Monthly Archive for August, 2022

Who will win the Serie A championship?

The predictions of which teams will fight for the Scudetto have begun,. These are evaluations based on the characteristics of the players, the coach’s preferred game and the playing patterns but little is said about the mentality of the players and the role of the club. Dealing with these issues in an integrated way could, instead, provide fans with more information about how their team and key opponents might actually play. One could predict how the team will react in the face of emotionally intense situations, such as conceding a decisive goal in the last minutes of a game, know which players will react best to unexpected situations, and what the repercussions on the team will be of the Club’s decisions to problems that arise.

In fact, the mentality of a team is composed of these different factors, which then include not only what happens during the match but also, for example, the organizational quality of the soccer club. The better the efficiency and effectiveness of the organizational quality, the more likely the team will be to play with a winning mentality. Public image also plays a relevant role, think of Juventus that has had the same ownership for 100 years, Milan that has been the team considered the strongest of all time, the achievements of Napoli through the Maradona epic. These two elements are conducive to building a winning team.

There are others that are more obvious to everyone, which concern the team’s goals, the standards of play and the technical-tactical quality of the team in dealing with the different phases, including emotional ones, of the game. In turn, these aspects determine collective effectiveness, expressed through performances that are superior to those that each could provide individually. Finally, a further component of performance concerns the leadership style of the coach, his role in guiding technical and tactical guidance and supporting the motivation of the players.

Analyzing these aspects could thus lead to more precise analyses and not just based on the teams’ history and recent results.

Elderly well-being: optimism and perceiving oneself younger

Daphna Magda Kalira, Amit Shrirab, Aya Ben-Eliezerd, Noemi Heymane, Inna Shugaevd, and Oleg Zaslavskyh. Feeling Younger, Rehabilitating Better: Reciprocal and Mediating Effects between Subjective Age and Functional Independence in Osteoporotic Fracture and Stroke Patients, Gerontology, Published online: May 25, 2022

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The current study aimed to find reciprocal effects between subjective age and functional independence during rehabilitation from osteoporotic fractures and stroke and whether these effects can be mediated by indicators of well-being. Methods:Participants were 194 older adults (mean age = 78.32 years, SD = 7.37; 64.8% women) who were hospitalized following an osteoporotic fracture or stroke. Participants completed measures of subjective age and well-being (i.e., optimism, self-esteem, and life satisfaction) several times during rehabilitation. Functional Independence Measure (FIM) was completed by nursing personnel at admission and at discharge. Results:Younger subjective age at admission predicted higher FIM scores at discharge. The reverse effect, that is, of FIM scores at admission on subjective age at discharge, was nonsignificant. Optimism during hospitalization mediated the effect of subjective age on subsequent FIM scores while self-esteem and life satisfaction did not. Sensitivity analyses further showed that the effect of subjective age on FIM was significant for both fracture and stroke patients. Discussion: The findings highlight the effect of subjective age on rehabilitation outcomes among osteoporotic fractures and stroke patients and suggest several potential mechanisms behind this effect. Rehabilitation outcomes following osteoporotic fractures or strokes could improve if subjective age and an optimistic outlook are taken into consideration.

In summary: an optimistic mindset and perceiving oneself as younger are predictors of better recovery after fractures and strokes in older people.

SportdelSud: The head in the ball

For the past few months I have been collaborating on SportdelSud a new online sports newspaper, with a column entitled “The Head in the Ball.”

It is an innovative editorial reality created by a group of young people who have been able to take up the challenge of putting themselves at the head of an entrepreneurial project in the communication sector.

Accompanying and supporting them along the way since its inception are great names in Italian journalism such as Darwin Pastorin, Roberto Beccantini, Fabio Monti, and Luciano Scateni, masters of sports literature such as Luigi Guelpa, and historical figures from the world of sports, while the corporate and managerial mentoring is entrusted to the experience of Vincenzo Imperatore’s Imperatore Consulting.

The goal of SportdelSud is to give readers back a space in which to confront each other, through original information that fights single-minded and homogenized thinking and acts as a glue between the sports people and the media world, setting itself as an antithesis to today’s media trend of clickbaiting and fake news. SportdelSud is, also, the voice of readers and fans, those who very often express through social networks the most interesting, “different,” politically uncorrect, frequently funny, sarcastic analyses.

A participatory newspaper, to which readers can send offline their reflections that will be turned into articles and published after approval by “moderators.”

The newspaper is growing so fast that in July it reached 54,753 visits and nearly 400,000 total visits, a record for the newspaper. It has been online for less than a year and is about to break the 60,000 visits per month mark!

Amazing team awareness and social responsibility

An open letter from our Lionesses.

The second wave gets us over fatigue

The “second wave” is a phenomenon typical of long-distance running, but which is applicable to any situation in life. It occurs in situations when you think you have used up all the energy you had and , instead, suddenly find the strength to continue.

It is certainly something that happened to me when during the 100km del Passatore, all of a sudden starting at 75km I had the certainty that I would finish the race and found the energy to run the fastest I was capable of until the finish line, without worrying about the route anymore.

The “second wave” was first described in 1906 William James in his speech to the American Philosophical Association and entitled “The Energy of Man”: “The existence of a reserve of energy which is not ordinarily available to us is very familiar in the phenomenon of the “second wave.” We usually stop when we encounter this lying, called, fatigue. We have walked, played or worked enough and desist. The amount of fatigue is a good obstacle. However, when an unusual need presses us to continue, something surprising happens. Fatigue grows to a certain point, then gradually or suddenly disappears and we are fresher than before. We have evidently uncorked a new level of energy.”

The value of the lionesses success

There are, in my view, four indices that confirm that the victory of the England women’s national soccer team at Euro 2022 can be seen as an event that could also positively affect gender differences and not only in soccer.

The first refers to the extreme public success of this event: nearly 90,000 people at Wembley, London filled with a large non-violent but happy crowd, with thousands of families who brought their children/children to celebrate.

The second, they were called the lionesses as well as their male counterparts, may not have been the first time but certainly it is a juxtaposition that explains much about the positive evolution of the concept of women and women footballers at least in the UK. It includes team spirit but also individual strength.

The third, the myth phrase: “football is back home,” the English founded modern soccer but had not won anything since 1966, now after 55 years it has happened again. This idea of soccer being back home will be remembered forever and it was realized by a group of women, when still in 1971 soccer was forbidden to them by the Football Association.

Fourth, this team will be an inspiration not only to many young people who want to play soccer but also to those who believe that dreams are achievable and work hard to fulfill their goals.

Commenting on this victory, even Queen Elizabeth acknowledged this role to them: “You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.”