Stephan El Shaarawy with the children of the project “Soccer Together”

Sara Gama: a wonderful gift

Sara Gama: Se il carattere di una squadra si vede da come si vivono le difficoltà allora direi che oggi abbiamo dato un ottimo spunto. Ci siamo fatte un bellissimo regalo per il nostro debutto. Avanti così!!!

Concentration and self-talk in football

Concentration and self-talk in football

Mirko Farina and Alberto Cei

Abstract

Concentration and self-talk are key (often under appreciated) factors underlying elite sport performance. In this chapter we define concentration and self-talk and look at some of their applications (section 1). We investigate their relation, their functions, and discuss their contribution to sport performance (sections 2). We focus on the specific role that concentration and self-talk play in football (sections 3; 4). So, we analyse how they improve players’ performance by, for instance: (i) providing a balanced level of anxiety, (ii). enhancing focus and attention, (iii).promoting decision making skill and decreasing reaction time, (iv). motivating to increase efforts, (v). improving coordination with teammates and, more generally, deterring behaviours that have negative consequences on the field. We then analyse (section 5) the peak moment of any football performance (the act of scoring a goal) and look at how to use concentration and self-talk to increase the chances of scoring a goal (or not conceding it). We conclude (section 6), by providing practitioners with a series of applied coaching strategies that can be used to build more successful coaching programs (both in team sports and in football).To do so, we first identify some crucial game factors influencing football performance (e.g. game momentum, stress, anxiety, the players’ capacity to re-focus on the present) and then look at how coaches can intervene to satisfy some of these games demands.

In: E. Konter, J. Beckmann, T.M. Loughead (eds.), Football Psychology. Oxford: Routledge.

Which is the dream of Italians

The research “What do the Italians dream of” done by Censis per Conad and presented in Rome showed that two out of three did not want to come out of the euro and are opposed to the concept of national sovereignty as an escape from the EU.

For Italians the essential factors to grow and come back to dream are: more equitable resources, more welfare and social protection, less aggression and resentment towards others while – surprisingly – two out of three do not want to leave the euro and are opposed to national sovereignty as escape from the EU. This is different data from the ones we listen in the talkshow on TV every day.

“1.2% of Italian families has 21% of the country’s wealth: thinking about the development of Italy means intervening on this polarization. We cannot only think of profit, but of what derives from it. At regards at this request for the redistribution of wealth, the Government cannot be excluded “, said the Conad CEO Francesco Pugliese, commenting the research and adding that the country needs a credible governing class, of equity and meritocracy, of a policy that rewards commitment and promotes solidarity, the social context and a sense of responsibility. These are necessary prerequisites for sharing a great collective dream, the most powerful engine of growth.”

Speaking as an entrepreneur, Pugliese concluded: “Once for the companies was relevant their production capacity. Today we talk about reputation and to have a reputation we must know to take a position.”

If this is the feeling of the Italians, how is it possible such a marked difference from what is daily said by the media? “Today news means only bad news; good ones have no dignity to be told. This concept must therefore be overturned.”

Illustrating the research, Francesco Maietta, head of Censis Social Policies, said that “according to the Italians the general situation is getting worse in two aspects: the economy (deteriorated in the last 12 months according to 55.4% of Italians and will worsen further by 48.4%) and security (worsened by 42.3%). The perception of life touches two decisive areas: obviously what it was done by government failed to reverse the trend. The worsening of the economy is perceived more by low incomes, while the perception of insecurity is more distributed.

People trust only in the great scientists (41%), the President of the Republic and the Pope (30%), in the highest levels of the police (25.5%). The problem is that the psychology of the worst has been build, which is the opposite of the dream and there are no mythic solutions. The idea that we must leave Europe does not convince the Italians (66.2% is against the euro exit and 65.8% is against the return to national sovereignty, 52% is against re-establishing customs barriers and walls. The absolute primacy is the individual freedom which is the first aspects of the Italian dream.

