Archive for the 'Giovani' Category

The fundamentals of the mental training

It is important for a coach and psychologist to understand the basis of the psychological training.

It’s about answering the question of what aspects are the basis for mental improvement in young people. I would say that from the age of 14, one can introduce an activity centered essentially on mental education for sports. The purpose is twofold. Those who will continue in their development as athletes will begin to develop the mental skills they will need, while those who will not follow this specialized path will have had the opportunity to learn skills that will be useful to them forever.

With this approach we are always in the area of teaching what it is necessary to learn, from the mental point of view, to learn to compete effectively or successfully overcome challenging situations (even non-sporting).

  1. Self-control - to improve it you can start by learning to take deep breaths, it predisposes to reduce physical and mental tension, increases the concentration on training tasks and the use of visualization.
  2. Proprioceptive awareness - Essential for an athlete to know how to move, what are the sensations to be perceived, for example during the warm-up, to know if how I think I’m moving corresponds to how I’m really moving.
  3. Talking to yourself - you have to learn to talk to yourself in a way that is helpful and encouraging, in every training and competition situation. This is simple to understand but difficult to practice if you don’t live in an environment geared in this direction.
  4. Be task-oriented - We need to embrace the concept that “we improve through our efforts”, so the feedback I give to myself should relate first to the quality of effort and only after the result.
  5. Visualize the sports actions - the mental repetition of sport technique and tactics is indispensable in each part of the training process, for beginners as well as for experienced athletes.

These, in my opinion, are the main skills to be developed in young athletes at the beginning of the training process.

10 rules to build the confidence

Confidence builders

  1. Plan successes on daily base
  2. Live with positive people
  3. Stay focused on what you can do
  4. Ask yourself to destroy your fears
  5. Build an optimistic assessment of you bad performances
  6. Be your most important fan
  7. Try harder and persist longer under adversity
  8. Assess your performances with the mindset to do better next time
  9. Be excited about your present and future
  10. Practice daily self-control

North American sport psychology pioneers

Gloria Balague, Daniel Gould and Glyn Roberts (2020) North American sport psychology pioneers. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 51, 456-479.

Article of great relevance for those who want to understand the development of sport psychology, written by three leaders of this development in the last 40 years.

Our review of sport psychology in North America provides a context for helping us understand where we are in the field today. First, sport psychology has a long history with individuals from both the field of psychology and phys- ical education/kinesiology making strong contributions. Moving forward it is best to look at the benefits those trained in each area bring to the sport psy- chology and not fall prey to arguing about whose training is the best. Second, both researchers and practitioners have helped advance the field to where it is today. Researchers and practitioners must respect each other’s contributions and work together adopting a research to practice and practice to research orientation. Third, pioneers who made the largest contributions to sport psy- chology devoted significant portions, if not all of their time to the field and worked consistently across time. Fourth, while there were true pioneers who helped move the field forward, we should be careful not to fall prey to the great man or women approach to history. The field really took off in North America when large numbers of researchers, teachers and consultants started working in the field forward, often with some anonymity. Finally, the field has been and will be influenced by larger social and cultural events such as eco- nomic downturns, wars and pandemics as well as changes in educational and sport organizations (e.g., emphasis placed on grants at major universities, Safe sport legislation to protect youth from sexual predators). Those specializing in the field in the future must discover how to keep in mind the values and lessons learned from the pioneers that have allowed for growth while also adapting to these larger cultural and institutional changes.

The training characteristics

The factors that make up training.

  1. Duration - you need to practice for a long time in order for your body and mind to adapt effectively to the effort to do.
  2. Intensity - it reveals the desire to tackle challenging tasks and react immediately to mistakes.
  3. Frequency - you must repeat, repeat, repeat and then repeat again. For how long? Long enough.
  4. Recovery - you must know how to rest physically and mentally. You can’t just spend.
  5. Thinking - you must think to evaluate the work being done. To learn to appreciate yourself, be grateful to those who teach you.                          Understand how you can do better next time.

How to learn to improve

Learning to compete is one of the stages of an athlete’s development.

One must train to compete. One learns to ride a bike by riding a bike. One learns to write by writing.

In other words, you learn by practicing doing something, which in our case is the competition. Only the exercise, motivated (for those who do it) and intelligent (for those who propose it, the coach) allows one to achieve excellence. We all possess the ability to practice, let’s use it.

After the exercise, we need to develop the capacity for self-analysis. This involves a meeting with oneself after the competition is over to ask oneself:

  • What skills did I use today?
  • What limits have I overcome?
  • What limits do I still need to overcome?
  • How am I better?

Following this approach is learning how to compete.

Imagery in the pitch

World Autism Awareness Day

genitori « Alberto Cei

Choose a heroic model

In 1647, Baltasar Gracian, a Jesuit, published a small book containing 300 short writings, useful in facing the dangers of life and providing free souls with a path to make their mark in civil and political life.
Here is one for reflection.

Choose a heroic model

More to emulate than to imitate. There are examples of greatness, living texts of reputation. Each in his role measure himself against those who are first, not so much to follow them as to surpass them.Alexander did not mourn Achilles when he saw his tomb, but himself, not yet blossoming into fame. There is no thing that awakens ambitions in the soul like the clarification of the fame of others: the same that, while destroying envy, feeds nobility.

Gracian interweaves here two different anecdotes illustrated by Plutarch in the parallel Lives of Alexander and Caesar: Alexander the Great does not weep in front of Achilles’ tomb, but honors his memory declaring him lucky to have had a faithful friend in life and a singer of his deeds after death; Caesar, instead, wept while reading a book about Alexander the Great because even though he had reached the same age, he had not yet equaled his fame.

The routine relevance

The routine prevents a decrease in performance after a break [Warm-Up Decrement, WUD].

This decrement is particularly noticeable in sports where there are short breaks in play, at the end of which athletes must immediately deliver high-level performance.

Ttime-out in team sports:

  1. Often dictated not only by technical reasons, but by the reason to block a favorable phase of play of the opponents. These breaks determine a reduction in activation, which manifests itself through a temporary loss of that optimal internal condition that allows to provide an effective performance.
  2. The athlete before resuming the game must readjust his internal system and his attention to the demands of the performance so as to be ready to respond again.

The best warm-up is one that encompasses the critical elements of the performance to be performed.

Indicated in preparation for performing closed skills where a high degree of environmental stability is present and the athlete can carefully prepare to select the response and execute it.

It has been shown that experienced athletes, compared to subjects of lower levels, devote more time to the routine

Athletes who have participated in the Olympics:

  1. in wrestling, athletes who have won a medal systematically implement specific pre-race routines for the duration of the Olympic tournament, while those in the same U.S. team with inferior results used it much less continuously (they did not perform it before matches they considered easy or undemanding)
  2. in swimmers, their routines are divided into two parts, the first dedicated to the race plan and the second to its implementation.

Self-Motivation: Three good reasons & some strategies

Renato Villalta with the Italian basketball team played 207 games, ranking 7th in the attendance chart and scoring 2265 points, 3rd overall among scorers; he participated in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, winning the silver medal, after losing the final 77-86 against Yugoslavia. In 1983 in France, in Limoges, again with the National team, he won the gold medal at the European Championships and the silver medal at the Mediterranean Games. In 1984, together with his national teammates, he finished in 5th place at the Los Angeles Olympics. In 1985 he gained another medal at the European Championships in Germany, winning the bronze medal behind the USSR and Czechoslovakia. The following year, at the World Championships in Spain, the team placed sixth.