Monthly Archive for February, 2019

Oscar at “Free Solo”

 ”Free Solo, the film directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi that documents the audacious, first-ever ropeless ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite at the hands of American climber Alex Honnold in 2017, has just won the top honors at the 2019 Academy Awards, winning the trophy for Best Documentary Feature. 

The Oscars 2019 were celebrated at Los Angeles last night and the climbing world was interested in particalar in the film that painstakingly followed Honnold’s dream for two years before it culminated in his historic free solo ascent of the Freerider route on 3 June 2017. Almost a 1000 meters of sheer granite, with a delicate and technical first crux followed by the crux 7c pitch hundreds of meters above the valley floor, mastered by the 31-year-old in 3 hours and 56 minutes.

Honnold’s ascent without a rope of the Freerider route - a variation to the Salathé Wall freed by Alexander Huber in 1998 - is an absolute milestone in modern climbing history and the film, directed by the highly talented alpinist, climber, photographer and filmmaker Chin and his wife Vasarhelyi, captured a moment that was absolutely unique and unrepeatable. Immediately after the ascent in fact, The New York Times stated in no uncertain terms ”Alex Honnold’s Free Solo climb should be celebrated as one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever.”

Shortly after his lone ascent in 2017, Honnold provided some insight into what had motivated him to delve into the huge unknown: ”For a few hours on El Cap, I got to actually experience perfection.” Last night at the Oscars, it was the documentary chronicling precisely this physical and psychological perfection that received the most prestigious recognition in the entire film industry.”

Immagine correlata

Attention in tennis

Analysis - comes from the internal awareness.  You use this broad-internal to assess what is just happened in the previous point, recovery energy, and prepare the next action.

Problem-Solving - narrow-internal focus. You use the problem-solving channel to work through the play situations and difficulties or to call up visualization and imagery scenes.

Action - this dimension is the one that is most compelling to athletes. It regards the skill executions. In the action the channel is narrow and external. No thinking taking place here.



The tennis traits the psychologist needs to know

Tennis is:

  • individual
  • played in opposition
  • on different terrains, outdoors or indoors
  • without direct contact with the opponent
  • of long duration and variable time in every match
  • in a game are played on average 120 points
  • wins the player who commit less mistakes than the other
  • player make many mistakes
  • every point played is long on average 20 seconds
  • between each point there is a break of 20 seconds
  • requiring fast lateral and forward movements
  • where every player wants to impose his/her tactical thinking
  • the player has to quickly understand the opponent’s play, his/her strengths and weaknesses
  • attention goes from one stage of mind relaxation and assessment of the point played, to decide how to play the next point, to focus on serve/answer and play
  • the player plays 50 and more matches every year

The mental health of high performance athletes

Kristoffer Henriksen, Robert Schinke, Karin Moesch, Sean McCann, William D. Parham, Carsten Hvid Larsen & Peter Terry (2019). Consensus statement on improving the mental health of high performance athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Published online: 31 Jan 2019.

This consensus statement is the product of an international Think Tank on the initiative of the International Society of Sport Psychology. The purpose of the Think Tank was to unify major sport psychology organizations in a discussion of the current status and future challenges of applied and research aspects of athlete mental health. The contributors present six propositions and recommendations to inspire sport organizations and researchers. The propositions are: Mental health is a core component of a culture of excellence; Mental health in a sport context should be better defined; Research on mental health in sport should broaden the scope of assessment; Athlete mental health is a major resource for the whole athletic career and life post-athletic career; The environment can nourish or malnourish athlete mental health; and Mental health is everybody’s business but should be overseen by one or a few specified members. It is recommended that researchers unite to develop a more contextualized definition of athlete mental health and more comprehensive strategies of assessment, as well as join forces with sporting organizations to investigate sustainable elite sport environments and the role of the mental health officer. Sport organizations are advised to recognize athlete mental health as a core component of a healthy elite sport system and a key indicator of their effectiveness, support research initiatives, and to promote the mental health literacy of all their staff while engaging a mental health officer with the responsibility to oversee a support system.


If they think your dreams are crazy, just do it!

