Archive for the 'Allenatori' Category

Magic Johnson and team cohesion: An old story always true

In basketball the cohesion is a need to achieve the team primary goal: cope with the opponents with confidence and grit. The internal rivalries, if not limited to few episodes are wasted energies and keep the players engaged in activities with a disruptive impact on training and match. The team must always think in terms of US and the coach should encourage the participation of players, listen them, treat everyone with the same criteria and avoid favoritism, support altruistic behaviors and reduce the individualistic behaviors.

Magic Earvin Johnson’s story is an example of how even a champion have to move from too individualistic behaviors to greater cooperation with the mates. In fact, when Magic played in the Los Angeles Lakers also stood out for his dedication to teamwork: passed and defended rather than thinking about scoring points. It was Magic to explain to his coach Pat Riley as he had established this great attitude.

When he was a little boy, playing Youth League basketball in East Lansing, Michigan, his coach told him he was the best player of the team and he should have to shoot the ball all the time. He did it, scoring  most of the points of the team, which won all the time. Despite these victories the other teammates looked miserable, were depressed and nobody thanked or appeared pleased about what he was doing. Magic also was not lucky and he did not want to be this kind of player. He decided to change, becoming more altruistic, defending and passing the ball to the mates. The team mood changed completely and the mates became much more motivated, increased their skills and continued to have success.

What about your team, the players put aside their ego and work to be cohesive independently of the match momentum?

The coaches have to be able to assess their professional experiences

A key factor for the improvement of the work of the coaches is the ability to evaluate their professional experience, with particular emphasis on the interactions with the athletes or team in training and in competition. The coaches must evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the work done, the reactions of the athletes and the difficulties and the solutions proposed.

This task must be carried out continuously over time, focusing on what happens during the workout and in competition.It is, therefore, not an episodic activity that takes place because they have to solve a problem, but it must be planned as an activity should be part of the usual way of doing things. In this sense, the coaches are facilitators, since they encourage the creation of a suitable climate to carry out training, developing the athletes’ competitiveness and their winning mentality. The coaches have to think to their professional experiences and need to be aware of:

  1. the decisions they take,
  2. the parameters that will enable to know that the training has been effective,
  3. the expectations about their athletes in connection with the training/competitions they perform,
  4. the difficulties they may face and the solutions to be adopted,
  5. how to deal with the competitions and how to evaluate the results,
  6. the plan to deal with unforeseen and unexpected events,
  7. what makes a successful or unsuccessful  season,
  8. how they might handle the tough times that will inevitably arise,
  9. how to face with the stress related to their profession,
  10. how they work with the staff and the management.

Book review: Francesco Panetta – Io corro da solo

Io corro da solo

Francesco Panetta

Gemini Grafica Editrice, 2017

«Molti libri sono stati scritti intorno all’atletica e alla corsa e soprattutto al mondo della corsa lunga. Lo faccio anch’io, evitando però di dare consigli a chi ama la disciplina. Ho realizzato questa pubblicazione con un’impronta diversa. Racconto delle mie esperienze, iniziando da quando ragazzino correvo con i miei amici in Calabria: il primo paio di scarpe da “tennis”, la prima corsa, l’arrivo a Milano. In queste 150 pagine non ci sono né tempi, né allenamenti, ma storie: la Pro Patria, i sogni, le mie opinioni sull’atletica e, nel trentesimo anniversario del mio successo Mondiale nelle siepi a Roma, un lungo capitolo dedicato a quella che è stata la mia grande impresa, senza tralasciare l’Europeo vinto tre anni dopo a Spalato nella stessa distanza».

Riporto le caratteristiche psicologico di Panetta che emergono dall’intervista raccolta da Roberta Orsenigo.

Lottare ”Era una mia caratteristica. Per me significava esprimere la mia forza fisica e mentale, non certo per spaventare gli altri. Io salivo sul ring e stabilivo la mia legge”.

Avventura ”Correre contro un avversario è come praticare la pesca d’altura, tu non sai quanto è grosso il pesce che hai all’amo, ma nemmeno lui sa quanto grosso e cazzuto sei tu. Vince spesso il più astuto, non il più forte”.

Motivazione interiore ”Ho sempre corso per me stesso, un viaggio durato quasi vent’anni. E’ uno sport individuale, la mente non la spegni mai. Devi avere la presunzione di essere sempre il migliore, la convinzione di essere il più forte”.

Allenatore eccellente ”Giorgio Rondelli sapeva come correvano i miei avversari, era sempre in campo con me, mi motivava. Il tecnico non deve solo preparare le tabelle, ma deve essere una presenza costante nella vita di un atleta”.

Fisico e Testa ”Si diventa campioni con il fisico, la testa e grazie alle persone che ti consigliano. Il talento non basta. E’ come studiare sempre”.

Sfidarsi ”Ogni volta che stabilivo un personale, Rondelli mi faceva competere con i meno bravi. Mi diceva: solo quando riuscirai a tener a bada i più lenti, allora potrai confrontarti con i migliori. Allenarsi significa imparare a fare le cose che non sai fare”.

