Monthly Archive for October, 2021

10 habits to be physically actives

Sport psychology master

Excited to start the new edition of a Master in Sport Psychology that has a history of thirty years with authoritative people with a history in sport to tell and listen.

It will be a great experience of sharing and developing new and skilled professionals.


Coaching program for referees

In the web I came across this my old article about referees which is still current and of which I propose again a section.

I have been working with volleyball and soccer referees at the highest level for about 15 years, it was for me an extremely interesting job and very well accepted in that environment. Today it is an area completely abandoned by these federations. Obviously this is what has not happened in the world, especially in soccer. We were ahead of the other countries and then gone are the managers concerned (Benito Montesi in volleyball and Paolo Casarin in soccer) this area of intervention closed to these issues of personal and professional development of referees. The book Psychology of volleyball referees is dated 1986. We were Martians while we thought it was normal.

“The program is divided into four parts: definition of the self-development plan, implementation of the formulated action program, evaluation of the results achieved and final follow-up.

The definition of the personal self-development plan is carried out in two stages. The first involves the illustration of the results that emerged from the Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style and the formulation of a Personal Self-Development Plan centered on the following points:

  • Description of the main areas of improvement chosen by the referee
  • Description of the causes that have led to limited or unsatisfactory development in these areas
  • Description of what specific situations are most likely to contribute to maintaining these difficulties/limitations
  • Identification of what skills he/she wants to develop to overcome these difficulties
  • Identification of the parameters that they want to use to evaluate their improvement.
  • Identification of the actions he wants to take to improve these skills
  • Identification of who could provide him with trusted external support with which to confront and verify whether his behavior is changing.

In the next meeting, a specific goal for improvement is identified and an Action Plan is formulated.”

A special Sunday with soccer

It takes very little to spend a morning of play, soccer, with the coaches of Roma and the Academy of Integrated Football and sports psychologists. Many children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities on three pieces of grass at the Foro Italico, Rome, as part of the Tennis and Friends event.

This is the beauty of soccer, you just need a ball and immediately you play, anywhere, even in the small spaces between tennis courts. We must not lose the simplicity that this game offers us, it takes very little to spend time in a way that is fun for everyone, from young people to families and to us who organized it.

This year we are starting our 7th year of activity and after a long period without games we will organize tournaments to let the kids experience the excitement of playing together and competing against other teams.

For information go to our web site.

Jacobs: the athlete broadens Italy’s image of itself

At the Tokyo Olympics, Mr. Jacobs, a little-known Italian when the Games began, stunned the sports world by winning gold in the men’s 100-meter dash. In a nation where some populist politicians have courted support by demonizing Black migrants, the victory by the son of a Black American father and white Italian mother broadened the public imagination of what Italian athletes, and Italians, can look like.”

Lamont Marcell Jacobs won Olympic gold for Italy in the 100-meter dash and 4x100-meter relay.

Canadians’ sedentary lifestyle is severe

If even Canadians have stopped playing sports … it is an indication of the severity of the sedentary phenomenon.

Sport and school performance

Katherine B. Owen et al., (2021). Sport Participation and Academic Performance in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise

Introduction: Physical activity can improve academic performance; however, much less is known about the specific association between sport participation and academic performance and this evidence has not been synthesised. Our aim was to systematically review and combine via meta-analyses evidence of the association between sport participation and academic performance in children and adolescents.

Methods: We conducted searches of five electronic databases using sport and academic performance related terms. We combined evidence from eligible studies using a structural equation modelling approach to multilevel meta-analysis.

Results: From 115 eligible studies, most of which had a high risk of bias (k = 87), we meta-analysed 298 effect sizes. Overall, sport participation had a small positive effect on academic performance (d = 0.26, 95% CIs 0.09, 0.42). Moderator analyses indicated that sports participation was most beneficial for academic performance when it was at a moderate dose (i.e., 1-2 hours per week), compared to no sport or a high dose of sport (3+ hours per week).

Conclusion: Sports participation during school hours was more beneficial for academic performance compared to sport participation outside of school hours. Based on mostly low-quality studies, we found some evidence that sport could positively impact academic performance in children and adolescents. It appears that sport participation of a moderate dose and at school could be used to promote academic performance. However, if this field were to inform policy, high-quality studies are needed that provide insight into the effect of dose and sport characteristics on academic performance.

