Archive for the 'Allenatori' Category

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Be against you destroy the focus and the performance

During a tennis match it is very easy to see and hear one of the two opponents starting to speak against him/herself and to show behaviors (shaking the head disconsolately or shaking the racket like a stick), denoting a negative emotional condition and damaging the concentration on the next game. These sketches occur more rarely among professional players, they have been trained to effectively manage these moments of competitive stress. They are instead frequent among young people and above all they are very common among those tennis players who may be technically gifted but who have not understood that playing a match is not only a matter of physical strength and tennis technique.

To play tennis well, whatever your level, you need to want and know how to think and this becomes very difficult if you are in a state of anger or self-devaluation. Otherwise you don’t know to direct the attention. Everyone wants to win, the prize consists of hundreds of thousands of euros or an aperitif at the tennis club, and the moment you start the first exchange the emotional tension begins to grow and if you do not act to control it, already at the first 15-0 for the opponent you will have the opportunity to start to torment yourself, distracting yourself from the game. Tennis tests everyone’s beliefs: you can’t draw like in football, you can’t put the responsibility on your teammates, you can’t blame fate, there are too many shots you have to send out to lose a game. You have to take responsibility for the way you’re playing and reason to do something different from the very first moments of losing attention.

The question is, therefore, to do something different, easy to say when you watch someone else play but more difficult when you have to apply this simple rule to yourself. You build this positive attitude,  first of all by becoming the main fan of yourself and not the main denigrator. The tennis player after a mistake must always do two things to return to being focused on the game: encourage himself + give himself a simple technical instruction to avoid repeating the previous mistake. Only in this way will he be focused on the game. The game is like a battle, in which to overwhelm the enemy you have to trust the instructions received from your commander, which in this case is ourselves. Of course there may be exceptions to this way of acting, but precisely because such exceptions must be rare. Therefore, encouragement is necessary to maintain a high level of concentration and control of emotions while the technical instruction serves to indicate to the tennis player what / how to do to effectively spend this mental energy.

If this kind of attitude is not demonstrated on the court, the tennis player’s mind will be like a sailboat without the helmsman, that is, prey to the opponent’s play. I suggest to tennis players to establish a priori a checklist of things to do and to pay attention when they are in difficulty:

  • What to do when the first serve is out or in the net
  • What to do when I want to finish the game too quickly
  • What to do to reduce my anger or disappointment at ta specific moment

Autism and football

Yesterday simple twitter had 2353 views. It’s a photo of a meeting of our staff discussing the new training program for children with intellectual disabilities and largely autistic, to improve their motor learning and teach football.

The interest it has aroused shows how the theme of sports practice for these children (6-13 years) is topical, there are few who are regularly involved in sport, we do not really know how many of them, how often and what activities they do. Research data shows these children practice individual sports, mainly running and swimming. Programs involving them in football schools are extremely rare, as they require competent coaches and psychologists. Often football is not recommended for these children because they are placed in groups with young people with typical development and coaches who do not have time and skills to teach them.

Roma Cares, AS Roma and the Integrated Football Academy have been designing and implementing the “Calcio Insieme” project for 5 years, which currently involves 70 children with intellectual disabilities. It involves a staff of 10 coaches, 5 sports psychologists, 1 speech therapist, 1 doctor, 1 manager of relations with families and schools, 1 technical manager and 1 scientific manager. It is a complex project that involves children from October to June twice a week. The results obtained and published in scientific journals have shown significant improvements in the motor and psychosocial areas.

Daily thinking

Our thinking must be that something done right can be done better

Djokovic: “I am aware of my breathing”

Book review: Outdoor Adventure Education Finland

Outdoor Adventure Educatioin Finland

Pedagogical and didactic perspectives

Seppo J.A. Karppinen, Maarit Marttila and Anita Saaranen-Kauppinen (Eds.)

Humak University of Applied Sciences Publications, 97

Humanistinen ammattikorkeakoulu, 2020, Helsinki

Free download

“In this book, outdoor adventure education refers to an approach where adventure-centred methods and processes are used to promote growth, learning and well-being. Out- door adventure education can be im- plemented by an educator, instruc- tor, teacher or therapist who leads a group consisting of children, young people, adults or elderly people, or comes into contact with individuals by means of adventure-oriented or experiential activity-based methods. Outdoor adventure education can be applied in early education, youth work, schools and colleges, and re- habilitation.

There is little literature on the didactics of outdoor adventure education.The aim of this compilation is to clarify and promote the theory and practice of experiential learning in the varied pedagogical process- es of outdoor adventure education. This will help educators and instructors to carry out goal-oriented and safe outdoor adventure education.The focus is on ad- venture education taking place outdoors and in a natural environment (Outdoor Adventure Education). Attention is also paid to the importance of outdoor ad- venture education on the strengthening of the overall well-being and health of an individual and their attachment to a place and relationship with the environment and nature, and on the promotion of ecologi- cally sustainable human agency.

