Monthly Archive for August, 2021

What to do after the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Source: English Institute of Sport

For those who compete, coach or form the vital support teams around athletes, the Olympic and Paralympic journey is full of emotion, from elation to disappointment and everything in between. Each Games is unique and the postponement of Tokyo 2020, the on-going pandemic and the COVID safe measures at the Games, are just some of the additional factors that will contribute to the waves of emotion that all involved are likely to go through.

Experiencing a range of emotions before, during and after the Games is completely normal and in a bid to help athletes and support staff to positively process the emotional experience of the Tokyo 2020 Games, the English Institute of Sport (EIS) Psychology team will be working closely with sports on a post-Games period of Performance Decompression. This applies to those who have attended the Games, and those providing remote support whether technical or operational. We have all been in this together.

Head of Performance Psychology at the EIS Dr Kate Hays explained:“Utilising knowledge from research both in sport and the military, alongside extensive practical experience, we have evolved existing decompression processes. We have created this process to help all involved in the Games to transition from one cycle to the next in the most effective manner possible. This hopefully provides the opportunity to reflect on and recognize what has been experienced, gain a sense of closure, and facilitate a smoother transition to what comes next.

“During decompression, there will be time for congratulations on what has been achieved, contextualizing experiences and for the management of expectations concerning return to training or moving on to the next chapter.

“We will be working really closely with our Mental Health and Performance Lifestyle teams so that any stress experienced can be effectively acknowledged, monitored and appropriate referrals can be instigated.”

The four phases of the decompression process are as follows and the EIS Psychology Team will facilitate guidance around ‘Time Zero’ (stage 2) and training on ‘Process the Emotion’ (stage 3):

  • Hot debrief
  • Time Zero
  • Process the Emotion
  • Performance debrief

Time Zero focuses on restorative care to create balance in a soothing space where no focus is on achievement. This break involves:

  • Live in the moment – engage in the now
  • Ride the wave – know that it’s okay to feel a range of emotions
  • Connect with others – be with friends and family

The next stage is Process the Emotion, which focuses on making sense of the emotion that surrounds performance and is split into six phases. This stage will celebrate the positive and explore what was challenging. It will also highlight strengths and skills which can be utilised in the next steps.

Whilst this work was developed for sports and athletes who have been in Tokyo for the Olympics and Paralympics, the decompression process will also be rolled out to staff at the EIS.

Towards the end of 2020, the Psychology team launched Lockdown Debrief training within the EIS to help our people process the pandemic and the range of experiences we all went through.

As well as experiencing the debrief themselves, Line Managers were upskilled to deliver the training to ensure everyone at the EIS had the opportunity to participate in a Lockdown Debrief. This same approach will be utilised with ‘Processing the Emotion’ of the Games.

Rolling this decompression work out across the EIS will allow everyone to process the Olympic and Paralympic Games, something our staff have worked towards and contributed to during this unique cycle, whilst tying into our values of We Care and We Collaborate.

Juventus showed the phenomenon of collective laziness

Juve suffers, in my opinion, from a problem that it had already shown last season but that, after the departure of Ronaldo, the match against Empoli has highlighted again.

It was an unexpected result coming from a collective collapse.

This phenomenon occurs when in a team most of the players play below their skill level and expectations. The only leader on the pitch was Bonucci and none of the other teammates show leadership skills at the moment.

Studying team sports in Sweden, Apitzsch [2019] found from the statements of 146 players and 15 élite coaches that 70.8% claimed to have experienced such an experience at least once during the season and predominantly while playing away from home.

This phenomenon is mainly attributable to insufficient and negative communication, unacceptance of the role on the pitch and negative emotional contagion among players during the game. A kind of collective laziness that has prevented Juventus from committing to 100%, determined by a loss of motivation due to the perception of playing against a weaker opponent and that, instead, had prepared the match in the best possible way, showing its value on the field. Ronaldo has also served to absorb the difficulties of the team, he was the winner who solved the games with an almost certain goal (everyone has said with Ronaldo 1-0 parts) and he was also the scapegoat to attack for his individualism. Gone away, the first game Juventus showed a lack of mental presence on the field.

In soccer, the most sensational episodes of collective collapse happened during the semifinal of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, where the Brazilian national team lost 7-1 against Germany and in 2005 during the Champions League final Milan-Liverpool held in Istanbul, when the Italian team lost the game after finishing the first half ahead 3-0.