Copenhagen Consensus statement 2019: physical activity and ageing

Bangsbo J, Blackwell J, Boraxbekk C, et al Copenhagen Consensus statement 2019: physical activity and ageing. Br J Sports Med Published Online First: 21 February 2019.
Abstract

From 19th to 22nd November 2018, 26 researchers representing nine countries and a variety of academic disciplines met in Snekkersten, Denmark, to reach evidence-based consensus about physical activity and older adults. It was recognised that the term ‘older adults’ represents a highly heterogeneous population. It encompasses those that remain highly active and healthy throughout the life-course with a high intrinsic capacity to the very old and frail with low intrinsic capacity.

The consensus is drawn from a wide range of research methodologies within epidemiology, medicine, physiology, neuroscience, psychology and sociology, recognising the strength and limitations of each of the methods. Much of the evidence presented in the statements is based on longitudinal associations from observational and randomised controlled intervention studies, as well as quantitative and qualitative social studies in relatively healthy community-dwelling older adults.Nevertheless, we also considered research with frail older adults and those with age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and in a few cases molecular and cellular outcome measures from animal studies.

The consensus statements distinguish between physical activity and exercise. Physical activity is used as an umbrella term that includes both structured and unstructured forms of leisure, transport, domestic and work-related activities. Physical activity entails body movement that increases energy expenditure relative to rest, and is often characterised in terms of intensity from light, to moderate to vigorous. Exercise is defined as a subset of structured physical activities that are more specifically designed to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, cognitive function, flexibility balance, strength and/or power.

This statement presents the consensus on the effects of physical activity on older adults’ fitness, health, cognitive functioning, functional capacity, engagement, motivation, psychological well-being and social inclusion. It also covers the consensus on physical activity implementation strategies. While it is recognised that adverse events can occur during exercise, the risk can be minimised by carefully choosing the type of activity undertaken and by consultation with the individual’s physician when warranted, for example, when the individual is frail, has a number of co-morbidities, or has exercise-related symptoms, such as chest pain, heart arrhythmia or dizziness.

The consensus was obtained through an iterative process that began with the presentation of the state-of-the-science in each domain, followed by group and plenary discussions. Ultimately, the participants reached agreement on the 30-item consensus statements.

Book review: Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology – 7th Edition

Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology – Seventh Edition

Robert S. Weinberg and Daniel Gould

Human Kinetics, pp. 663

This updated publication of Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology,Seventh Edition, includes web study guide, with technique videos, expert interviews and interactive activities.

Since many years, this is the leading handbook in sport and exercise psychology, now is back in a revised version, introducing new topics and updating the classical fields of this discipline. In this way, this textbook continues to play its role toward students and practitioners, providing a global and specific vision of sport and exercise psychology and drawing a strong bridge between research data and applied interventions.

In the first part of the book, Robert Weinberg and Daniel Gould describe in this 7thEdition a broader horizon of this field, with a section dedicated to talk about the present and future, centered on counseling and clinical training, the ethics and competence issues, the tension between academic and applied sport psychology, the problems related to the limited full-time positions for applied sport psychologists, the globalization of sport and exercise psychology, the advancement in technology and sport psychology-business link.

There is also a new chapter, in the third part of the book, titled  “Diversity and Inclusion” addressing topics related to gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, and disability. New contents are introduced in different book part related to popular and emerging areas like grit, mindfulness, organizational sport psychology, and technology in sport psychology.

Modern-day practical examples and anecdotes have been choose to better illustrate the concepts. The references have been updated including more current publications.

The updated web study guide represents an important learning tool supporting the educational journey. It includes more than 100 engaging activities, allowing students to apply the concepts from the text by completing activities for each chapter:

  • Use actual sport and exercise psychology instruments to assess their skills
  • Determine how to respond to real-life scenarios (with short answers or essays)
  • Review research studies and experiments
  • Search the Internet for relevant information
  • Apply and test their understanding of principles and concepts of sport and exercise psychology

Many of the study guide activities are completed by audio and video clips showing how sport psychology consultants interact and talk with athletes and coaches to improve their experiences and competences. These clips have been registered by esteemed experts from the field discussing concepts and situations they have encountered and managed during their careers.

