Monthly Archive for September, 2021

Focus on suburbs of the cities: UISP initiatives

The magazine Redattore Sociale returns to the visit of the Sports Department to the Fulvio Bernardini Uisp Roma sport center, with an interview with Tiziano Pesce, Uisp national president. The latter stressed the “political” importance of this meeting, which shifted the spotlight on the peripheries and on the deep problems that grassroots and neighborhood sports clubs are experiencing. The sport for all, which is played on the territories often peripheral and forgotten by all, represents a bulwark of inclusion and social redemption but today is experiencing a moment of transition and crisis.

“Sport is going to the periphery, and so is sports policy. This is the leap forward that Uisp asks of public decision-makers and politics in the sporting sphere: to consolidate the idea that sport is a right of all citizens, that it is an important aspect of health promotion and education, that it is a vector of social cohesion through the values of inclusion and sociality,” commented Tiziano Pesce. “As Uisp we will continue to strive to try to direct public policies of sport in support of social sport and for all, therefore of the associations and amateur sports clubs in the area – adds Tiziano Pesce – asking for a rebalancing of public resources allocated to sport.” In fact, those allocated to sport for all are largely insufficient, less than 4% of the total. In addition, the pandemic has exacerbated these inequalities and today associations and sports clubs are struggling to resume their activities. “There has been an estrangement of young people and families from sports courses, a series of regulations have compressed basic activities”, says the Uisp president.

The request is for extraordinary interventions in support of sports associations in the area. “We hope that in the next few days the restrictive rules on distances will be mitigated and we can return to an activity that involves a greater number of practitioners, both in the gym and in the pool, the latter being one of those who have suffered the most in terms of restrictions and then under the economic-financial aspect, while respecting the rules anticovid that Uisp has always favored with protocols responding to the Dpcm and decrees that have followed,” concludes Tiziano Pesce.

Also present at the meeting was Michele Scicioli, head of the Government Sports department, who said he was aware of both the value and the hardships that the sports world is facing: “We know that the problems of the sports world have fallen on the social fabric … We know how much grassroots sport has suffered in the last year and a half. The choice of this place is not accidental”. Also present was Simone Menichetti, president of Uisp Roma, who spoke of the great value of sport for all and the struggle to survive for many of the clubs that carry out this mission in the area: “A survey of our affiliated clubs revealed that over 30% have stopped their activities, while more than 25% have even closed, leaving a great void, because sport is a social and aggregative phenomenon. This facility is in a peripheral, popular neighborhood: born over 30 years ago, it has become one of the most used facilities in the area, but now it is experiencing great difficulties, after a year and a half of pandemic and the consequent closures. We must recover the ground that the pandemic has made us lose. And that it has made us lose to grassroots sport, more than to the sport of the great federations”.

The alarm raised by the sports promotion bodies regarding the closure of many activities was raised in an article in La Gazzetta dello Sport dedicated to the BeActive weekend. There was talk of the difficulties of grassroots sports; of the meeting on Friday at the Foro Italico between the Sports Department and three sports promotion organizations including Uisp; of “Pillole di movimento”, the project to encourage sports activities illustrated by Tiziano Pesce, president of Uisp. “One tries to react to difficulties in all ways. Precisely on the occasion of the Foro Italico event, Uisp launched “Pillole di movimento”, supported by the Sports Department. From January, 480 thousand boxes will be distributed in 32 Italian cities, a kind of “movement drug” already tested in the province of Bologna. Inside the box, you can find a special “bugiardino” where there will be a sort of decalogue of the importance of sport and proper lifestyles. But the package will be somehow customized city by city, because there will also be an indication of some addresses where you can practice sport with the possibility of a free trial of one month of membership to the chosen center,” says the article.

(Source: UISP)

Sport psychologist certification

Given the mission of International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) and in the spirit of globalization, internationalization, unification, and collaboration, ISSP has established an internationally recognized consultant/practitioner registry that represents the minimum standard of sport psychology practice. The ISSP-Registry (ISSP-R) aims to respond to the high international mobility of both sporting clients and consultants as well as increase the visibility and credibility of the profession internationally. Importantly, it aims to augment the professional standards of the field with a particular focus on supporting those countries in which applied sport psychology is at a developing phase.

Please visit the website here to read about the Emerging Practitioner Route to ISSP-R . This route is for early-career practitioners looking to demonstrate their educational and practical competence in the field. In addition to the minimum academic (i.e., BSc/BA, MSc) and supervised experience requirements, applicants will be required to engage and successfully pass three short ISSP-specific modules focused on cultural competence, ethics, and mental health.

