Archive for the 'Libri' Category

Book: Fondamenti di Psicologia dello Sport

Sport psychology is a discipline that has been able to carve out its own space within psychology and sports sciences and their teaching. The main topics that this subject deals with concern eight major areas: cognitive processes involved in motor control and sports performance; psychological skills involved in different types of disciplines; motivational processes; the role of the coach and training organization; sports programs for children; well-being and health; interpersonal skills and group dynamics; self-regulation processes, levels of activation and systems to deal with competitive stress. In “Fondamenti di psicologia dello sport” (Il Mulino, 296 pages, 27 euros) Alberto Cei illustrates the knowledge that sport psychology has acquired in these main areas and provides a panorama capable of satisfying teachers, students and also those who are interested or want to approach this discipline (Source: Tuttosport).

Book review: The Kaepernick Effect

The Kaepernick Effect

Taking a Knee, Changing the World
Dave Zirin

Riveting and inspiring first-person stories of how “taking a knee” triggered an awakening in sports, f  from the celebrated sportswriter

 “The Kaepernick Effect reveals that Colin Kaepernick’s story is bigger than one athlete. With profiles  of courage that leap off the page, Zirin uncovers a whole national movement of citizen-athletes  fighting for racial justice.” —Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award–winning author of Stamped  from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist

 In 2016, amid an epidemic of police shootings of African Americans, the celebrated NFL quarterback  Colin Kaepernick began a series of quiet protests on the field, refusing to stand during the U.S.  national anthem. By “taking a knee,” Kaepernick bravely joined a long tradition of American athletes  making powerful political statements. This time, however, Kaepernick’s simple act spread like  wildfire throughout American society, becoming the preeminent symbol of resistance to America’s  persistent racial inequality.

Critically acclaimed sports journalist and author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States,  Dave Zirin chronicles “the Kaepernick effect” for the first time, through interviews with a broad cross-section of professional athletes across many different sports, college stars and high-powered athletic directors, and high school athletes and coaches. In each case, he uncovers the fascinating explanations and motivations behind a mass political movement in sports, through deeply personal and inspiring accounts of risk-taking, activism, and courage both on and off the field.

A book about the politics of sport, and the impact of sports on politics, The Kaepernick Effect is for anyone seeking to understand an essential dimension of the new movement for racial justice in America

How to become expert

To the many young psychologists who want to enter working in sport, I would like to suggest that, regardless of their past and future educational backgrounds, they begin by asking themselves the following questions : “Who are the expert people?” and “How do you become an expert in a specific field?”

These are relevant questions when one wants to work in the field of performance psychology. Speaking of sports we should ask ourselves, when an athlete become an expert and the same goes for the coach. The same reasoning applies to the psychologist: how and when I will become an expert sports psychologist. What should one do to become one?

These are reflections that require a complex explanation and those who are at the beginning of a career probably do not have a precise and clear answer to provide. I don’t want to provide one either, although I do have a very precise one in my mind.

The young professional must discover it for himself/herself, even through the choices he/she makes. Certainly today there is much to read about this concept of the expert, and it would be nice to delve into the theoretical aspect of the matter as well.

What is certain is that one must, however, give oneself an answer and undertake a path to realize one’s goal of competence, which is the basis of the expertise that He/she will be achieved.

Let’s reflect.

The mistake management: why is it so difficult

In many cultures there are sayings that remind us how important it is to learn to react to negative situations and mistakes. They say, for example, “When a door closes, a big door opens,” while US people like to repeat, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how quickly you get back up,” and the Japanese say, “Fall seven times, get back up the eighth.” These statements highlight that in order to be successful, one must develop a full awareness of how common it is to make mistakes and how equally relevant it is to react constructively.

There are no shortcuts, because mistakes cannot be eliminated; you have to make mistakes, like during an obstacle course in which you are aware at all times that you can make mistakes, slow down, make a great effort to overcome an obstacle even if you are well prepared and know the path. So, if this is the way to go, it is necessary to prevent mistakes from becoming an alibi used to confirm to oneself the impossibility of overcoming one’s current limits, with the effect of determining a reduction in commitment, since “There’s nothing to do anyway” or “Yes, there is a lot to do, but I’m not talented enough or I’m unlucky”. It is therefore necessary to build, through daily activity, a work culture that considers error as an integral part of the improvement process.

On the other hand, sport is a context in which the presence of errors is a constant in every performance, very often even in winning ones. In skeet shooting, the world record, hitting 125 over 125 has been achieved 12 times in the last 25 years. On every other occasion, shooters have always made mistakes. In the sports of body coordination in space, there are very few times when an athlete, male or female, has achieved the highest score.

In basketball, Michael Jordan said, “In my life I have missed over nine thousand shots, I have lost almost three hundred games, twenty-six times my teammates have entrusted me with the decisive shot and I have missed. I failed many times. And that’s why in the end I won everything.” Also in basketball, in the EuroLeague only 8.5% of players made 90% of their free throws, 35% made 80%, 32% made 70% of their attempts, and 24% made less than 70% (Cei 2018). In soccer, everyone misses penalties from Roberto Baggio in the ’94 World Cup final to those misses by Messi, Modric and Ronaldo at the World Cup in Russia.

Despite these data, many athletes do not accept the possibility of making mistakes, sometimes they are even surprised: “Because everything was going so well” or “Because I felt so good that I thought I could never make a mistake” while other times the difficulty in accepting them emerges when the athlete is in the opposite situation, so he thinks: “It could not have been worse, that mistake caught me suddenly and I did not know how to react, I got confused thinking about what to do differently and from there it was a ruin”. Both these situations, one positive and the second negative, reported by the athletes quite frequently, highlight the difficulty in accepting the error and not having previously planned a way to deal with what could have negatively affected the performance.