Book review: Handbook of Embodied Cognition and Sport Psychology

Handbook of Embodied Cognition and Sport Psychology 

Massimiliano L. Cappuccio (Ed.)

Cambridge, MIT Press, 2018

This landmark work is the first systematic collaboration between cognitive scientists and sports psychologists that considers the mind–body relationship from the perspective of athletic skill and sports practice. With twenty-six chapters by leading researchers, the book connects and integrates findings from fields that range from philosophy of mind to sociology of sports.

The chapters show not only that sports can tell scientists how the human mind works but also that the scientific study of the human mind can help athletes succeed. Sports psychology research has always focused on the themes, notions, and models of embodied cognition; embodied cognition, in turn, has found striking confirmation of its theoretical claims in the psychological accounts of sports performance and athletic skill. Athletic skill is a legitimate form of intelligence, involving cognitive faculties no less sophisticated and complex than those required by mathematical problem solving.

After presenting the key concepts necessary for applying embodied cognition to sports psychology, the book discusses skill disruption (the tendency to “choke” under pressure); sensorimotor skill acquisition and how training correlates to the development of cognitive faculties; the intersubjective and social dimension of sports skills, seen in team sports; sports practice in cultural and societal contexts; the notion of “affordance” and its significance for ecological psychology and embodied cognition theory; and the mind’s predictive capabilities, which enable anticipation, creativity, improvisation, and imagination in sports performance.

Contributors
Ana Maria Abreu, Kenneth Aggerholm, Salvatore Maria Aglioti, Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza, Duarte Araújo, Jürgen Beckmann, Kath Bicknell, Geoffrey P. Bingham, Jens E. Birch, Gunnar Breivik, Noel E. Brick, Massimiliano L. Cappuccio, Thomas H. Carr, Alberto Cei, Anthony Chemero, Wayne Christensen, Lincoln J. Colling, Cassie Comley, Keith Davids, Matt Dicks, Caren Diehl, Karl Erickson, Anna Esposito, Pedro Tiago Esteves, Mirko Farina, Giolo Fele, Denis Francesconi, Shaun Gallagher, Gowrishankar Ganesh, Raúl Sánchez-García, Rob Gray, Denise M. Hill, Daniel D. Hutto, Tsuyoshi Ikegami, Geir Jordet, Adam Kiefer, Michael Kirchhoff, Kevin Krein, Kenneth Liberman, Tadhg E. MacIntyre, Nelson Mauro Maldonato, David L. Mann, Richard S. W. Masters, Patrick McGivern, Doris McIlwain, Michele Merritt, Christopher Mesagno, Vegard Fusche Moe, Barbara Gail Montero, Aidan P. Moran, David Moreau, Hiroki Nakamoto, Alberto Oliverio, David Papineau, Gert-Jan Pepping, Miriam Reiner, Ian Renshaw, Michael A. Riley, Zuzanna Rucinska, Lawrence Shapiro, Paula Silva, Shannon Spaulding, John Sutton, Phillip D. Tomporowski, John Toner, Andrew D. Wilson, Audrey Yap, Qin Zhu, Christopher Madan.

Tiger Woods is back from the hell

In 2009, on the occasion of the” The Invitational “tournament, Arnold Palmer, the greatest golfer of the sixties, had gone to meet Tiger Woods to congratulate without even waiting for the outcome of the decisive putt of almost 5 meters that he had to sink to win “I knew he would do it simply because with Tiger nothing different can happen,” he was at the top of his golf career.

And instead, his career takes an unexpected curve, taking the tunnel of scandals and physical troubles. On November 28, 2009, following a dispute with his wife Elin Nordegren, Woods slams his Cadillac against a fire hydrant and then crashes into a tree in Isleworth, in the suburbs of Orlando. He spends a few weeks in a clinic to treat sexual addiction, but the problems are just begun.