ISSP and Society of Sport and Exercise Psychology of Taiwan (SSEPT) will be hosting the three ISSP-R modules for those sport psychology participants interested in taking them. We have invited three keynote speakers for the ISSP-R modules programme including Robert Schinke (current president of ISSP and a professor at Laurentian University), Gangyan Si (former president of ISSP and a sport psychologist at Hong Kong Sports Institute), and Chris Harwood (current accreditation chair of ISSP and a professor at Loughborough University).

Vlahovic penalty focus

Fiorentina confirms its value against Atalanta, Genoa and Udinese: nine points out of nine conquered also thanks to the goals of Dusan Vlahovic, always the man for the violets, especially when he comes from the penalty spot.

It’s becoming a habit, a positive one for the centre forward. From 11 meters, until now, he has been infallible. Since he has been playing in Serie A, he has kicked 10 penalties and on 10 occasions the ball has ended up in the net.

There is a recurring gesture that accompanies Vlahovic in every execution from the penalty spot. A practice that came in particularly handy in Udine, where the penalty assignment was rather laborious. A minute passed between the contact whistled by Ghersini and the decision to carry out an on-field review, until Vlahovic’s shot passed almost two minutes. A lapse of time that puts a lot of pressure on the wait for whoever is going to shoot from the penalty spot and that in some cases can play bad tricks, between the protests of the other team and the attempts of distraction by the opposing fans.

Vlahovic, in this kind of context, has been good at isolating himself as he is used to do on other occasions, applying a sort of autogenic training through the control of breathing. A technique that boasts excellent exponents in world soccer (Cristiano Ronaldo isolates himself in this way before every penalty) that allows to keep the nerves steady in a potentially decisive moment. As was, to all intents and purposes, the penalty that sanctioned Fiorentina’s victory over Udinese.

Confucio and the mistakes

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Confucius, who according to tradition was born on September 28, 551 BC. He was one of the masters of Chinese thought but also of the development of human thought based on an ethical conception that emphasizes the need to build harmony between individuals, developing cooperation between human beings and the variations of nature.

Regarding the issue of error management in sports (and not only), Confucius said: “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.”.

Let’s reflect.

The mistake management: why is it so difficult

In many cultures there are sayings that remind us how important it is to learn to react to negative situations and mistakes. They say, for example, “When a door closes, a big door opens,” while US people like to repeat, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how quickly you get back up,” and the Japanese say, “Fall seven times, get back up the eighth.” These statements highlight that in order to be successful, one must develop a full awareness of how common it is to make mistakes and how equally relevant it is to react constructively.

There are no shortcuts, because mistakes cannot be eliminated; you have to make mistakes, like during an obstacle course in which you are aware at all times that you can make mistakes, slow down, make a great effort to overcome an obstacle even if you are well prepared and know the path. So, if this is the way to go, it is necessary to prevent mistakes from becoming an alibi used to confirm to oneself the impossibility of overcoming one’s current limits, with the effect of determining a reduction in commitment, since “There’s nothing to do anyway” or “Yes, there is a lot to do, but I’m not talented enough or I’m unlucky”. It is therefore necessary to build, through daily activity, a work culture that considers error as an integral part of the improvement process.

On the other hand, sport is a context in which the presence of errors is a constant in every performance, very often even in winning ones. In skeet shooting, the world record, hitting 125 over 125 has been achieved 12 times in the last 25 years. On every other occasion, shooters have always made mistakes. In the sports of body coordination in space, there are very few times when an athlete, male or female, has achieved the highest score.

In basketball, Michael Jordan said, “In my life I have missed over nine thousand shots, I have lost almost three hundred games, twenty-six times my teammates have entrusted me with the decisive shot and I have missed. I failed many times. And that’s why in the end I won everything.” Also in basketball, in the EuroLeague only 8.5% of players made 90% of their free throws, 35% made 80%, 32% made 70% of their attempts, and 24% made less than 70% (Cei 2018). In soccer, everyone misses penalties from Roberto Baggio in the ’94 World Cup final to those misses by Messi, Modric and Ronaldo at the World Cup in Russia.

Despite these data, many athletes do not accept the possibility of making mistakes, sometimes they are even surprised: “Because everything was going so well” or “Because I felt so good that I thought I could never make a mistake” while other times the difficulty in accepting them emerges when the athlete is in the opposite situation, so he thinks: “It could not have been worse, that mistake caught me suddenly and I did not know how to react, I got confused thinking about what to do differently and from there it was a ruin”. Both these situations, one positive and the second negative, reported by the athletes quite frequently, highlight the difficulty in accepting the error and not having previously planned a way to deal with what could have negatively affected the performance.