Fondamenti di psicologia dello sport: video presentation

Listen the book presentation

Book: Fondamenti di psicologia dello sport

Fondamenti di psicologia dello sport

Alberto Cei

Il Mulino, settembre 2021, p.296

In vendita su Amazon

La psicologia dello sport è una disciplina che ha acquisito sempre più interesse negli ultimi anni e ha saputo ritagliarsi un suo spazio autonomo all’interno della psicologia e delle scienze dello sport e del loro insegnamento. I principali temi che affronta questa materia riguardano otto grandi aree: i processi cognitivi coinvolti nel controllo motorio e nella prestazione sportiva; le abilità psicologiche implicate nei diversi tipi di discipline; i processi motivazionali; il ruolo dell’allenatore e dell’organizzazione dell’allenamento; i programmi sportivi per l’infanzia; il benessere e la salute; le abilità interpersonali e le dinamiche di gruppo; i processi di autoregolazione, i livelli di attivazione e i sistemi per affrontare lo stress agonistico. In questo libro, l’autore illustra le conoscenze che la psicologia dello sport ha acquisito in queste aree principali e fornisce un panorama esaustivo in grado di soddisfare docenti, studenti e quanti sono interessati o vogliono avvicinarsi a questa disciplina.

Indice del volume: Introduzione. – I. I processi motivazionali nello sport. – II. Sport e personalità. – III. Processi di autoregolazione e livelli di attivazione. – IV. L’attenzione: dalla teoria all’applicazione. – V. Dinamiche di gruppo. – Riferimenti bibliografici. – Indice analitico.

New Book: Fondamenti di Psicologia dello Sport

Fondamenti di psicologia dello sport

Alberto Cei

Il Mulino, settembre 2021, p.296

La psicologia dello sport è una disciplina che ha acquisito sempre più interesse negli ultimi anni e ha saputo ritagliarsi un suo spazio autonomo all’interno della psicologia e delle scienze dello sport e del loro insegnamento. I principali temi che affronta questa materia riguardano otto grandi aree: i processi cognitivi coinvolti nel controllo motorio e nella prestazione sportiva; le abilità psicologiche implicate nei diversi tipi di discipline; i processi motivazionali; il ruolo dell’allenatore e dell’organizzazione dell’allenamento; i programmi sportivi per l’infanzia; il benessere e la salute; le abilità interpersonali e le dinamiche di gruppo; i processi di autoregolazione, i livelli di attivazione e i sistemi per affrontare lo stress agonistico. In questo libro, l’autore illustra le conoscenze che la psicologia dello sport ha acquisito in queste aree principali e fornisce un panorama esaustivo in grado di soddisfare docenti, studenti e quanti sono interessati o vogliono avvicinarsi a questa disciplina.

Indice del volume: Introduzione. – I. I processi motivazionali nello sport. – II. Sport e personalità. – III. Processi di autoregolazione e livelli di attivazione. – IV. L’attenzione: dalla teoria all’applicazione. – V. Dinamiche di gruppo. – Riferimenti bibliografici. – Indice analitico.

Book review: Essential of Exercise and Sport Psychology

Essentials of Exercise and Sport Psychology

An Open Access Textbook: Society for Transparency, Openness, and Replication in Kinesiology

Zachary Zenko e Leighton Jones (a cura di)

2021, 798 pagine,  https://doi.org/10.51224/B1000 

This book is an open access textbook and can be downloaded via the address provided. It is the collaborative effort of 70 authors who worked to produce this project during Covid-19.

Chapters range from exercise psychology to sport psychology. It is composed of 33 chapters and for the Italian audience it is certainly interesting, because it proposes a 360° view of much of the current knowledge, especially in the areas of motivation, regulatory processes, personality, group dynamics and leadership.

The book also contains exercises that students and coaches can do to deepen their knowledge of specific topics.

Ebook: Sports during Pandemic

2020 has passed and will be remembered as the worst year of the past 75 years. The year pushed the whole world into what was initially a health crisis, which soon became a planetary pandemic that has upset the life of every person and caused millions of victims. It destroyed a significant part of the world economy and has radically changed the way in which we work and interact with others. I am a psychologist and I deal with sport and the well-being of those who practice it, be they champions and professionals or individuals who carry out sporting activities as a part of their lifestyle. The pandemic forced us to stay at home, to social distance, and to eliminate sports as we knew it. Movement and sport management have become a source of additional stress that have had negative psychological effects on people who are even just participating in sports recreationally. However, also on athletes who play sports professionally and those with disabilities who evidently benefitted from continuously participating in sport.

With these considerations, I started to talk about this situation on my blog in order to better understand the effects of the pandemic on people, and also to provide information on how to play sports while respecting the rules and reducing the possibility of contagion.

This book represents a journey that started at the beginning of March, a journey which involved my thoughts about this theme up until the beginning of the new year. I talk about the mentality of those who do not respect the rules, how you can deal with the anxiety caused by this radical change in daily life, how you can train from home, and the reasons why it is good to be active and minimise suffering in these circumstances. In addition, I advise coaches not to give up their leadership role, and athletes to continue to train even in the absence of competitions. Finally, I present practical tips and ways of thinking and coping with this unique and totally unexpected period.

 

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.