Monthly Archive for August, 2020

The motivation to start the new sport season

In many sports this time of year is usually a period of restart, I am referring to team sports such as soccer, basketball and volleyball and many individual sports.This happens again this year with a variant, in different disciplines is from February that the athletes do not compete or have competed but only in races held in Italy, often without the appeal of the comparison with the best athletes. It is not easy then to restart the training, when you have not done anything else for months or you are competing in races that until a few months ago athletes of absolute level considered secondary.

In these days I have been talking to athletes who experience this situation and their training and daily lives suffer from it. It is in these moments, that we all realize the importance of competitions. Not only because they represent the test in which to demonstrate one’s value as an athlete, but above all their absence determines a disaffection from training, from the desire to correct oneself. We are talking about athletes who train about 1,400 hours a year. This commitment is aimed at providing performance at their best, but if the opportunities are missing, it is not so easy to find every day the right motivation.

The work with the sports psychologist can be very useful to support the athletes in this commitment and in establishing objectives and evaluation systems within the training cycles that allow them to maintain at the highest level the quality and intensity of training.

Benches in the gym: the end of sport in Italy

Si sta affermando l’idea che le palestre non saranno a disposizione delle associazioni sportive perché diventeranno delle aule e per problemi di sanificazione. Questo vuol dire uccidere le società sportive dilettantistiche, creare disoccupazione e impedire la pratica sportiva dei giovani. Comporta anche la riduzione del benessere e della salute di tutti, atleti e operatori dello sport. Infatti, le società sportive si aggiudicano l’uso delle palestre e la quasi totalità dello sport giovanile e amatoriale che si svolge al coperto, a eccezione del nuoto, è all’interno della palestre delle scuole. Se questi spazi diventeranno delle aule o se i costi della loro sanificazione quotidiana saranno eccessivi un pezzo importante del mondo sportivo italiano avrà perso il luogo dove allenarsi e gareggiare.

Molti amministratori pubblici hanno fatto dichiarazioni in tal senso, con la scusante di non poter garantire la salute all’interno delle scuole. Queste dichiarazioni confermano ancora una volta la superficialità di chi, invece, dovrebbe fornire soluzioni che non discriminino un’attività (lo sport) rispetto alle altre. E’ chiaro nella loro mentalità che lo sport è un’attività non significativa sia dal punto di vista professionale (i lavoratori del settore) che di chi la pratica (gli atleti). Proprio perché se ne può fare a meno non si pensa concretamente a soluzioni e a circa due settimane dall’inizio dell’anno scolastico si cerca una soluzione alla carenza di aule nell’uso delle palestre. Lo sport giovanile non ha mai suscitato grande interesse fra i nostri politici e il Covid-19 mette in luce che questa concezione continua a essere ben consolidata e diffusa. Vivere una situazione di emergenza come quella attuale nonché i problemi creati dal distanziamento fisico e dall’uso di mascherina e dalla mancanza di spazi nelle scuole non giustifica comunque un approccio così poco curante nei confronti dello sport. Lo sport è necessario per il benessere dei giovani così come imparare la matematica e l’italiano, quindi questo approccio non ha alcuna ragione di esistere e di essere proposto da chi svolge una funzione pubblica. La questione della scuola va risolta ma senza lasciare indietro nessuna attività tra quelle svolte all’interno degli istituti. Non ho letto dichiarazioni che sottolineano un senso di comunità tra chi lavora all’interno delle scuole ma solo affermazioni categoriche, in cui si dice che le palestre non saranno più disponibili per far praticare sport alle varie associazioni perché diventeranno aule.

Siamo abituati a trovare soluzioni all’ultimo momento e non programmate in anticipo, mi auguro che questa sia una di quelle situazioni in cui ciò potrà avvenire. Sono convinto che in condizione di emergenza anche le soluzioni devono essere meno stereotipate come lo sono quelle di occupare le palestre e le biblioteche scolastiche. Mi sono sempre chiesto perché non si usano le caserme come aule, o perché non si posso fare lezioni al pomeriggio certamente trovando le risorse economiche necessarie o assumendo nuovi insegnanti a tempo determinato.  Non è mio compito trovare soluzioni, ho voluto evidenziare un problema di cui sento parlare quotidianamente da chi lavora nello sport ma di cui non ho trovato proposte da chi ha il compito di consentire lo svolgimento dell’anno scolastico in modo regolare e l’utilizzo degli spazi scolastici senza escludere nessuno.

