Losing because the team was not relaxed

A few days during the finals of the European volleyball championships, Italian coach Ferdinando De Giorgi during a timeout uttered a word that has been rarely heard in sports in recent years. The term is relaxed, he wanted the players to be calmer, less rushed and inaccurate.

Personally, I am very attached to this which is not just a word but expresses a concept and I would say a way of life. I learned relaxation techniques when I was 21 years old and have never abandoned this approach that accompanies me in my daily life. I have studied for years the importance of the balance between incitement and calm in work and leisure, in training and competition.

Our society has evolved toward an aggressive performance pattern, one must always push, play on the attack, dare, happily experience stresses. This is the phase of incitement and responds to the philosophy that stress is a privilege but are we sure that the other pole of the issue, calmness, is also given the same attention? From my experience I have come to the conclusion that calmness is most often interpreted only as a condition to be pursued because one cannot only and always squeeze like a lemon otherwise the body will break down. So calmness is seen not as the other pole of the human condition but as an expression of a limit to which one must submit.

For these reasons, a coach who during a European final that his team is losing says: relax, belongs to another planet. One in which relaxed and calm are positive and indispensable skills and not limits to which one must be subjected.

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