In April 2011, the Achilles tendon was severely damaged, while in March of the following year he began to suffer for back problems that led him to undergo four surgical operations, including a spinal fusion that would definitely solve his problems. But until two years ago Woods couldn’t even bend to tie his shoes. “I could barely walk. I couldn’t sit down, lay down. I could do practically nothing, “said Woods yesterday after winning the Augusta Masters.

Notah Begay III, a friend of Woods with alcohol problems, puts him in contact with Michael Phelps, the king of swimming who had managed to put behind him a serious form of depression and two arrests for driving while intoxicated. The two talk on the phone, and Phelps, who is also a golf fan, manages to find the key to revitalizing Woods, destroyed by physical pain and above all by the fear of not being able to return to the top anymore “.

Now a few days ago he won the first Major of the season, the Augusta Masters 11 years after his previous success.

Nike, which had recently announced that it would no longer invest in golf, following the victory of the Augusta Masters relaunched Woods with its advertising campaign that had already had testimonials like Serena Williams and Colin Kaepernick.

Risultati immagini per tiger woods "it's crazy

Best mindset = More successes

G Sathiyan, top tennis table player, India, the rise of the new winning mindset

“Tragedy struck in November, 2015. While his game was flourishing, albeit at a slow pace, Sathiyan’s father left for the heavenly abode after losing his fight with cancer. His world came crashing down. His entire family was devastated. “The main thought that came in my mind was how could someone who led his life in such a disciplined manner (no smoking and drinking) be taken away under such cruel circumstances.”

Then started his paradigm shift. His gameplay involved ca­lculative moves and playing it sa­fe. In life also, he was averse to ch­ange and always adopted a safet­y-first approach, something he le­a­rnt from his father. But not any more.
“There was a total mindset change, not only towards my game but also in my daily life. I started taking more risks. My father’s death changed me as a person. I was always worried about the future. I was a person who was always calculative: what is going to come next, and if I do this, what will happen next.
“But I felt like when there’s no guarantee as to what’s going to happen tomorrow, what’s the point in calculating so much? If there is no guarantee for life, where is the guarantee for what is going to happen in sport?”
The diminutive paddler’s new nothing-to-lose attitude started pa­ying immediate dividends. He became the second Indian to win a ITTF World Tour event after annexing the 2016 Belgium Open.

Singapore Team, table tennis, the rise of a new winning mindset

It was an epic moment in the history of table tennis, the day when underdogs Singapore toppled mighty China to win the women’s team crown at the 2010 World Championships. It was almost unfathomable. How could Singapore, a tiny nation of five million people, upset China, the giants ofworld table tennis with its population of 1.35 billion?

“A lot of times, when we met them in the finals we lost 3-0, 3-1, but we kepttelling the Singapore players that one day we would beat them …. So, during the training, we kept drilling this into them – to have this mindset that we’re able to beat them …Tianwei was trailing in the first match but she was fighting for every point … when she won the match, it really gave a lot of confidence to Yuegu going into the second match.She had never beaten that China girl before … but suddenly they felt that the past doesn’t count, that although we have lost so many, many matches, it’s like a fresh start.”

Book Review: La nostra casa è in fiamme

La nostra casa è in fiamme

Greta Thunberg, Svante Thunberg, Beata Ernman e Malena Ernman

Milano, Mondadori, pp.233, 2019

 

“Risolvere la crisi climatica è la sfida più grande e complessa che l’Homo Sapiens abbia mai dovuto affrontare. La soluzione principale, tuttavia, è così semplice che persino un bambino è in grado di capirla. Dobbiamo bloccare le emissioni di gas serra.

O lo facciamo, o non lo facciamo.

Voi dite che nella vita non c’è solo il bianco e il nero.

Ma è una bugia. Una bugia molto pericolosa.

O evitiamo un aumento della temperatura di 1,5 gradi, oppure no.

