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Book review: Lo sport domani

Flavio Tranquillo

Lo sport domani

Costruire una nuova cultura

Add Editore  p.137,  2020

Questo libro parla di quale sia la cultura dello sport dominante nel nostro paese e soprattutto ne mette in luce le criticità che derivano non tanto da limiti organizzativi ma piuttosto dal modo di pensare lo sport. Forse la sintesi più recente di questo tipo di mindset si è evidenziata nel Rapporto per il rilancio “Italia 2020-2022- del gruppo coordinato da Vittorio Colao, nel quale Tranquillo evidenzia che non è mai nominata la parola sport. Ci vorrebbe una discontinuità politico-istituzionale, una rigenerazione complessiva continua l’Autore, che metta in luce come il binomio Sport-Cultura non sia nel nostro paese così accettato e tantomeno promosso.

Il filo conduttore del libro è centrato intorno a questa idea e viene svolta una critica costruttiva e precisa sullo sport concepito solo secondo parametri economici e del conseguimento della vittoria. Se questa è l’impostazione, Tranquillo ci ricorda che nel calcio l’1% dei tesserati (1.000.000) è un giocatore professionista (12.000). Quindi, se ciò che conta è solo il parametro economico, un atleta può rappresentare un esempio positivo per i giovani? In altre parole si ritorna sempre alla stessa domanda in che modo il calcio, come ogni altro sport, può produrre valore sociale e qual è il ruolo delle star dello sport?

Il libro pone altre questioni irrisolte come quello del finto dilettanstimo, degli atleti che a fine a carriera si trovano senza educazione e risparmi e nessuno aiuto predisposto dalle loro organizzazioni sportive. Per non parlare delle nostre scuole superiori che non sono come quelle americane in cui si può praticare sport all’interno delle stesse strutture  scolastiche. E’ un libro di denuncia dell’appiattimento dello sport italiano su strategie solo pensate per la realizzazione di obiettivi a breve termine ma priva di una visione strategica orientata nel tempo.

In conclusione, Tranquillo citando Piero Calamandrei e David Hollander propone che una via di uscita consista nel considerare lo sport come una metafora della vita e che solo con questo approccio sarà possibile sviluppare una cultura dello sport propositiva nei confronti dei valori base espressi dalla nostra società.

Breathing coaching

These are the topics of my workshop titled:
Development of psychological skills in high potential athletes: 
breathing as a key tool to build mental skills programs
Online European Conference Psychology of Elite Sports Performance - November 21-22, 2020, Universidade Lusófona, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Self-control
  • The breathing: a long story
  • Breathing and human basic motivation
  • Breathing during the competitions
  • Breathing and cognitive processes
  • How to improve self-control through breathing
  • The breathing into the training programs
  • The practice

Tennis mental training






If all is subjective, we lost the values

Interview at Giuseppe De Rita on

So what? Where do these violent and widespread behaviors come from? They are the result of a collective culture, to which the bourgeoisie is certainly no stranger, which enhances the competitive part of each of us. They are the children of a great wave of subjectivism that, if it is not governed by ethics, comes to produce this reality. We have taught our children that it is necessary to emerge, to excel, there are those who can do it by going to train at Bocconi, doing internships in companies of name. And who, instead, tries to emerge in his community with what he has: martial arts, muscles, the big voice, what it takes to overcome others. Nothing new: those who have less culture express themselves in this way, they rely on physicality to appear, to emerge”.

In short, a desolating anthropological desert.Subjectivity is the real evil of these last 50 years. If everything becomes subjective, subjective is also ethics and the search for freedom from everything and at all costs. This is how it is among young people who fight or rape to emerge as in the world of economics: if we recognize that personal subjectivity wins over everything, then it is easy to understand how to get to Colleferro”.

My books

Role and effects of the experience


The mindset grow orientedmindset

A growth-oriented mindset is revealed when an athlete is convinced that his/her most basic skills can be developed through dedication and hard work, with the knowledge that intelligence and talent are only the starting point. This idea of themselves lays the foundations for researching and appreciating learning and creates a resistance to adversity essential to achieving a great result.

