Monthly Archive for March, 2017

Book review: Allenare nel calcio femminile

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italiano.

Nikefobia is 48 years old

48 years ago came the first issue of the International Journal of Sport Psychology. In this issue was written the first article on nikefobia by Ferruccio Antonelli after in USA had appeared another of Ogilvie and Tutko. Since that time the issue of competitive anxiety has become one of the main objectives of any sport psychological preparation. Antonelli  distinguished it into four factors.

  • A growing sense of social and emotional isolation
  • A sense of guilt related to aggression and self-determination
  • Fear of being unable to repeat the previous performance
  • Fear of traditions and idols

No much  is changed!

Ferrari: the team victory

Skill, aggressiveness and sharing. It was the winning mix of Ferrari and Vettel.

The team – In the last months, it was calm and focused on enhancing their skills. Vettel said: “We focused on what we had to do from time to time without looking around … especially in the last couple of months we were calm and we worked”.

The driver – Vettel was aggressive towards Hamilton, pressed him and he surrendered. Emanuela Audisio wrote that he followed the advice he gave his defenders Nereo Rocco (former Milan manager): “follow him even in the bathroom.”

The team and the driver - throughout this time Vettel and the crew never stop to talk together, they shared ideas and this common attitude. Vettel said: “happiness in particular. In Maranello people were happy to work together. With each other. There were no shortcuts, you had to work so hard, think so much about what you did; and you can make  all this sacrifice only if you are driven by passion, desire”



IJSP contents 1/2017

Video: Integrated soccer – first match


You’re a believable coach if …

Coaches, in the relationship with athletes, base their credibility on psychological dimensions where interpersonal communication plays a vital role and concern:

Stable aspects of the character – it refers to dimensions such as honesty and to show direct and clear communication with athletes without manipulating them. They are people proud to be part of that team.

Competence – They are individual professionally competent, geared to continuous improvement and innovators. They accept their limits and mistakes. They know that admit them is an index of strength and not weakness.

Commitment – these coaches  are heavily engaged in carrying out their activities. They possess and convey a positive vision of their team, and are intensely committed to achieving their goals. Sport and training inspire them and in these areas put their enthusiasm. They have a lot of energy; they are convinced and tenacious.

Caring – They are genuinely interested in their athletes, as individuals and as a group. To learn about them spending time with them and showing interest in the present as well as the future.

Consistency – They are individuals who act mostly consistent realizing their training philosophy, while adapting their behavior to the demands of the environment and unexpected situations. To this end they control their emotions so as to convey confidence to athletes. Are consistent in enforcing the rules and behavioral standards to which the team must adapt. Therefore, acting in an organized manner and highly responsible work.

Confident builder – They stimulate the confidence of their athletes. Try to speak at their best but they are also patients in helping them to develop and improve.

Being good communicators – The believable coaches are good communicators. Open, honest and straightforward when speaking to the individuals and the team. Continuously remind the athletes what they must do to be winners. These coaches require maximum involvement and take into account the information received from the athletes. They really listen and it is precisely for this reason they are aware of problems and conflicts, actively seeking to solve before they can further worsen.

(by Alberto Cei, revised from Janssen and Dale, 2002)

Online course: Futsal psychological aspects

 Online course presentation

Futsal psychological aspects  

 Emiliano Bernardi

Futsal was born in Uruguay in the 30′s and has rapidly expanded across Latin America and Europe especially in Spain and Italy, where the movement in the last 30 years has grown considerably.

Many of the greatest brazilians football champions began their career as futsal players: Pele, Zico, Socrates, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to name a few. Even the famous Cantera of Barcelona (the youth academy) habitually uses fields and rules of futsal to train its young athletes, with excellent results.

Futsal is ideal for a child: the reduced field, the short spaces, the speed, make it the fastest and most intense game, perfect for the technical and psychological growth.

The main psychological aspects involved in futsal:

In order to make a professional quality intervention is important to know what are the main psychological aspects that are inherently part of the sport: first of all it is important to emphasize that this is an “open skill” discipline with so many variables and choice, is a high intensity game in which the continuous shooting quickly reduce the mental and physical energies of the players, the reaction time and decision making must be very fast and also the physical contact can be due to impulsive and uncontrolled reactions. Another important aspect to be considered is that the mistake of a player can be letal for the result result.

In a sport where you play in small spaces and with four outfield players, if one of them makes a mistake can put opponents in good condition to shoot a goal.

In futsal it is required a continuous and high level of cohesion, given the limited number of players on excellent cooperation, especially in times of greater competitive stress, so the emotional control of the players must be total.

