Archive for the 'Calcio' Category

How to manage the subjective habits

The main subjective interferences that a coach can commit when evaluating his or her athlete or team.

  1. Stereotypes. Stereotypes are group prejudices that tend to reinforce specific characteristics of the group: “Italian teams play well only at home, while abroad they suffer their opponents.”
  2. Influence of personal feelings. Sympathy and dislike are variables that must be controlled by the coach: “When that player asks me something I never know how to say no to him.”
  3. Personal equation. Tendency to evaluate others in the way we evaluate ourselves, and consequent tendency to positively examine those who have the same characteristics as us and negatively those who have different characteristics: “I see myself in him as a young man”.
  4. First impression. “First impression is what counts” is a phrase that is often said: It’s useless, from the first time I didn’t like it.
  5. Halo effect. It consists in attributing a value to an individual on the basis of a single criterion or a single competence: “He cares so much about what he does, I didn’t expect him to make these mistakes.”
  6. Contrast effect. When in a team or in a sports group made up of mid-level athletes, a young person arrives even slightly higher level, his evaluation risks becoming excessively positive and reducing the cohesion of the group: “That boy is definitely superior, he is wasted on us; for the skills he shows he should play at another level.

Athletes’ daily mindset

Jurgen Klopp’s 10 rules for success

Jurgen Klopp’s 10 rules of success.

  1. Improve your environment - We only have one life and we must do everything we can to make it the best possible. Make people enjoy meeting you for what you are doing to improve their environment.
  2. Build memorable experiences - Play unforgettable games, be curious and eager to play the next game to see what will happen, and that’s what football should be. If you take this attitude, you will be 100% successful.
  3. Live in the moment - if you live in the future, forget that you can change it significantly. If you live in the past, however, it can be good to relive your best moments. But we are in the middle of our lives and if we want to do something for our family and for others we have to be 100% in the present.
  4. Building a family - we are not alone in the world, we must be a group. To succeed, we have to be together with the team and the fans.
  5. Be confident - you have to learn how to deal with hard times and defeats. The most important thing about football is that you are responsible for everyone, so you have to be confident to arrive at the moment when you are ready. It’s always difficult from day one and you take it one step at a time.
  6. Keep trying - when you win it’s great and when you lose it doesn’t mean you’re incapable, you have to be convinced that what matters is to keep trying even if you don’t know how long it will take you to succeed.
  7. Learn from your experience - you don’t have to live in the past but life is so fast that you have to learn to use your own experience or that of other people to avoid the same mistakes.
  8. Be disciplined - Never abandon your goals, always stay focused. Certainly teaching this to young footballers is difficult. It’s much more than believing in it, because you can believe in something but also easily lose that belief, that’s why it’s more important to feel strong in difficult times.
  9. Being passionate - You have to use tactics with your heart. You have to live the game intensely, otherwise it’s boring.
  10. Express energy - Most of the time I’m not an emotional person, but during the game something strange happens and if I saw myself from the outside I’d say: “Are you crazy?”

English football promotes the mental health

English football moves to promote a national campaign to promote mental health.

(L to R) Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire and Jordan Pickford

In the stadiums, before the game there will be showed a video in which Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s manager, will admit that his family “stored a lot of emotions, feelings and sometimes anxiety”, and his former teammate Joe Cole will describe how he practiced yoga when he felt anxious, “centering himself and getting back to the zone.”

Many footballers have developed a desire to help others like Tottenham’s Dele Alli: “There are so many people struggling with their mental health, so I want to help people understand that they don’t have to face it alone.”

Team supporters in particular are mostly men, around 15 million, who with great difficulty admit they have mental problems and usually are not committed to dealing with them. The message of the players easily will reach a very large audience and will be of great help because it comes from other men, who are part of the teams whose fans they are.

Similar statements come from managers like Slaven Bilić, West Bromwich Albion, who said that without a good mental condition he would not be able to transmit energy and ideas to his players. And Rosella Ayane, a Tottenham player, explains: “Turning off your mobile phone, Twitter and Instagram allows you to live fully your time  and only in this way you make a big difference.”

The Mauthausen midfielder

There are extraordinarily authentic stories, which time consigns to oblivion, until, in the meanders of memory, someone finds the courage to sink to bring them back to light. This is the case of the journalist Francesco Veltri from Cosenza, Italy, who, with a book, intense and exciting, entitled Il mediano di Mauthausen published by Darkos (a publishing house that is part of the prestigious Gruppo Rusconi), tells about the footballer Vittorio Staccione.

