Spalletti’s vague explanations

It’s difficult to talk about the mental aspects connected to the national football team’s performance in these European Championships. Luciano Spalletti’s interpretation of the loss against Spain, in which he said we lost because we “didn’t have legs” – essentially meaning the others were physically better prepared – and putting aside any other type of explanation, is an important example as it comes directly from the head coach.

We also know that the players play PlayStation to distract themselves and that someone even had their barber come for a haircut. At Coverciano, they listened to some champions who wore the number 10 jersey as mentors and, hopefully, sources of inspiration, but it doesn’t seem that this experience produced the expected result in terms of increasing motivation.

Based on my experience with teams, I am convinced that intensity of play, grit, and tenacity are the psychological dimensions that a team must demonstrate regardless of the type of game they want to implement. This requires an optimal fusion of physical and mental preparation, between the individual and the collective. Then, within this framework, game ideas can be inserted.

It is also true that for a coach, it is important to protect the team after negative performances, and therefore, generic explanations fully serve this purpose. I know it’s not possible, but I would cancel interviews with coaches after a defeat to avoid these unpleasant situations of lack of depth.

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