O evitiamo di innescare una reazione a catena irreversibile che sfuggirà a qualsiasi controllo umano, oppure no.

O scegliamo di voler esistere ancora come civiltà, oppure no.

E questo è bianco o neo.

Non ci sono zone grigie quando si parla di sopravvivenza.

Dobbiamo compiere una scelta.

Possiamo avviare un’azione trasformatrice che salvaguardi le condizioni di vita delle generazioni future.

Oppure possiamo continuare a fare quello che abbiamo sempre fatto, e fallire.

La decisione spetta a voi, a me”(p.13-14).

Greta Thunberg ha parlato in questo modo ai grandi del mondo, a Davos nel gennaio 2019, convinta che “nessuno è troppo piccolo per fare la differenza”. Esprime con altrettanto chiarezza cosa si aspetta dagli adulti:

“Gli adulti continuano a dire: Dobbiamo dare speranza ai giovani.

Ma io non voglio la vostra speranza.

Non voglio che siate ottimisti.

Voglio che siate in preda al panico.

Voglio che proviate la paura che io provo ogni giorno.

E poi voglio che agiate.

Voglio che agiate come fareste in un’emergenza.

Voglio che agiate come se la nostra casa fosse in fiamme. Perché lo è” (p.15).

Il libro “La nostra casa è in fiamme” da cui questi brani sono presi è stato scritto dalla famiglia Thunberg, madre, padre e due figlie. Parla del dolore vissuto da questa famiglia, della scoperta dei disturbi gravi delle figlie e di come le vite di tutti abbiamo attraversato lunghi periodi di difficoltà a vivere la vita quotidiana e a trovare modi per affrontarli con azioni il cui l’effetto positivo non era certo. E’ un libro che parla nello stesso tempo di amore per la vita e di dolore e talvolta anche di rassegnazione di fronte alla continua frustrazione di trovare soluzioni accettabili per risolvere i problemi legati all’alimentazione, alla perdita costante di peso, al mutismo e alla disperazione che emergono da una quotidianità per tutti psicologicamente devastante. La scrittura è stata per la famiglia un aiuto, non avrebbero dovuto scriverlo, afferma la mamma, scrivere di quanto sono stati da schifo così come il pianeta è da schifo, però sono stati costretti a raccontare la loro vita: “Ed è ora che tutti noi cominciamo a parlare di come stiamo. Dobbiamo iniziare a dire come stanno le cose” (p.97).

Nel libro ci viene spesso ricordato che abbiamo separato la cultura dalla natura, mettendo al primo posto l’apparenza; dall’uso smodato dell’aria condizionata, alle centinaia di negozi nei centri commerciali alla distruzione dei mari, delle foreste e dei ghiacciai.

E’ un atto di accusa contro noi, adulti, che abbiamo creato una società in cui chi pensa in modo differente non trova spazio per cambiare questa mentalità distruttiva. “O vengono bullizzati o si chiudono in casa. Oppure devono andare come me in scuole speciali dove non ci sono insegnanti” (p.162).

Lo “sciopero della scuola per il clima” di una solitaria e giovanissima studentessa davanti al parlamento svedese è diventato un messaggio globale che ha coinvolto in tutta Europa centinaia di migliaia di ragazzi che seguono il suo esempio in occasione dei #Fridaysforfuture. E’ il modo per attivare i media e coloro che possono influenzare le politiche globali a prendere finalmente sul serio questo tema, che è il problema della nostra civiltà e dalla cui soluzione dipenderà il futuro della terra.

Greta ha dato inizio a una rivoluzione che sembra diffondersi sempre più tra i giovani, una battaglia da combattere per ridare un futuro alle nuove generazioni che viene sottratto al ritmo di 100 milioni di barili di petrolio consumati ogni giorno. Quello di Greta è il grido di aiuto dei giovani che vogliono convincerci a fare qualcosa per salvare il pianeta prima del raggiungimento del punto di non ritorno.