The articles in the first part of the book focus on the history of Finnish outdoor ad- venture education, and the starting points, basis and current state of pedagogics and didactics.

The second part digs deeper into the essential questions of the pedagogics and didactics of outdoor adventure education. The articles shed light on the presumptions and principles associated with outdoor adventure education, and explain why outdoor adventure education is useful and how it can be instructed and taught in practice.

In part three, the focus is on practical methods and didactic applications from the perspective of various age groups, contexts and application areas.The writers of the articles have extensive experience in using, instructing and teaching outdoor adventure education, and the articles will thus provide an array of useful and tested approaches and methods.”

Link experience, learning and action

Harvard Business Review published an article titled “To handle increased stress, build your resilience

Authors identify some factors that could support people to cope with stress and build resilience. As we can in the following brief synthesis the actions proposed are the same used in the athletes’ mental skill development.

Difficult circumstances as learn­ing opportunities rather than as a time to shut down. When we ask “What can I learn from this?” instead of “Why me?” we can shape the challenge to our advantage.

Start by jotting down three possible ways in which you might be able to learn something from the stress you’re experiencing.

It might be something related to identifying or managing your emo­tions, or new interpersonal or technical skills. Reflecting in this way will help you avoid going after fixes or “options” that may temporarily ease your discomfort but don’t address the root causes.

Analysis alone isn’t enough. Researchers point out that analysis without action leads to rumination and anxiety. By identifying actions you can take you’ll be able experiment with solutions and new behaviors and discover productive ways to handle challenges and stress.

By making conscious choices that help us build these skills, we’ll be better equipped to turn our stress and challenges into opportunities.

With stronger internal resilience, we can then be proactive and intentional about how we use technology and other external tools to improve the quality of our lives and our work and find solutions to the business, social, and global pressures we face. When it comes to handling stress, start with yourself: we are our own most effective, powerful resource.”

15° semifinal for Roger Federer at Melbourne

Roger Federer teaches us it’s a long way to go

from playing a match point to winning the game

Sarri’s explanations do not convince after the defeat against Napoli

Maurizio Sarri, Juventus coach, after the defeat against Napoli, commented:

“We played a bland game from a mental point of view and therefore the offensive phase was also affected. It was a game with low mental energy and bland defensively as well. We lost rightly because we played a bad game; it took us a lot of our time”.

  • Humility, sweat and sacrifice have always been the hallmarks of Juventus, which from Trapattoni to Lippi to Allegri has always had coaches who have taken this attitude very seriously. The fact that now in this year it often had mental breaks, it seems to me to be a wake-up call, which it goes beyond the objective fact of continuing to lead the championship and which should be taken more into consideration by Sarri.

“When the situation is what we showed tonight, it’s difficult to change a something or a single player. Mentally the team had little energy. In the final I saw that some players weren’t playing well and we tried with Douglas”.

  • Showing little energy in matches that are important for the opponent’s skills and to gain an additional advantage over the opponents should be enough to motivate Juventus. The role of the key players should be a determining factor in supporting a proactive approach to the match, but it seems that this has not happened. And perhaps Sarri is more focused on getting the game he likes rather than stimulating a tough and convincing approach on the pitch. I would say that these characteristics come before any form of tactics. In other words, ideas without the heart are worth little.

“It’s not a trend. These are games where you have to comment little with the players. You have to find great motivation, which is not easy for those who have won so much. These games can help us do that. The difficulty is to maintain the right level of mentality for long periods of time”.

  • A bit weak answer, for a coach who wants to be a winner, to say that this approach “is not a trend”. The question is that from these professionals should be expected another quality in the conduct of the game. Intensity, speed and precision are three factors that a team that wants to compete with the big team in European football should always show. I advise Sarri, instead, to talk to the players to find out how to get out of these negative moments, which with Napoli have affected the whole match but they have already appeared for less time in many others.
  • This approach explains why it is not enough for a coach to be just a good coach but must also be a leader, who teaches the team to compete to win; to enter the field with the willingness to fight to impose his mentality on his opponents.

LeBron James, Kobe Bryant

Workshop: How to improve the sport performance with breathing

Breathing has for too long been considered only as a natural event that the individual performs mechanically to ensure survival. Today the sport recognizes the breath a different relevance, to promote relaxation, to recover from stress during the race, to increase concentration and activation of the athletes in the most different situations of their activities. From training to competition, from physical to technical and psychological preparation, deep breathing and spontaneous breathing are useful to improve the effectiveness of the athletes’ commitment. Therefore, according to the requests of the different sports, it is possible to insert breathing training modalities. This theoretical-practical workshop aims to bring together experts in the different areas of sports science and athletes in introducing this practice within the usual training activities and competition routines.

The seminar will be held by Alberto Cei and Mike Maric, on February 19, at the Centro di Preparazione Olimpica Giulio Onesti, Largo G.Onesti 1, Rome. Program and registration