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.

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