Monthly Archive for January, 2021

The persistence

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Calvin Coolidge, 30° US president

The boldness

Sci, La "follia" di Kristian Ghedina: la spaccata sulla Streif a 137 km/h -  Sci Alpino video - Eurosport

Coaches’ key role to empower youth in sport

Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu, Xiaoxia Zhang, Joonyoung Lee and Tao Zhang (2021). Perceived coach-created environment directly predicts high school athletes’ physical activity during sport. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 16(1) 70–80.

Sport participation is an important means for adolescents to achieve moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), yet most high school students including athletes do not achieve the 60-minute daily MVPA guideline. As psychosocial factors influence athlete engagement and physical activity during sport, the perceived environment created by coaches could play a role in this influence. Guided by self-determination and achievement goal theories, this four-month prospective study examined the direct and indirect effects of perceived coach-created environment on high school athletes’ MVPA and sedentary behavior (SB) during sport. During the third to fourth week of a sport season, 225 high school athletes (Mage 1⁄4 15.24 years) completed a survey assessing perceptions of coach-created empowering and disempowering climates as well as psychological need satisfaction and frustration. Four months later, their MVPA and SB percentage times (%) during sport were measured using accelerometers. Path analyses partially supported our hypothesis, indicating significant direct effects of a perceived empowering climate on need satisfaction (b 1⁄4 .41) and need frustration (b 1⁄4 –.29), and direct effects of a perceived disempowering climate on need frustration (b 1⁄4 .38) and MVPA% (b 1⁄4 –.28). No significant indirect effects on MVPA% or SB% were found. Findings support and provide new insights into the important role of disempowering beyond empowering climates in predicting high school athletes’ PA. Specifically, when coaches display ego-involving and controlling behaviors, high school athletes may disengage during sport and achieve less overall MVPA. Further examination of these relationships using a longitudinal design across more diverse samples is warranted.

Tennis table mind aspects

Table tennis interview Alberto Cei about the mental aspects of this sport.

Tennistavolo ieri, oggi, domani - Alberto Cei - YouTube

Be what you do

Paul McGinley, golfer: “at no time did I ever consider the mechanics of the shot…I was absorbed in the line of the shot. I could see it from start to finish. My only job at that moment was to get the ball on the line I chose. That was the only thing I could control.”

Chen Bin, Ding Ning coach: “Table tennis is not just hitting the ball on the table, you have to return the ball, you have to have the feeling of how the ball is coming toward you, and visualize how your ball will end up on your opponent’s table when you hit it again.

According to Brad Gilbert, tennis coach, in-match thought can be: controlling your breathing, having happy feet and good footwork, reading the name on the ball and singing.

In the video seen by Barcelona players before the Champions League final played in Rome, Pep Guardiola speaks to the players saying that on the field they must be what they do: they are the ball they kick, the field on which they move.

The same happens in shooting, the shooters said: let the clay pigeon goes out, watch it and shoot. These three phases take place in less than one second. The athletes to perform this performance must be totally involved in this game of watching and shooting, otherwise they risk shooting too fast or too slow, thus losing the opportunity to break the clay pigeon.

This approach to performance illustrates the need to be totally involved in what you are doing.These coaches use different words in different sports, but they all express the same concept: be what you do.

In other words, the athletes must be totally involved in their actions. To achieve this goal, they must become the action itself. They do not perform a task but they are the task they perform.

Not to forget

Open your mind to the value of commitment

Research has shown that youth who are rewarded for their efforts become aware that the source of their success is intentional effort and practice.

In fact, this mindset of athletes is associated with intrinsic motivation. In contrast, youth who are rewarded for their ability believe that the source of their success lies in predetermined and unmodifiable traits.

As a result, coaches’ instructions on commitment and persistence go a long way in fostering growth-oriented mindsets, deliberate practice and deliberate play activities, and play a really important role especially when provided after mistakes and defeats.

An example of this comes from Alex Ferguson when he states in his autobiography, “If I was confronted with a player who had performed below expectations I would say, ‘You played a horrible game,’ but I would add, ‘for a player of your ability.’ I would say this so that they would not get down on themselves when they were criticized: I would criticize, but I would counterbalance with encouragement: “Why are you doing this? You can do better” (Ferguson 2013, p. 273).

10 aspects of tennis table

Today I have been interviewed by the Italian tennis table federation.

I propose again the 10 key points to be aware of and know how to accept in table tennis to be a winner.

  1. Table tennis is a sport in which every player makes many mistakes
  2. You can win till the last point
  3. Concentration must be high and consistent at every point and up to the last
  4. You have to react positively immediately after every single mistake
  5. The service is decisive
  6. It is necessary to have a specific pre-race routine
  7. It is necessary to have a routine between the points
  8. Even the champions are in trouble but they know what to do to get out of it.
  9. In defense: play an extra ball!
  10. Chen Bin, coach of Ding Ning, Olympic gold medalist: “Table tennis is not just about hitting the ball on the table, you have to return the ball, you have to feel how the ball comes towards you, and visualize how your ball will end up on the opponent’s table when you hit it again”

Why is Ibrahimovic so important?

There is a lot of talk in soccer about the importance of having players with a lot of experience who can lead the team. This is the case of Ibrahimovic in Milan and Vidal in Inter. Having a champion, even not younger, who can be the reference for the team in terms of accountability, presence on the field and leading with the example.

The relevance of this leadership role is also recognized by research. This approach suggests that some team roles are more important to team performance and whoever holds this central role has a greater influence on overall team performance.

This hypothesis was tested by Humphrey, Morgeson, and Mannor [2012] on data from a 29-year period covering 778 Major League Baseball teams. The results show that although high levels of experience and sport-specific skills are highly significant predictors of team performance, the relationships between these dimensions and team performance are significantly more impactful when these characteristics are possessed by players who play a central role.

Those on the team who most frequently encounter the most significant situations to overcome, have the most exposure to the tasks facing the team, and are most central to the team’s workflow fill this strategic role.

Sport Psychology: 2021 World Congress

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