3 motivational pillars of my work

  1. “Indipendentemente da ciò che le persone nel mondo imparano, quasi tutte le persone possono imparare, se le vengono fornite i giusti antecedenti e condizioni adeguate di apprendimento”  (Benjamin S. Bloom, 1985)
  2. La prestazione non è un costrutto teorico ma una misurazione: ogni punteggio osservato (Prestazione) su una misura è uguale al punteggio vero (Abilità) depurato dall’errore (deviazione del punteggio osservato da quello vero ovvero deviazione della Prestazione dalle Abilità). Prestazione = Abilità + Errore (Aoyagi, Cohen, Poczwardowski, Metzler e Statler, 2018)
  3. Bisogna accettare l’errore, piuttosto che considerarlo come qualcosa  da evitare, poiché sarà sempre presente in ogni prestazione.  Si deve imparare a ridurne la frequenza e la gravità, per mantenere l’efficacia della prestazione al livello più elevato di competenza personale.  Bisogna permettere di sbagliare, per ottenere quelle informazioni che saranno utili per migliorare/perfezionare le abilità, aumentando la probabilità di fornire in futuro prestazioni sempre più corrispondenti al livello di abilità acquisito. (Dweck, 2006)

Our responsibility as adults toward the young athletes

At the beginning of this new century, the concept that sport can become a valid and viable professional mainstream for young people has taken hold. Years ago, pursuing a career as an athlete was an option little considered by families, so young people continued to attend the schools in which they were enrolled until the end of their studies. This was the Italian situation characterized by a total disconnection between the school Institution and the sporting world, the latter generally opposed by teachers. Families, on the other hand, rarely asked themselves the question about the sporting future of their children before they reached adulthood. Today the situation has changed. Sports organizations press for promising athletes to train many hours a week, families think that a sports career is an opportunity like any other, sometimes even the best and easiest to pursue, and young people are caught between these two demands and at the same time they too are tuning in to this opportunity. Moreover, teaching in Italian schools is rather backward and little different from how it was done 100 years ago and, therefore, adolescents in general do not find an environment oriented towards their development as a person and the acquisition of the skills characteristic of their curriculum.

Certainly, sport appears to be more fun, exciting and varied, even if daily practice does not correspond to this stereotype, but in my opinion the sporting environment in which young talents enter is usually stimulating, and guided by coaches who are more interested in the development of the person and the athlete. We are talking about young people who train at least 30 hours a week for 10 months. An amount of time, however, not different from that of students who want to achieve equally positive results at school.

The question that no one asks is not about the notions to be learned, but about understanding to what extent dropping out of school or schooling in private schools where the study of the program is totally conditioned by the sports activity represents a limit to the development of these young athletes. To date, each family and each sports organization pursues a path and there are no guidelines developed by the Ministry of Education and those who govern the sport. In this choice, families are left without guidance and the federations choose the paths that can be taken according to the needs of their sport. A discussion would be helpful as well as a better understanding of other countries’ models.

How to become expert

To the many young psychologists who want to enter working in sport, I would like to suggest that, regardless of their past and future educational backgrounds, they begin by asking themselves the following questions : “Who are the expert people?” and “How do you become an expert in a specific field?”

These are relevant questions when one wants to work in the field of performance psychology. Speaking of sports we should ask ourselves, when an athlete become an expert and the same goes for the coach. The same reasoning applies to the psychologist: how and when I will become an expert sports psychologist. What should one do to become one?

These are reflections that require a complex explanation and those who are at the beginning of a career probably do not have a precise and clear answer to provide. I don’t want to provide one either, although I do have a very precise one in my mind.

The young professional must discover it for himself/herself, even through the choices he/she makes. Certainly today there is much to read about this concept of the expert, and it would be nice to delve into the theoretical aspect of the matter as well.

What is certain is that one must, however, give oneself an answer and undertake a path to realize one’s goal of competence, which is the basis of the expertise that He/she will be achieved.

Let’s reflect.