Based on these ideas, one can say that an athlete with a growth-oriented mentality in his/her daily life and in the most stressful events demonstrates these beliefs:

  1. You grow up, you learn.
  2. Intelligence and talent are the basic start point of any success story
  3. Challenges and mistakes are the only opportunity to learn
  4. Maximum commitment, greater competence
  5. Time and hard work are the best ways to improve
  6. Giving up on commitment is the only real kind of failure
  7. Setbacks are a sign of the need to work harder and more consciously
  8. Competitors’ success is stimulating and motivating
  9. Failure is the best learning tool
  10. Feedback and criticism are essential for progress and development

How often do you think like that?

Memories about the Olympics that there won’t be

It would have been a great time, probably I would have gone to Tokyo, to the Olympics with the Chinese shooting team, after a year working with them since the 2019 World Championships. I would also have followed some Italian athletes. Like the athletes I was preparing for this unique event, the Olympics, which I have always participated in with federations or individual athletes since Atlanta 1996.

I still keep the T-shirts of each edition and the memories of the most important moments are very clear and vivid in my memory. For example, when the president of shooting told me: “Doctor, are you always so calm?” I said, “Mr. President, if you see me anxious, you’ll start to worry.” I had experiences that I would never have imagined, athletes men and women, who won a medal in the final, who two hours earlier were in panic, nausea, pure terror of not knowing what to do to win. I had to talk to them, certainly not giving them a pat on the back or telling them not to worry that they were strong.

Almost always the coaches let me talk with them saying: “Alberto, you take care of it”. I lived those moments listening phrases like: “I’m so terrified that I seem calm”, “I’m not going out of here, “I’m going home”, “Tell me what to do”, “If I try to imagine what I’m going to do, I think all wrong”, “I’ve been through the final a thousand times and now I’m just nervous”.

The first time, in Atlanta, I wasn’t ready to face a situation like this. I had thought about what unexpected events might happen but I hadn’t anticipated the panic in a finalist’s mind less than one hour from the start. Luciano Giovannetti, the team’s head coach, winner in the past of two gold medals in Moscow and Los Angeles, told me: “You’re the psychologist, you talk to him”. I went to where the shooter was eating something and he told me he didn’t want to leave the tent for the final, total panic. At that point he was really close to the start of the competition and I began to talk reminding him of all the sacrifices he had made in those years to arrive prepared for this moment, the decisive one. I spoke to him for a few minutes during which his mood changed, he found the vitality necessary for an Olympic final. When he started the final, he missed one of the first clay pigeons and he turned around looking back. Then he told us that he had said these words: “If you quit now, you’re an asshole, just concentrate!”. It worked, he won the silver medal.

From this experience I learned that it’s really true that the winners are the ones who go through this emotional hell and control it. Second lesson, the staff is also decisive for the winners, otherwise they run the risk of succumbing, just when they have to face the decisive moments of a race.

The Olympics are one of the three most important sporting events, along with the Football World Cup and the Tour de France. In Italy our top athletes, called “Probable Olympics” are about 800, of these about 300 participate in the Olympics, less than half are among the top 10 in the world of their sport and usually, Italy wins 25 medals, putting us among the 10 most winning nations. In essence, there are about twenty top athletes who have won medals at the Summer Olympic Games on a starting base of about 800. This data highlights the extreme difficulty of achieving such a success. It allows us to understand the immense joy of those who win a medal but also the immense disappointment of those who, despite their skills, have not succeeded. It is not rhetorical to say that the Olympics have an immense value for each of them and that more and better should be done to develop and safeguard the talent, the health and motivation of these people we call athletes.

When in track & field we were innovative in science and training

Un libro dedicato a tre grandi della protagonisti della scienza dello sport e dell’allenamento nell’atletica leggera.

Segui il webinar della FIDAL di presentazione del libro venerdì 12 giugno alle 14.30

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