The movement as and expression of intelligence

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is manifested through the ability to control one’s movements with mastery and to use tools expertise. These tools vary greatly depending on the activity to which we refer. It can be the classic ball in sports games or the surgeon’s scalpel, skis or the tailor’s needle, the clavettes in gymnastics or the cane used by Charlot. Competence in physical activity consists of the use of a fairly broad range of skills, such as strength, endurance, balance, dexterity, expressiveness, and coordination. It is very important to be able to carry out physical activity programs that develop all of these skills. Eastern culture, compared to ours, has traditionally been more inclined to follow these paths and, among the many forms of expressiveness it has produced, martial arts represent an example of integrated development of these different skills. In our Western culture, however, more attention has been paid to the development of skills such as strength and endurance and less to that of other skills.

Assess your kinesthetic intelligence

  • I play at least one sport or do physical activity on a regular basis
  • I find it difficult to sit for a long time
  • I like to engage in manual activities
  • I get the best ideas when I walk, run or otherwise engage in some physical activity
  • I spend most of my time in outdoor activities
  • When I talk to other people I gesture a lot
  • To appreciate an object I have to touch it
  • I feel like a person who moves in a coordinated way
  • I enjoy experiences that give me intense physical sensations
  • I cope well with physical fatigue

Add up all affirmative responses:

  • up to four – you have a long way ahead of you to increase your kinesthetic intelligence;
  • between five and six – you are trying hard but can do more, don’t give up;
  • between seven and eight – you are showing excellent kinesthetic skills, keep believing in them and above all, practice them;
  • between nine and ten – don’t get ahead of yourself; you’re good.

Mistakes: how to manage them

Mistakes are the main content of whatsapps that athletes send. Competitive performance revolves around this issue: how to make fewer mistakes?

It’s a hot topic in sports where, in theory, the perfection of the gesture is sought, from shooting sports to artistic gymnastics and diving to jumps and throws in athletics. However, the same is also true for opposition sports such as tennis or fencing where you win by a few extra points, sometimes just 1 or 2. What about sports where you score a lot of points such as volleyball and basketball but also soccer, where a goal is a rare occurrence, therefore, 1 in 90 minutes may be enough.

Mistakes are made and cannot be avoided but can be fatal.

Sports performance is given by what the athlete/team has done positively minus the mistakes.

How come athletes and coaches don’t put their souls in peace, starting from the knowledge that they will make mistakes?

We’ll talk about this during a free webinar dedicated to error management on Wednesday, September 29 from 7-8:30 p.m.

A winning combination: sports and reading

  • The Nobel Prize for Economics James Heckman has shown that children of unemployed in kindergarten possessed a vocabulary of 500 words, those of parents of low-skilled 700 words, while the sons of the graduates came to 1100 words. Unfortunately these differences persist even in later allowing to predict well in advance the career, income, family stability and health condition. Therefore it need educational investments such as to develop the cognitive and social skills in children from 0 to 5 years, and also in later life.
  • Novak Diokovic  wrote in his book: “Jelena made me listen to classical music and read poetry to calm down and learn to concentrate (Pushkin was his favorite poet). My parents, however, spurred me to learn languages, so I learned the ‘English, German and Italian. the tennis lessons and life lessons were one, and every day I could not wait to take the field with Jelena and learn more and more on sports, on myself and on world. “(p.5)

It is not hard to understand from these data and evidences what it should be done to educate young people and that sport would benefit from an education centered on the development of reading. I am convinced that the absence of sport culture found in many countries derives precisely from this kind of ignorance and of which many young people are paying for, ruining their lives well before adulthood. In Italy:

  • Women read more than men: in the year one book has been read by 51.9% of the female population compared to 39.7% of men. The difference in behavior between the sexes begins to manifest itself as early as the 11 years and tends to decrease after 75.
  • Having parents who read encourage to read: 77.4% of boys aged 6 to 14 years with both parents readers, compared with 39.7% of those whose parents do not read.
  • In Italy, even those who read, read little: 46% of readers read more than three books in 12 months, while the “strong readers”, with 12 or more books read at the same time, are only 14, 5% of the total.
  • One family of ten (10.2%) do not have any books at home, 63.6% have a maximum of 100.

The mistake management


“Ogni atleta commette errori. Ci si allena duramente per ridurli ma ancora troppo spesso gli atleti dopo un insuccesso guardano da un’altra parte per proteggere la fiducia in se stessi e così rinunciano a imparare. Continuano così a perseverare in abitudini e comportamenti sbagliati a causa della paura dei rischi in cui si potrebbe incorrere decidendo di cambiare. E’ certamente meno impegnativo lasciarsi dominare dalla voglia di lamentarsi: “Lo sapevo che sarebbe andata a finire in questo modo”, dando la colpa all’avversario che era troppo forte o alla sfortuna che si è accanita contro di noi. 


Obiettivo di questo webinar è di fornire indicazioni concrete su come orientare il ragionamento e le azioni degli atleti e degli allenatori verso l’idea che l’unico modo per migliorare è di accettare gli errori, che vanno compiuti per migliorare e avere successo. 


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