The psychologist who works in futsal:

The figure of the psychologist is growing very quickly in this sport and many of the top world’s top clubs have this figure in their organization. The steady growth of the youth sector and the widespread expansion of futsal academy in Italy are pushing more and more the demand for experts in sports psychology with experience in this discipline.

The consultant program could be about these topics:

  1.  The coach and his staff, through the use of psychological tools as individual and group interviews, tests and questionnaires as the CBAS (Coaching Behavior Assessment System, Smith, Small and Hunt, 1976) or 5C Program (Harwood and Pain, 2004) or the use of tools such as the Leadership Scale for Sport (Chelladurai, Saleh, 1980).
  2.  Mental training for athletes, through the activation and relaxation techniques such as Jacobson training, pre-performance routine, managing emotions with tools such as L ‘IZOF (Hanin, 1980), the ideomotor training, the imagery , the attention training with tests such as the TAIS (Nideffer, 1976).
  3.  The training and upgrading of managers in the areas of leadership and effective communication.
  4. The youth area in particular the relationship with the parents of young athletes and the role of coach as educator.
  5.  Social projects and integration for people with disabilities both physical and psychological, in risk areas and collaborative projects with schools.

Who does not know this sport may think it’s just like football in  eleven but with a smaller number of players, actually many great coaches use training methods based on Futsal field size when they want to develop athletes in their specific technical skills or training the intensity of play and cohesion of their group.

Just the size of the field, the actual playing time, the number of players on the field makes the sport more similar to other disciplines such as handball or basketball and the kind of daily workout develops technical skills such as to make one of the most exciting sports and pleasant which also attend only as public.

Further information:

Are you competent to talk with your athletes?

The coaches able to listen talk their athletes in this way:

  1. Use the words of the athletes make them understand they have understood the message
  2. Repeat, paraphrasing what they listened to
  3. Use expressions like “if I understand you mean …” or “you’re telling me that things are in this … and this …”
  4. Use non-verbal language in a way that is consistent with the content of their message, watching the athlete or the group and assuming a position of the body facing them
  5. Recognize the moods of others, emphasizing the value, by reducing their intensity or to increase it depending on the situation
  6. They summarize the opinions of others, highlighting the value of individual and collective contributions to reach the goals.

Who feels him/herself lacking in listening should use these guidelines to improve his/her expertise, determining the situations in which experience these kind of interactions during exercise, and paying attention to the reactions of the athletes.

(by Alberto Cei, 2016)

Book review: Insegnare per allenare

Insegnare per allenare 

Metodologia dell’insegnamento sportivo

Claudio Mantovani (a cura di)

Roma: Edizioni SDS, CONI

2016, p.379, 30 euro

In un mondo sportivo sempre più specializzato è necessario che anche l’insegnamento dello sport risponda alla stessa esigenza. L’allenamento non è solo una questione di perfezionamento della tecnica sportiva ma perché sia efficace è altrettanto importante che il modo in cui si allena abbia la stessa attenzione. Come sempre bisogna sapere cosa fare ma allo stesso tempo bisogna sapere come fare, cioè come trasmettere i contenuti tecnico/tattici sportivi. Pertanto questo libro, scritto da esperti in questo ambito, va a coprire questa necessità.


  • Le competenze didattiche del tecnico sportivo – Claudio Mantovani
  • La comunicazione efficace – Alberto Cei
  • La motivazione nelle attività sportive – Claudio Robazza
  • L’apprendimento delle abilità motorie – Laura Bortoli e Claudio Robazza
  • La didattica: L’insegnamento delle tecniche – Laura Bortoli e Claudio Robazza
  • Il processo di osservazione nello sport – Alberto Cei
  • Lo sport giovanile e il rapporto con le famiglie – Laura Bortoli
  • La valutazione delle abilità motorie – Franco Merni
  • Il valore del gioco come strumento educativo – Paolo Seclì
  • L’etica nello sport – Emanuele Isidori
  • La formazione dei tecnici sportivi – Claudio Mantovani

Enthusiasm and concentration

The defeats and the tough times have many fathers, too often we see athletes on an athletic field rather than on a tennis court or pool not showing the enthusiasm of staying on the field despite the difficulties. This is one of the secrets of who claims him/herself the ultimate commitment. We must not let go to common errors just because the morale is dropping, we have to train ourself to maintain a high level of mental readiness. Be focused requires a great mental effort, but only if we are predisposed to do it we can know our limits.

The athletes must always remember that what happened first determines what will happen after. So that the emotional state at a given time will determine how will compete immediately after. We should not use as an alibi our mistakes or capabilities of the opponent, we must always be focused on skills and on what it needs to be done. This should be the mental approach to the race, after which each sport requires a specific approach for responding to the needs that requires.