Passione ”Perché correvo? Correvo perché mi piaceva andare forte, migliorarmi. Se potessi tornare indietro, però, non vorrei ritrovarmi sul rettilineo della pista di Roma, ma in quel paesino finlandese dove ho passato ore ad allenarmi. Oppure a Nova Milanese, quando correvo dietro la bicicletta del mio allenatore”.

Juve-Milan has been the first football match watched in TV

On 5 February 1950 the Rai broadcasts live the football match Juventus-Milan for the city of Turin, Italy. The Milan with the three attackers called Gre-No-Li Trident swept the bianconeri to 7-1. It was, however, only an experiment: Rai would start broadcasting officially only four years later.

Risultati immagini per juventus milan 1950 1-7

Football: interview with Damià Abella Pérez about stress, pressure and high performance

Sofia Goggia at 9 years old wrote: “I want to win the gold in downhill”

It’s never too early to dream. When Sofia Goggia was 9 years old, she wrote: “I want to win the gold in downhill.”

She did it filling the questionnaire on Goal Setting from my book “Mental training.”

She wanted to be mentally ready and at long term very ready. She asked her coach to work at maximum with her.

Self-discovery is out on the roads

Immagine correlata

A common bias: the warmup is useful to avoid the injuries

There’s a lot of confusion among athletes in relation to the warmup function.

For some is practiced to avoid getting hurt.

For others it’s something to do well just before the races, but during the training they do not do ever in that way.

For almost everyone it’s a rather boring phase in which to prepare to start very well the competition.

It is often regarded like a school homework and it’s performed without conviction and with a reduced mental effort.

For example, almost no guy gets exhaling during the stretching. Let us remember that the first determines the later. Then bad stretching corresponds to a limited elongation and reduced muscle distension, with all the negative consequences coming if this kind of execution is repeated over time.

Federer: to win he said “don’t mess it up”

I often talk with young tennis players of the importance to lead themselves during the matches. Most of them uses too often complicated thoughts and want to show brilliant shots. In my opinion, this thoughts prevents being concrete and do simple things, waiting for the right moment to close the point.

Everyone talk about Federer exceptional tennis but rarely pointed out that the mental approach to the game comes before very other thing.

In this interview, instead, the same Federer remind us about the importance of the mental attitude. These sentences clearly highlight this approach, when he says that in the fourth set his mind was wandering too much and then he tells himself: “Don’t mess it up.”

So first of all, we need to support ourselves and then let’s focus on every point.

“The problem in the fourth set was that my mind was all over the place,” Federer told Australia’s Seven Network. “I was so close and I was telling myself, ‘Don’t mess it up,’ and then that’s exactly what I did. I got a bit lucky at the beginning of the fifth set. I personally don’t think I would have come back if he’d broken me first.”

Tennis: the mental approach to the match

One of the main reasons because so many young people who want to pursue a tennis career instead undergo continuous failures lies, in my opinion, in their excessive expectations and the desire to show off a brilliant style of play that they are not able to support. Federica Brignone, bronze medal  in the giant at these Winter Olympics, said that it’s needed “work and mental strength.” Unlike, be prisoners of the expectations and focused on brilliant play are exactly the opposite, because they distract the players from what has to be performed during each point.

Expectations - They are destructive. On one side is too trivial to remember that you want to win the match, because we assume that no one starts a match with the goal of losing it. This idea should remain in the background of one’s mind, if not out, since it does not help the young to be focused only on the next point. For the young tennis players, the first thing to learn is that there is just the next point to play and they must be prepared to play it according to the match momentum. Think beyond that point means to remove concentration and determination in the present and put it in the foreseeable future that cannot be controlled, because at the moment it does not exist.

The play - Many young people are focused on the play and when you ask them how many times they have achieved this strategy, they respond that only rarely they were able to follow it, even just for the duration of one set. In my opinion, they fail because they start from a wrong assumption. To show a play style is a point of arrival and not of departure, it will be achieved through a mental journey which they are not yet able to support. Furthermore, to think about the match is an abstract concept, they need to be focused on the specific actions that, instead, should make in trouble their opponents. So, really, the players think too much and in a global way and they are not oriented to how to perform the next step.

Roberta Vinci in the match won against Serena Williams, said her thinking about the game was: “Run and throw it in there.” What do these words mean?

Run - Put in evidence you need to be fast and this physical readiness starts from the mental readiness, which triggers the reaction. This behavior happens in receiving when you are on the front of your feet ready to shoot forward and in the continuous “hopping” showed by the  champions also during the warmup. Tennis requires to be fast and, typically, this is lost when we are losing, the speed slows down we get depressed and the mistakes grow up.

Throw it over there – It means to play a deep ball without running excessive risks, waiting for the opponent mistake or the right moment to close the point. This approach to the match highlights the personal toughness in pursuing the own goals, maintaining the control of the game. Otherwise the tennis players may tend to slow down too much the play rhythm or to speed up the game, looking for brilliant shots to quickly close the point.

Then the match is a continuous succession among these moments:

  1. be fast
  2. to hit the ball that
  3. must be deep and
  4. play with the opponent at least 4/5  shots to make the point, and
  5. use the breaks to relax and
  6. refocus on next point
  7. to be fast again …