Bebe Vio: Expectional

Bebe Vio has been told everything and her successes on and off the platform prove her exceptional nature.

I will add a significant testimony, that of the surgeon who operated on her and who does 7/8,000 operations a year.

“Exceptional. She is so small, tiny, very young, not even a mountain of a man could have done it. But there it’s all about the head, the will, and she has an inexhaustible reservoir of it.”

Let’s remember this description of Bebe Vio, because it comes from a very expert person, who weighs his words and does not live on easy enthusiasms.

Bebe Vio: "Ho rischiato di morire". Rivelazione choc dopo la medaglia d'oro  nel fioretto alle Paralimpiadi Tokyo 2021

Be a woman artist in afghanistan: Shamsia Hassani

“Art changes people’s minds and people change the world.”
This is written on the home page of @ShamsiaHassani, a young Afghan artist.

She creates graffiti and murals depicting the life of women, in the country considered the worst in the world where a woman can live.

Shamsia Hassani - Official Website

Paralimpic Games: Abbas Karimi unbelievable story

Abbas Karimi is one of six athletes on the refugee team present in Tokyo. Karimi is 24 years old, born without arms, Afghan and is a swimmer. In 2013, he escaped with his brother to Turkey via Iran. His dream was to become a Paralympic champion.

Through Facebook he managed to find a football coach in Oregon, Mike Ives, who helped him go to the United States with refugee status and live with him. He found a swim team and so he began to train. In 2017 he won silver at the Paralympic World Swimming Championships, in the 50m butterfly. Since then he has not stopped training and during the pandemic he moved to Florida to train in an outdoor pool with another coach from whom he also went to live.

Of him, his new coach says, “I could see him as a superhero, sort of a mix between Aquaman, Superman and Spider-Man, with all his abilities.”

One of his best friends suggested that when his thoughts remind him of what’s going on in Afghanistan, “You’ve been working hard for as long as I’ve known you, and there’s so much going on in Afghanistan, keep your mind clear and focused on your approach.”

His story is an unbelievable one, one of the many we encounter at the Paralympics.

Afghan-born swimmer wins silver at World Para Swimming Series - The Khaama  Press News Agency

Book: Fondamenti di psicologia dello sport

Fondamenti di psicologia dello sport

Alberto Cei

Il Mulino, settembre 2021, p.296

In vendita su Amazon

La psicologia dello sport è una disciplina che ha acquisito sempre più interesse negli ultimi anni e ha saputo ritagliarsi un suo spazio autonomo all’interno della psicologia e delle scienze dello sport e del loro insegnamento. I principali temi che affronta questa materia riguardano otto grandi aree: i processi cognitivi coinvolti nel controllo motorio e nella prestazione sportiva; le abilità psicologiche implicate nei diversi tipi di discipline; i processi motivazionali; il ruolo dell’allenatore e dell’organizzazione dell’allenamento; i programmi sportivi per l’infanzia; il benessere e la salute; le abilità interpersonali e le dinamiche di gruppo; i processi di autoregolazione, i livelli di attivazione e i sistemi per affrontare lo stress agonistico. In questo libro, l’autore illustra le conoscenze che la psicologia dello sport ha acquisito in queste aree principali e fornisce un panorama esaustivo in grado di soddisfare docenti, studenti e quanti sono interessati o vogliono avvicinarsi a questa disciplina.

Indice del volume: Introduzione. – I. I processi motivazionali nello sport. – II. Sport e personalità. – III. Processi di autoregolazione e livelli di attivazione. – IV. L’attenzione: dalla teoria all’applicazione. – V. Dinamiche di gruppo. – Riferimenti bibliografici. – Indice analitico.

