Monthly Archive for November, 2019

Brandon Brooks’s anxiety

Many people think that being a champion implies the ability to live one’s life and success in a balanced way and that it cannot happen that it is precisely this success will determine psychological problems, such as those reported by Brandon Brooks, NFL player, after signing the contract that anyone would have liked to have. He was obviously insulted by the lions of the keyboard. His difficulty is instead an expression of how stress can affect any kind of person and that the awareness of this condition is decisive to be able to control it and get out of it. It is also a testimony that will serve those who do not have the courage to talk about it and get help. We are all subject to perish under the stress of our life, unless we act to improve our self-control and develop those psychological and social skills we need to not fall under this terrible threat.



Stress is right for the best teams

Sarri, Conte and Ancelotti teams show the big teams have more ease in playing the most important matches rather than the easier of Serie A. When the competitive pressure is lower, these teams have difficulty managing the routine of the match, which they should dominate and win by manifest superiority.

When I was a young psychologist, I asked Robert Nideffer, why in his attention questionnaire was there an item asking if “I’m very good at taking responsibility in critical situations, but not so good in my daily routine”. He had already understood that the champions often worked hard only in the presence of strong stimuli, otherwise the motivation was reduced and they ran the risk of providing unsatisfactory performances. This questionnaire dates back to 1976 and shows in those years, who knew the mentality of the best athletes was aware they could fall into this situation.

So it seems that high-level athletes find the best emotional condition especially in games for them more challenging, such as the Champions League, while they are less motivated to achieve the same psychological condition in relation to the championship games. This attitude is evident in Juventus that seems to wake up in the league only in the last 20 minutes of the matches and in Napoli, also for other parallel problems. They have shown two totally different faces in the League and in the Champions League. Less evident seems to be this difficulty in Inter, probably because of Conte leadership characteristics, who continuously infuses his players with injections of adrenaline twith his behavior on the field.

The challenge for psychologists and coaches

As psychologists and coaches we will teach to develop in our athletes an open attitude towards mistakes if we are willing to accept that we may even fail in this task.

Are we willing to take this risk by getting 100% involved in this challenge?

Or do we just teach sports or psychological techniques convinced that they are enough to become good athletes and save ourselves from the  professional failure?

The main coach task

Teaching young people who want to become expert athletes is a very challenging experience and different from working with adult athletes, who have already reached a high international level. They are young teenagers, boys and girls, who have chosen to devote their lives to the task of discovering if they have the qualities to emerge in sport and to turn their passion into a high-level sports career.

In individual sports, by high level we mean an athlete able to be competitive at the international level. In team sports, we refer to playing, at least, at the level of the two highest level national championships.

We know that once these goals  have been set, they must be set aside because the athletes must focus on what they need to do to improve and lead their daily life. We also know that it is not easy to acquire this mentality because of the mistakes that are constantly made. They test the confidence that must support the athletes in reacting immediately to a single error as well as to an unsatisfying performance.

Teaching young people to acquire this open-mindedness to mistakes, interpreting them as the only opportunity, must be the goal of every coach.

Learning from the mistakes, we learn to learn

Risultati immagini per “I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.” ―Serena Williams

Arrigo Sacchi stressed another aspect of this concept, stating that to win you don’t have the problem of winning, otherwise you will never be an innovator.

The objective is therefore “to do things well”, to have a work culture. We all know that “only those who do not do, do not make mistakes”.

If we are aware of this simple truth: we will train our athletes, transferring the idea that making mistakes is a part of the physiology of the race and not something that you can avoid. Let’s train them with this idea and they will become better and more satisfied.

Happy birthday Billie Jean King

Immagine correlata

Billy Jean King:

76 years young today, grateful for a life filled with family and friends, and energized to continue to live each day with passion and purpose.

World Health Org: 80% of adolescents is not active enough

W multisports

Let’s rebel against the dictatorship of individual sports for our children! (Of course, this will never happen).Immagine

Why a champion needs a coach

In an interview Novak Djokovic spoke about his co-operation with his coach Goran Ivanisevic. The Serbian player said: “I hired him because we basically have the same culture. Our mentality is very similar, he understands me very well.

I am very respectful towards him because he was the greatest player back in the day in our region and I wanted to be like him. We are friends. He is an amazing, honest and open man and a great player. He knows how it feels like to compete at the highest level.

There are many things to improve. There are days where you do not feel that well. That’s why the coach is very important. He understands how I am doing mentally and physically. So far the relationship has been great and hopefully it continues.”Risultati immagini per djokovic ivanisevic

Ancelotti, the referees and VAR

Carlo Ancelotti, during the meeting with the referees, sai that he accepts the mistakes committed by the referees but not the one derived from the VAR.

It is evident from his words that even at the highest level there are less skilled or less experienced referees who make mistakes due to a lack of technical and psychological competences in managing the most important game situations.

It does not surprise me that this lack of competence is still present, because the referee sector is absolutely not engaged in understanding the psychological component of this type of error. I want to remind instead that when Paolo Casarin was the manager of the Serie A referees, about 20 years ago, I was lucky enough to be part of his staff and, contrary to what happened afterwards, we were engaged in identifying the mental component of the referee mistakes and promoting strategies to reduce it. The figure shows that top-level referees make mistakes because of two main factors: the pressure caused by competitive stress and the overload of analysis in decision-making. In all these years, to my knowledge, nothing has been done to improve this situation and, therefore, since individuals do not improve by magic, the referees still continue to make the same mistakes, (Source: Cei Consulting).