“If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic,” Serena Williams, who reportedly has been enlisted to help present the best picture nominees at the Oscars, says in the ad. “If we want to play against men, we’re nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, we’re delusional. When we stand for something, we’re unhinged. When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just being crazy. ”

Should we let sports teach children moral and ethical values?

Do we teach ethic and moral values to the children and youth athletes?

Watch this interesting video.

Risultati immagini per Should We Let Sports Teach Children Moral and Ethical Values?

Carlo Ancelotti talks about football and team mind

Interesting interview at Carlo Ancelotti on ilnapolista, read it.

Here some ideas:

Pochi minuti di conversazione e siamo già a mai fuorigioco e a un elogio dell’Atletico Madrid. Allora, in riferimento al match di Champions con la Juventus, gli riferiamo dell’ardore di Fabio Capello nell’opporsi all’equivalenza Simeone-brutto calcio.

«L’Atletico Madrid non gioca male, ti fa giocar male. Non ti fa giocare come tu vorresti. Per tanti motivi. Innanzitutto perché sono molto ben organizzati. Ma anche per la loro struttura psicologica. Sono molto aggressivi in tutte le situazioni. Anche con l’arbitro. Nel tempo, sono  migliorati. Adesso giocano più a calcio, anche se giocano un calcio che possiamo definire diverso dalla normalità. Cercano molto la sostanza e poco l’estetica.

A lei piace?

«Sì – la risposta è secca -, è un calcio che mi piace».

A questo punto insistiamo: le piacerebbe che il suo Napoli giocasse come l’Atletico Madrid?

«Io credo che alla fine la qualità del gioco paga sempre, però la qualità del gioco deve essere supportata da tanti altri valori altrettanto importanti che sono la determinazione, la cattiveria in certe circostanze, la personalità, la responsabilità che uno si deve prendere. Quella che voi a Napoli chiamate cazzimma. Mi piacerebbe un Napoli così».

Italian President #Mattarella #study #culture

Italian president #Mattarella said:

“Italy need study, to go in deep, ability to understand reality and avoid improvisation. The culture teaches us openness to the world and the refusal of any isolation.”


The psychological skills of winning athletes

The psychological skills the athletes must show in competition and in training are often difficult to list, because the risk is to do a very long and too generic list. Nevertheless, today I would like to try to identify, from my point of view, the skills that can represent milestones in the athletes’ sport careers.

  • Self-control - it means knowing what are the behaviors to put in place to address the competition requests. The self-control requires respect for opponents; at the same time the athletes must be the leader of themselves, to overcome the difficulties posed by the races and opponents with the aim of providing the best performance.
  • Readiness for action - the athletes are persons oriented to act and therefore they must be ready to kick a ball, pulling a shot, to run in a precise rhythm, to anticipate opponents, to start rather than conclude effectively a race and so on. Readiness goes with high levels of situational awareness: the athletes have to know what to do at any given time and do it at their best.
  • Toughness and resiliency - I did not completely understand the distinction between these two psychological concepts, but I believe the athletes should continue to do the best even when they are tired, when all seems lost, during the decisive moments, at the end of the race, when they feel confused but know they have prepared an action plan for those moments.
  • Attention - Robert Nideffer said the attention is the only important thing in the decisive moments. I agree and, that is the reason, I consider it as the ability allowing to lead the mental commitment. The athletes have to know what to look for, knowing when to use a broad attentional style oriented toward the environment rather than a narrow attentional style, more focused on very few external factors. Without proper attention they cannot understand what is going to happen and to move in advance.
  • Optimism - The explanation of the performance results is an important factor, because it determines the expectation in relation to the future competitions. Humans are often engaged to explain their positive and negative results. It is therefore essential, the athletes develop an optimistic perception of their performances, because if they explain the positive results in term of luck or lack of competent opponents is unlikely they improve and gain a winning mind.

Webinar: Consulting with athletes with disabilities

American Psychological Association, Sport Psychology Division organizes first FREE webinar of 2019.

Please join us on March 19 12PM-1PM EST or 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM CET for the webinar on Consulting with Athletes with Disabilities! Great panelists and a great topic!