Archive for the 'Calcio' Category

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Review: motor coordination, autism

The sport is increasingly getting closer to the world of youth with autism (ASD) and it can be of considerable help in improving their motor skills and their degree of autonomy, reducing the risk of acquiring a sedentary lifestyle. This review, although published a few years ago, provides valuable information to those who want to propose physical education and sports programs for young with ASD. They are not practical information but those theories, science-based, that who is approaching these young  should know (obviously along with many others).

Motor Coordination in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Synthesis and Meta-Analysis

Kimberly A. Fournier, Chris J. Hass, Sagar K. Naik, Neha Lodha, and James H. Cauraugh

J Autism Dev Disord (2010) 40:1227–1240

The literature focusing on gross motor behavior and development in ASD is plagued by inconsistent findings.

ASD is associated with greater clumsiness, motor coordination abnormalities, postural instability, and poor performance on standardized tests of motor functioning

Several studies failed to detect differences between children with ASD and those with learning disabilities or mental retardation, general developmental delay and language disorders across reflexive, intentional, fine and gross motor tasks.

These studies provide critical information regarding the types of motor impairments seen in ASD, but the specific patterns and sources of motor deficits in this population remain unclear.

Other approaches to elucidating motor components of ASD include neural signaling. Abnormal transmission in the serotonergic, dopaminergic, and GABAergic systems, frequently observed in ASD, may potentially affect motor performance

Individuals with ASD have larger total brain, cerebellar and caudate nucleus volumes; however, the area of the corpus callosum is reduced.

Several related studies in which motor behavior was evaluated using home videos of children later diagnosed with ASD compared to typically developing children demonstrated motor differences within the first 2 years of age.

This review study showed:

Differences in motor performance observed are not dependent upon a specific diagnosis within ASD. Indeed, individuals diagnosed with autism, globally as ASD, or Asperger’s syndrome all possessed significant motor deficits compared to the individuals with normal neurologic development.

An immature postural system may severely limit the emergence and performance of other motor skills.

Movement disturbances such as akinesia, dyskinesia and bradykinesia may affect a person’s ability to initiate, switch, continue or effectively communicate, interact socially, or perform activities of daily living.

That motor coordination deficits were more prevalent in individuals diagnosed with ASD than in controls with neurologically typical development.

Consistent evidence for an increase in total brain volume as well as specific brain regions including the cerebral hemispheres, caudate nucleus, and cerebellum in autism. Conversely, the corpus callosum was consistently reduced in size. Moreover, post mortem studies have detailed increased numbers of altered cortical mini-columns that may lead to a less well-organized cerebral cortex and less integration among brain regions reported children with high functioning autism demonstrated diffusely decreased connectivity across the motor execution network relative to children with normal neurodevelopment.

Children with high functioning autism had significantly smaller grey matter volumes in subcortical, posterior cingulate, and precuneus regions than those diagnosed with Asperger’s. Compared to controls, smaller grey matter volumes in predominantly frontopallidal regions were observed in high functioning autism where as in Asperger’s less grey matter was observed in bilateral caudate and left thalamus. It has been found higher white matter volumes around the basal ganglia in high functioning autism than in Asperger’s or controls. Both ASD groups, however, possessed greater white matter volume than controls. Conversely, both ASD groups had less frontal and corpus collasol white matter.

Taken together these mechanistic findings suggest a broad, large area with disarranged neuronal organization and cortical connectivity across ASD.

The tactics in sports

The tactic is a key factor of success in many sports, not just team sports. In summary, it’s to do the right thing at the right time and therefore requires timing, precision, awareness and quickness. They are skills that athletes must develop, otherwise they will probably perform doing the right thing at the wrong time or even they choked because dominated by performance anxiety.

The tactic consists of a set of factors that lead to sports action:

  • Have specific and achievable performance goals, adapted to the situational demands of the competition.
  • Know your skills and expertise, knowing the odds of success and risk.
  • Develop the situational awareness, perceive and analyze situations, choose between alternatives and use the personal insights.
  • Quickly change the action plan, if it does not produced the effects expected.
  • Act supported by thoughts and emotions.