But Staccione is no ordinary footballer, not because he has played in Cosenza, as well as Torino and Fiorentina. This little great champion, in fact, just thirty-one years old leaves football so as not to bow his head in front of the horror that was devastating the world. A courageous choice that, unfortunately, will prove fatal for his life because in a short time it will lead him to the terrible extermination camp of Mauthausen where he will be killed by the Nazis.


The course of days, as a boy, changed positively on a cold winter afternoon in 1915. He had just turned eleven and was playing football with his friends in a bumpy field in the working-class district in Turin, when he was noticed by Enrico Bachmann, the legendary captain of Torino. In just a few years, that humble little man, who was a midfielder and sacrificed his role, became an important part of his city’s team, until he won the Scudetto together with champions like Libonatti, Baloncieri and Rossetti.

But Vittorio also alternated his passion for football with his passion for politics. The social struggles within the factories and the growing poverty led the young and pure Turin footballer not to bow his head in the face of all kinds of abuse, especially in the years when fascism began to become increasingly present in our country. In 1927 he was hired by the ambitious Fiorentina of Marquis Luigi Ridolfi, a close friend of the Duce’s, who was loved by the fans, but this did not prevent him from suffering countless intimidations. In 1931, and for three seasons, he played in the red and blue Cosenza football jersey.

The book written by Francesco Veltri is a passionate journalistic investigation that is mixed with history, a publication enriched by unpublished photos provided by the Staccione family to honor the great Vittorio with the collaboration, in particular, of Federico Molinaro, great-grandson of the footballer. Eraldo Pecci, who wrote the preface of the book, also pays tribute to him








Ibrahimovic: the True Grit

What do you to say at this man. Ibrahimovic is the grit in person. He’s the True Grit, he’s the John Wayne of Milan. The young players have a chance to become adult players under his guidance.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring the second goal in their away victory over Cagliari.

Learn not only from sports and from the current experts

Leopold Auer was an Hungarian  conductor and violinist, he lived between 1845 and 1930, and he was the mentor of the best musician of that period. He teached that the learning is not a question of hours, it needs always the integration between time devoted to the practice and concentration.

“The right kind of practice is not a matter of hours. Practice should represent the utmost concentration of brain. It is better to play with concentration for two hours than to practice eight without. I should say that four hours would be a good maximum practice time. I never ask more of my pupils and that during each minute of the time the brain be as active as the fingers.”

Leopold Auer.jpg

To change?

If the only permanent thing in life is change, we must become not too attached to our habits, which we should first abandon.

The football team mindset

Per mentalità s’intende il modo di concepire, intendere, giudicare avvenimenti individuali e sociali. La partita di calcio è una tipica situazione di confronto sociale fra due squadre, ognuna delle quali vuole imporre il proprio modo di giocare attraverso le azioni svolte dai calciatori durante l’arco dei 90 minuti.

Conoscere la mentalità di una squadra permette di prevedere come reagirà di fronte a situazioni emotivamente intense, come ad esempio subire un goal decisivo negli ultimi minuti di una partita. Permette inoltre di sapere quali sono i giocatori che reagiranno meglio o peggio in situazioni imprevedibili.

La mentalità di una squadra è determinata da un insieme di fattori tra loro interagenti che comprendono:

  • La qualità organizzativa della Società di calcio – Il sistema organizzativo consiste fra l’altro nell’insieme delle strategie  e strutture organizzative, nel sistema decisionale, nel sistema di programmazione e controllo, nello stile di leadership, cultura, clima e valori. Migliore è l’efficienza e l’efficacia della qualità organizzativa, migliore sarà la capacità della squadra e dell’allenatore a giocare con una mentalità vincente.
  • La qualità dell’immagine della Società di calcio – Si riferisce alla soddisfazione dei bisogni di appartenenza e di identificazione della squadra e dei suoi stakeholder. Questa dimensione riguarda in prevalenza, l’autorevolezza della leadership societaria, la sua credibilità, la personalità e la competenza professionale delle sue figure chiave, i risultati e il prestigio conquistati nel tempo.
  • Gli obiettivi della squadra -  Si riferisce agli obiettivi della stagione in corso (ad esempio, vincere il campionato, arrivare tra le prime quattro, restare in Serie A) sono obiettivi di risultato. Vi sono poi  anche  obiettivi di  prestazione (raggiungere un determinato standard prestativo individuale e collettivo) e obiettivi di processo (centrati sul miglioramento di singole abilità tecnico-tattiche, psicologiche e fisiche). Riguarda, inoltre, lo sviluppo di una mentalità di squadra che sia in grado di darsi in campo nuovi obiettivi in relazione alle diverse fasi di gioco di una partita. Comporta il sapere sfruttare a proprio favore i momenti positivi di un match, così come richiede la presenza di un piano pre-ordinato per affrontare le fasi di gioco negative o di maggior tensione agonistica.
  • La qualità tecnico-tattica della squadra – Si riferisce al bagaglio di competenze calcistiche e alla loro integrazione nel gioco di squadra, che determina molto di più della semplice somma delle qualità dei singoli calciatori. Maggiore è la competenza tecnico-tattica della squadra associata a un ottimale grado di preparazione fisica, maggiore è la probabilità che la squadra sappia affrontare ogni fase della partita con la mentalità vincente.
  • L’intelligenza collettiva – Si esprime attraverso prestazioni che sono superiori a quelle che ognuno potrebbe fornire singolarmente.  La qualità tecnico-tattica è parte dell’intelligenza collettiva; la coesione e la convinzione si riferiscono ai suoi aspetti relazionali e cognitivo-sociali. Quindi la domanda che bisogna porsi è la seguente: “in che modo i calciatori devono interagire in campo allo scopo di mostrarsi uniti e fiduciosi delle proprie competenze di squadra?” Napoleone era solito dire di vincere le sue battaglie anche con i sogni dei suoi soldati, questa frase è una metafora efficace di cosa si debba intendere per intelligenza collettiva.
  • L’orientamento motivazionale dei calciatori – I calciatori e la squadra nel suo complesso devono manifestare una mentalità orientata alla crescita e non pensare, invece, che la mentalità vincente sia qualcosa di data una volta per tutte e che non debba essere allenata in modo continuativo. La tabella 3 mostra le differenze fra chi ritiene che la mentalità sia un’entità statica e scarsamente modificabile e quelli che invece ritengono che la mentalità può essere ulteriormente sviluppata quale che sia il livello a cui si gioca. Un esempio di applicazione al calcio di questo concetto può riguardare l’acquisto di un calciatore. Generalmente questo avviene sulla base del bagaglio tecnico e tattico, si ritiene così che un giocatore che fornisce ottime prestazioni in una squadra debba per forza farlo anche in un’altra poiché la sua abilità lo garantisce. In molti casi questo però non è avvenuto e ciò è probabilmente da attribuire a questa idea statica della mentalità che non tiene conto delle diverse condizioni che vi sono tra un club e l’altro e come queste influenzano l’adattamento del calciatore e di conseguenza la qualità delle sue prestazioni.


Diagramma della mentalità (modificato da Dweck, 2009)

Mentalità  statica

Mentalità orientata alla crescita

Intelligenza statica Intelligenza può essere sviluppata
Evita le sfide Affronta le sfide
Reagisce agli ostacoli in modo difensivo o rinuncia Persiste di fronte alle difficoltà e agli insuccessi
L’impegno è poco considerato L’impegno è percepito come il mezzo per padroneggiare
Ignora le valutazioni negative costruttive Impara dalle valutazioni negative costruttive
E’ spaventato dai successi degli altri Impara dai successi degli altri
Raggiunge rapidamente uno standard prestativo ma è inferiore al suo potenziale Raggiunge elevati livelli di successo
  • Lo stile di leadership dell’allenatore – Ogni squadra ha un leader che la guida ed è responsabile delle prestazioni che vengono fornite, questo leader è l’allenatore. Non deve sottrarsi a questo ruolo che è di guida nei confronti del gruppo, di distributore di ruoli e di compiti da svolgere con precisione  e fermezza. E’ il principale motivatore della squadra, deve conoscerne la psicologia così da trarne fuori il meglio che sia possibile.

Be aware of our strength points

One difficulty of the athletes, and to a greater extent the younger ones, is related to talking about their strengths, while they are much more focused on talking about their mistakes.

Certainly it is not wrong to be aware of the mistakes and to be focused to overcoming them with training.

The opposite is valid in competition. It’s more useful to focus on what to do to compete at the best and this only happens by putting the best skills in action.

Athletes often say: “I’m very focused on improving myself and I think little about what I’m able to do.”

The objective should be twofold: to train to improve but also to be aware of our skills (physical, technical-tactical and mental).

For example, we can start from the performance goals and stimulate athletes to identify the skills they need to achieve them, in other words, stimulate them to reflect and write down what their strengths are, what they do when competing at their best, so as to put in their mental desktop the skills to use in the race and especially those that want to use more when they are under pressure.