Archive for the 'Corsa' Category

Perseverance and passion roots

“Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake.

Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked…

men the world over possess amounts of resource,

which only exceptional individuals push to their extremes of use.”

William James (1907), The Energies of Men, pp. 322-323

Not all the mistake are equals: rules from business to sport context

“A sophisticated understanding of failure’s causes and contexts will help to avoid the blame game and institute an effective strategy for learning from failure. Although an infinite number of things can go wrong … mistakes fall into three broad categories:

Preventable - Most failures in this category can indeed be considered “bad.” They usually involve deviations from spec in the closely defined processes of high-volume or routine operations … With proper training and support, employees can follow those processes consistently. When they don’t, deviance, inattention, or lack of ability is usually the reason. But in such cases, the causes can be readily identified and solutions developed.

Complexity-related –  A large number of …failures are due to the inherent uncertainty of work. A particular combination of needs, people, and problems may have never occurred before  … To consider them bad is not just a misunderstanding of how complex systems work; it is counterproductive. Avoiding consequential failures means rapidly identifying and correcting small failures.

Intelligent - Failures in this category can rightly be considered “good,” because they provide valuable new knowledge that can help an organization leap ahead of the competition and ensure its future growth—which is why the Duke University professor of management Sim Sitkin calls them intelligent failures. They occur when experimentation is necessary: when answers are not knowable in advance because this exact situation hasn’t been encountered before and perhaps never will be again.”

(By Amy C. Edmondson)

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Be focused to be tough

... the most important aspect of mental toughness in Tennis !

The focus is on the present. To show a consistent focus during all the points means be tough.

Think, talk and walk

We live between a fall and the following. So it doesn’t matter to spend to much to learn how to do not to fall. It’s more relevant training ourselves to reduce problems caused by impact on the ground and to get back up quickly.

Think, speak and walk can be a good way to respond to the difficulties.

Think, it refers to know what it could happen and the choice of strategies to reduce this chance and still manage it in his favour when it happens.

Talk, it means to share with others, such as our fears and building what to do in those moments and the choice of those who can guide or help us.

Walk, it means keep moving never stopping just to confirm that we can no longer go on. There is always a way to pursue also if many times we must look for it tenaciously.

The use of meditation in sport

The use of mindfulness seems to be one of the new strategies and techniques to train mentally athletes to stay focused on the present and on their performances, rather than be dominated by competitive stress. It want to remember that 40 years ago transcendental meditation and zen were already described as modes suitable to sports. At this regard, I report what had written at that time  two of the sports psychologists who have provided significant contributions in term of innovation and efficiency of their approach.

Robert Nideffer (1976) in the book “The inner athlete”:

“Trascendental meditation (TM) procedures can be helpful in improving an athlete’s general feeling of well-being as well as increasing his energy level and his ability to concentrate … they are very useful to athletes who engage in endurance events which require little in the way of external attention … keeps him from becoming locked into negative, self-defeating thoughts and feelings … most applicable in those competitive situations where an athlete’s responses require non thought, where movements have been learned so well that they have become automatic … complicated gymnastics routines or dives are often practiced to the point where they are almost reflexive” (p.179).

Terry Orlick (1980) in the book “In pursuit of excellence”:

“Thinking is useful in many ways, but there some occasions when thinking interferes with the task and you have to leave it behind …

In such cases, you cease to be your own conscious master but become an instrument in the hands of the unknown. The unknown has no ego-consciousness and consequently no thought of winning the contest … it is for this reason that sword moves where it ought to move and makes the contest end victoriously. This is the practical application of the Lao-tzuan doctrine of doing by not doing” (p.146, corsivo è di Daisetz Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture).

The athletes’ main psychological mistakes

The athletes’ main psychological mistakes:

  1. Think that feel healthy is enough to do the best.
  2. Visualize the race without providing for the possible difficulties that could be happened and not provide a way to solve them.
  3. Be too much/little activated, driven by the desire to win or the fear of not succeeding.
  4. Be so much worried about the race and not focused on the present but on what might happen of negative.
  5. Not thinking the difficulties during the race as a normal part of the performance but as personal incompetence.

Who is accountable of the long term athlete development?

Confidence is a relevant topic for the psychologists and very often the coaches use it to point out the errors of their athletes are caused by a deficiency in this psychological dimension. Sometimes this explanation is used to hide the coaches’ mistakes but other highlights limits in psychological development.

On this topic we can say a lot. One such example comes from the interationist approach to the study of personality, it explains the behaviors are derived from the relationship between the personality, the situational challenges, the specific skills and expectations of the social environment.

Since the question is so complicated, no one among athletes, coaches and staff, sports organizations and parents can shirk their responsibilities, which determine the athlete long term development.

How many address the issue of poor performances with this vision? How many clubs are organized to meet this need, taking into account these variables?

Self-Efficacy in track & field

Creating Confidence: The Four Sources of Self-Efficacy

Matthew Buns, Assistant Cross Country and Track & Field Coach, Concordia University, St. Paul

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford

Rarely in competitive athletics is the importance of the mind doubted. Specialists in sport psychology are often asked some variation of the question “How do I make my athletes more confident?” There are many aspects of training and competing that may shake an athlete’s confidence, from the importance of the event, to fearing certain fellow competitors, to the challenge of the race course. Coaches often wish for their athletes to simply trust in their training, but it’s not always as simple as that. The purpose of this article is to provide a blueprint for coaches to teach mental readiness and demonstrate why it can be just as critical to performance as physical readiness. A coach does not need to be a sport psychologist in order to realize how performance improves with a mental edge in track and field. In order to be mentally ready to compete and put forth an optimal performance in track and field, athletes must be confident in themselves’ and have a high level of self-esteem. Above this, an athlete must possess something more specific: a high level of self-efficacy. Self- efficacy, in and of itself, has been shown to be a better predictor of performance than just outcome expectations (goal setting) before a performance and as good of a predictor as anxiety levels (Gernigon & Dolloye, 2003). It is one of the most important, situation specific, mental aspects that a track and field coach can instill within their athletes.

A new scientific Journal in the world of sport sciences

A new scientific Journal in the world of sport sciences.

“We wanted to focus on a quality journal, a prestigious publication that could, in some way, convey to a wide readership our point of view on the evolution of training, and, in particular, on the evolution of strength training applied to weightlifting …

Strength was a major element in standing up to observe and do- minate the surrounding area and beyond: slowly and steadily or with bursts of strength, mankind has come a long way. Strength was also paramount to the develop- ment of man’s cognitive abilities, the ability to move in his immedia- te surroundings, to interact with the environment and to process the ensuing stimuli …

We must invest in culture, the vehicle with which we can spread knowledge and experience. The world of sport needs to reflect on the importance of culture and we feel it is our duty to set the ball rol- ling and continue on this journey.”

(Source: Editorial Antonio Urso EWF President)



Coaches’ competences to improve

Mental coaching for coaches, analogous to that of managers, is a project not yet so widespread in the world of sports. This article highlights the main areas of improvement required to coach and how to organize an individual improvement plan.

(Source: European WeitghtLifting Federation Scientific Magazine, Alberto Cei, Coaching Skills, 2016, 4, 16-23.