Movimento special issue: women soccer (English abstract)

 

The culture of mental toughness

The development of mental toughness has often been regarded as a strictly individual factor and we have few information to understand how the sport organizations show and build their culture of toughness and how this promotes the athletes’ toughness .

The article by Eubanks, Nesti e Littlewood (2017), A culturally informed approach to mental toughness development in high performance sport, IJSP, 48, 206-222, revived some new insights about this topic.

The purpose is to explore the importance of culture in the development of Mental Toughness (MT). This is done by means of a critical review of the current literature that exists in relation to the conceptualisation, definition and development of the concept. We argue that despite recent advances in our understanding, most research into MT has focused on the characteristics of mentally tough individuals. Although important and useful, the role of the environment, culture and context, and how these impact MT and its development has been given somewhat less attention and is perhaps not well integrated into practice.

The notion of Mental Toughness (MT) being broadly represented by “the ability to achieve personal goals in the face of pressure from a wide range of different stressors” (Hardy et al., 2014).

One of the criticisms frequently levelled at psychology as an academic discipline is that it often focuses on the individual, and forgets, or ignores the environment within which the individual exists.

Culture may be best seen as the hidden yet influential force, involving core values, beliefs, and traditions that operates as a type of soft power, which shape the working practices, ideas, strategies and philosophies of groups and individuals.

Weinberg et al. (2011) focused on the views of ten National Collegiate Athletic Association head coaches, who reported that a tough physical practice environment, a positive men-tal environment and an environment that provided mental toughness awareness and learning opportunities were fundamental to MT development.

The authors said that is clear that the optimum environments to build MT are those that are imbued with a challenging and stimulating culture, where personal responsibility is emphasised in all things.

 

How the environment can influence our kids

The problems related to kid sports (and not just, think of the baby gang)  have always urged psychologists. At this regard I would like to recall that the issue came out not just in these last years but that back in 1980 Rainer Martens wrote a chapter called “Kid sports: A den of iniquity or a land of promise?” In conclusion, to explain how the environment can affect our young he reported these words, which today continue to be true.

Risultati immagini per if a child lives with criticism he learns to condemn

Provide feedback about commitment is a key point to learn

During the training to provide continuous feedback about commitment is a key point to enhance learning. Athletes should be aware about the commitment level they must show during exercises of every training session. The reasons why one should not engage just enough are as follows:

  • promotes technical errors
  • leads to a reduced focus on the task
  • reduces intrinsic motivation
  • obliges the coach to provide the same technical instructions, because the athletes often repeat the same mistakes and improve slowly
  • builds the habit to consider improving as something very hard to get
It is the responsibility of the coach:
  1. stimulate the commitment continuously
  2. accept that athletes just because they undertake with great intensity can commit more technical errors
  3. recognize first the commitment and secondly the technical aspects
  4. stimulate in athletes that the improvement comes by personal commitment
  5. teach be aware that the individual technical and motors limits can be discovered only by training with intensity and motivation
  6. teach to be satisfied of the personal commitment, although it not always determines the quality of performance
  7. teach be aware that the quality of performance is related to the commitment and it takes more than talent to be good athletes
  8. teach, in team sports, the intensity is a collective resource that no one should ignore and everyone should encourage the mates
  9. point out even before technical errors any lack of commitment
  10. explain what are the behaviors that show athletes who train with intensity and that we want to watch in our group

New proposals to diffuse sport among young

Aspen Institute launched a model of sport development for children and adolescents based on the most recent research in this area with the aim to increase their involvement in sport. The goal is to change the sport culture centered on the early start to a single sport, suggesting the validity of a multi-sports even for future elite athletes. This initiative also aims to increase the number of young physically active that in recent years is narrowing significantly. The project, developed together with the most important sports organizations and worldwide company has been called Project Play – Reimagining Youth Sport in America.

Fig. 6 Physical activity has long lasting benefits that affect all aspects of a child’s life and last into adulthood. (Courtesy of Aspen Institute Project Play) [Citation]