Ideas for the new sport year

I started again last Saturday the activity of what I consider the new sports season. I started with tennis, volleyball, handball, the revision of an article on teaching soccer to children with autism and the reading of a dozen thesis projects being carried out. It hasn’t been a soft start but it’s giving me a sense of work normality, at a time that obviously is not the case. Like everyone else I live with this perception of uncertainty and not knowing what will happen in the coming months.

My work is quite planned and without this pandemic it would be varied and interesting. In the meantime it is done “as if” it should proceed as planned, with the awareness that I have to prepare for the necessary adaptations and changes depending on how the health situation will evolve. I am thinking, for example, at “Calcio Insieme” project with our 80 young people with autism playing soccer. With AS Roma and the Integrated Football Academy we are organizing ourselves in order to be able to carry out the training activity in conformity with the rules and in safety for everyone.

My main work is with teenage athletes who aspire to excellence but don’t know if they will reach these levels and with top athletes who are preparing to establish themselves internationally. To a large extent, they are aware of the importance of the mental component of their activity, knowing that they must also engage in psychological work, which is certainly not easy to do. In a time of crisis as it is today, psychological support becomes even more essential to learn to accept fears, anxiety about the future and the limitations required to ensure your own health and that of the people you work with on a daily basis.

I experienced their fears during the lockdown, when left alone at home, many risked living in angst and passively suffering that period. Psychological support with them was, in my opinion, indispensable to allow them to take their lives into their own hands even in those negative moments. Now the limitations have been greatly reduced, but the fears remain until we will have the vaccine. The psychologist remains the only person with whom to share these concerns and to improve resilience and confidence.

Our main sports organizations, compared to those of other European countries, have not clearly dealt with these issues and the same is true for the organizations of sports psychologists. No shared and specific documents have been produced and, therefore, the responsibility has been left to the individual initiatives of professionals.

What can I say, I hope to realize together with all the people I work with the projects we have planned. What is certain is that we never give up, we have been and will always be ready to solve the problems that will arise. My motto is: “something done well, you can do better” (Gianni Agnelli).

Good luck to all the optimists!!!

Mental warmup: how to build it

In preparation for the competition, the warm-up phase represents an opportunity to mentally prepare yourself at the start of the race, giving you the time to focus on the tasks to perform at the best. It is recognized that many top athletes complete some form of mental preparation before the competition. Typical strategies include:

  • visualization of performance
  • repetition of keywords
  • search for optimal activation through physical and technical exercises
  • speed and accuracy





Mental coaching in India

Often our work is not openly recognized by athletes, who consider the work with the psychologist as something to hide.
For this I would like to thank the Indian shooter, Ankur Mittal, with whom I worked establishing a relationship of great collaboration and success. In fact, today he posted this twitter.

How to restart our activities in September?

It is difficult to predict with certainty how the new sports year will start, but also what the beginning of the school year and the return to the companies will be like. We do, however, have some firm points:

  • anyone who doesn’t follow the rules can become a weapon for the spread of the Covid-19.
  • many people don’t follow the rules if they’re left free to behave as they think they should.
  • this awareness increases the worry and anxiety in the future
  • we can’t live waiting for everything to go back to the way it was because it’s fake.
  • we must be aware, instead, that our lives and the way we act on a daily basis will be different.
  • we’re living in an opportunity for change to build together in our environment, not deny it

So we have to:

  • establish our goals
  • develop ideas, projects and actions appropriate to the times we are experiencing
  • do better and differently and not do like before
  • consider technology as an indispensable means of achieving our goals
  • never stop updating, understood as an ongoing and not occasional process
  • increase our social and professional network to increase the impact of our activities
  • maintain a high level of interpersonal communication, sharing goals and actions
  • maintain physical distance but seek intellectual proximity
  • to know that it’s going to be difficult and challenging, and that’s why we’re getting ready
  • be aware that the result will not be guaranteed, but on the other hand this was true even before!


We learn only through our mistakes

Jason Brown (@FundyTD) | Twitter

Play the game in the right way

“Obsessing about winning is a loser’s game.

The most we can hope for is to create the best possible conditions for success, then let go o/t outcome.

What matters most is playing the game the right way and having the courage to grow,as human beings as well as players.”

Phil Jackson

The Paralympics story

This month should have seen the ending of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, as well as the beginning of the Paralympics.

On August 26, when the Paralympics would have been on, streaming service Netflix will premiere the documentary Rising Phoenix, all about the history of the movement and the incredible stories of the athletes featured, including Ellie Cole, Jonnie Peacock and Tatyana McFadden.

Rising Phoenix | Official Trailer | Netflix - YouTube


Mountains are there