Terry Orlick tribute

We are saddened to hear of Dr. Terry Orlick’s passing today. Terry, as he was commonly referred to by his friends, colleagues, and students, was a true leader in the field of sport and exercise psychology. Terry was known for his professional practice, where he worked with many successful Canadian and international athletes spanning Summer and Winter sports over several decades. Terry Orlick was also known as a renowned and respected internationally acclaimed author. His books spanned the many editions of In Pursuit of Excellence, a world-recognized favorite, translated into many languages, and a long list of profound contributions, authored and co-authored.
Terry also wrote books where he supported children’s identities, and in his earliest work was about cooperative, non-competitive sport, a topic pertinent today across many cultures in several hemispheres. As a reader of these novel contributions, it can be said his vision reflected and affirmed a person with an expansive vision and a care for the field and the people it touches.
Dr. Terry Orlick was also a renowned scholar and graduate supervisor. To this day, his scholarship in the field of elite athlete excellence, and particularly, athlete career termination, co-written with younger colleagues, leaves its contributive mark on our field. The scholarship was thematically acclaimed, and in addition, methodologically innovative, well beyond its time. Terry was a qualitative researcher, and the scientific work he authored and co-authored was rigorous, rich, and as a result, heavily cited and readily applied.
I was fortunate enough to have taken several graduate courses with Terry and experienced him on my supervisory committee, while studying a master’s degree at the University of Ottawa. His courses were my favorite, spanning my graduate and post-graduate years, in part due to his grasp of subject matter, and partly based on his pedagogical and inclusive approach to intellectual exchanges with younger colleagues and aspiring students. He was perhaps the best of listeners in a field known for listening and empathy.
On behalf of the International Society of Sport Psychology, there is reason to celebrate Dr. Terry Orlick’s life and contribution to the people and field he touched, who were many. Regrets are to his family, friends, and close colleagues, as this world will truly miss a remarkable person and professional – one of the International Society of Sport Psychology’s International Distinguished Scholars.
Robert Schinke, President of the International Society of Sport Psychology
Terry Orlick Quotes - IdleHearts

Launching at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. WeThe15 campaign to breakdown the barriers

Launching at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, WeThe15 plans to initiate change over the next decade by bringing together the biggest coalition ever of international organisations from the world of sport, human rights, policy, communications, business, arts and entertainment.

At a time when diversity and inclusion are hot topics, the 15% who have a disability want effective change to remove the inequality and inactivity. Like race, gender and sexual orientation, we want to have a movement all persons with disabilities can rally behind. A global movement that is publicly campaigning for disability visibility, inclusion and accessibility.

WeThe15 will shine a light on 15% of the world’s population. It will build greater knowledge of the barriers and discrimination persons with disabilities face on a daily basis at all levels of society. By doing so we will break down these barriers so all persons with disabilities can fulfil their potential and be active and visible members of an inclusive society.

Today Serie A starts

The Serie A championship begins today. There are as many as 12 new coaches out of 20 teams. The changes have involved teams fighting for success and those fighting for relegation; coaches who had achieved important goals and those who had not, have left. Once it would have been said that it is a hysterical soccer that destroys its players, now soccer has adapted to today’s philosophy. So there is no time, everything has to happen immediately, otherwise we change.

Antonio Conte leaves Inter victorious because he already knows that the team will not be reinforced and Pirlo because Juventus came fourth. It is precisely this precariousness of the profession of soccer coach that in my opinion gives them the strength and power that they have today. Every season they play for everything and this puts them in a condition of unchallenged dominance, so much so that they bring their staff, made up of people they trust, and start again with a new project, designed around the figure of the new coach.

We will see how these coaches, all of them good because they have been doing this job for many years in a highly competitive environment and ready to blame them, will be able to build cohesive and combative teams. In the meantime, this should be the starting point on which the qualities of the players and the play of the team fit. Being only good serves little purpose if it is not accompanied by these two psychological dimensions.

Why we still continue to talk about soccer

A journalist asked German theologian Dorothee Solle: -How would you explain to a child what happiness is? -I wouldn’t explain it to him, she answered, – I would give him a ball to play with. Professional soccer does everything in its power to castrate this energy of happiness. But she survives in spite of everything. And maybe that’s why soccer can’t stop being wonderful. As my friend Angel Ruocco says, this is the most beautiful thing it has: its inexhaustible capacity to surprise. No matter how much the technocrats program it down to the smallest details, no matter how much the powerful manipulate it, soccer continues to want to be the art of the unexpected. Wherever you least expect it, the impossible turns up, the dwarf teaches the giant a lesson, a lanky and lopsided black makes the athlete sculpted in Greece look foolish.
(Eduardo Galeano, Splendors and miseries of the game of soccer)

There are three kinds of soccer players. Those who see the free spaces, the same spaces that any fool can see from the stands and you see them and you are happy and feel satisfied when the ball falls where it should fall. Then there are those who suddenly show you a free space, a space that you and perhaps others could have seen if they had watched carefully. Those take you by surprise. And then there are those that create a new space where there should have been no space at all. “These are the prophets. The poets of the game.’”
(Osvaldo Soriano, Futbol. Football Stories)