical treatment. Generally, those affected present with disturbed mood, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, loss of interest or pleasure, low energy, and poor concentration. These problems can become pervasive or recurrent, and lead to great difficulties in a person’s ability to attend to his or her everyday activities. Endemic in current society, depression is listed by WHO as the leading cause of disability and the fourth leading contributor to the global burden of disease (second among adolescents and adults younger than age 45 years) in terms of years of life affected.

4 key points of coach profession

Coach education at any level is an ever green topic. The risk we run is that we lose the awareness of the essential elements of this profession, making this type of work more and more complex in order to achieve increasingly effective levels of leadership. In my opinion, however, from Pep Guardiola to the youngest coach, there are at least 4 dimensions that must be showed by coaches.

Environment - The training environment must be task oriented, the coach accordingly provides feedback on commitment and intensity as well as technical/tactical aspects.

Rules - Sharing and respecting the rules is an essential factor in group management.

Technical-tactical instruction - The coach must teach the athletes by providing continuous information on the typical aspects of the sport practiced.

Encouragement - While the coach tends to be directive in teaching content, at the same time the athletes must feel that they are being supported in an equally obvious way.

The genius children who play chess

The success of Netflix’s popular series The Queen’s Gambit has stoked new interest in chess, and a fascination with children who show early genius for the cerebral game. The Fifth Estate looks at examples of parents who attempted to foster genius in chess, with dramatically different outcomes.

Recipe for genius: How child chess prodigies master the game - YouTube

Observing is one of the keys skills of a coach

For Alex Ferguson, one of the keys was closely observing his players.

“What you can pick up by watching is incredibly valuable… Seeing a change in a player’s habits or a sudden dip in his enthusiasm allowed me to go further with him: Is it family problems? Is he struggling financially? Is he tired? What kind of mood is he in? Sometimes I could even tell that a player was injured when he thought he was fine. I don’t think many people fully understand the value of observing. I came to see observation as a critical part of my management skills. The ability to see things is key — or, more specifically, the ability to see things you don’t expect to see.”