Archive for the 'Mental coaching' Category

The hare and the tortoise story

Don’t win the best. Win who is tough and respect the opponent.

Risultati immagini per Esopo story hare tortoise

Some books suggested to start to know the sport and performance psychology

During the webinar I did for the register of the psychology of Lombardia Region, Italy, the colleagues asked what to read in relation to the sport and performance psychology. At that moment I suggested this reading.

R.S. Weinberg e D. Gould, Foundations of sport and exercise psychology, 2015, 6° edizione

For me it’s the best first book to read in this discipline.

A. Higham, C. Harwood e A. Cale, Momentum in soccer, 2005, Coachwise Ltd

Its’ an introduction to the soccer psychology focused on the momentum concept and the psychological skills to play.

C. Harwwod e E. Anderson, Coaching psychological skills in youth football

Its’ an applied book to introduce the psychology to the development of the skills requested in youth soccer and used by the coaches during the coaching sessions.

P.C. Terry et al., (a cura di), Secrets of Asian sport psychology, University of Souther Queensland

Each chapter of this book is dedicated to one sport practiced at top level in in one Asia country and how the experts in mental coaching have developed their programs with this athletes. It’s a free e-book:

E’ un libro in cui ogni capitolo (sono più di 20) è dedicato a uno specifico sport di una nazione dell’Asia e come gli esperti di mental coaching lo affrontano con gli atleti top level di quella nazione. E’ un ebook che si può scaricare gratuitamente da:

A. Duckworth, Grit, 2017, Penguin Random House

Book dedicated to the grit concept, so relevant to have success. Excellent book, very clear and well documented.

It’s never enough the time used to learn from the mistakes

In sports as in every other area of our lives we make mistakes. The perfect performance does not exist. Each performance is a mixture of skills and mistakes; usually win who commits fewer mistakes.

The mistakes are everywhere and they are an important part of human performance. We can’t hide from our mistakes. In addition, the result of the mistakes are always technical aspects, we see the athletes who are accelerating or slowing too much their actions, which miss a shot, too stiff to move, pulling the serve ball in the net and so on. Otherwise the cause of these mistakes can be attributed to different aspects. In fact, the mistake can be caused by different factors, going from technical incompetence to difficulties to manage the competitive stress, lack of concentration or because the athletes are too tired.

“When people feel stressed, of course, they no longer feel safe and are further inhibited in practicing new ways of acting. Instead they become defensive, relying on their most familiar habits … For all these reasons, learning … works best under conditions where people feel safe – but not so relaxed that they lose motivation. There’s an optimal level of brain arousal that helps people to learn, the state which both motivation and interest are high. A sense of psychological safety creates an atmosphere in which people can then experiment with little risk of embarrassing or fear of the consequences of failure” (From: D. Goleman, R. Boyatzis e A.MkKeee, Primal Leadership).

Risultati immagini per mistakes snoopy quotes

Models of performance excellence

In a multidisciplinary profession such as sport psychology, grounding applied intervention in sound theory is essential. Having a conceptual model or guide for the provision of service generates a plan for the questions we ask, the interventions we propose, and the interactions we have with our clientele.

The foundation for this article was to introduce the readers to several practitioner models highlighting different perspectives and approaches to sport psychology consultation.

The purpose of this article is to share key components of their models to demonstrate the adaptability and creative uses of theory in building models of practice. Fur-thermore, purposeful selection of contributors who practice from interdisciplinary perspectives (e.g., sport science, psychology) occurred with a clear intention to elevate the conversation above simply what methods are used, or “which theory is better.” Rather, the focus of this article is on the wealth of knowledge and resources available to facilitate performance excel- lence from a variety of perspectives.

This contribute shows how is relevant the use of an approach based on known models and that psychology offers different solutions to address the same issues proposed by the excellence performances.

Models of performance excellence: Four approaches to sport psychology consulting

Mark W. Aoyagia, Alexander B. Cohenb, Artur Poczwardowskia, Jonathan N. Metzlerc, and Traci Statler

Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 9 (2) 94-110

ABSTRACT  The models of practice of four sport psychology consultants (Jon Metzler, Mark Aoyagi, Alex Cohen, and Artur Poczwardowski) are presented. While each model is distinct, collectively they illustrate the benefits of theoretically-grounded foundations to practice. The practitioners represented derive their models from multiple disciplines associated with sport psychology. Pure Performance emphasizes precise definitions of key terms and components while utilizing deliberate practice to develop authentic skills. Mental FITness is based on focus, inspiration, and trust to con- ceptualize and facilitate performance excellence. The P.A.C.E. model incorporates Perception, Activation, Concentration, and Execution and applies these elements to Performance Readiness Planning. The “5 Rs” model comprises Respond, Release, Replay, Recharge, and Refocus. The models are presented here for the purpose of demonstrating the breadth with which performance excellence can be conceptualized and facilitated. Implications for practitioners include examples of how theory guides the development of service delivery programs.

Quiet eye in pentathlon

Psychological intervention with the sport dance national team

Jan Vesely Interview and team mindset

The interview to Jan Vesely[1] shows the main relevance to have a mindset growth oriented instead to have fixed mindset. He said:

“It’s just concentration. The first year was with Maccabi; it was tough, but it was 3-0. After that I was injured against Real Madrid, so the team changed the mentality to play without one of the important players and they put even more than the maximum in those playoffs and beat Real Madrid. Last year playing Panathinaikos on the road the first two games and having the pressure to win the EuroLeague and play the Final Four in Istanbul, there was big pressure, so we set our mindset to always be much more focused than in the other games and to give our maximum. I think the secret was in our concentration to do the little things until the end, until the referee stops the game or we get the rebound or something. I think all those things are much more important now than in the regular season. I think the mindset is the most important thing.”

These words demonstrate that Jan Vesely but also the team, have not thought: “We have the talent and the skills to win” but they worked to develop their potential through effort, and practice. They understand the difference between to have the potential and to play at the best to achieve the result you want to achieve. Commitment, deliberate practice and strong task orientation are the secrets of this result. Great talent does not transport the players in great performances. The team has to dive itself inside the match, living each moments as it was the most important. This is the meaning of the sentence: “It’s just concentration.” It seems easy because it’s their job but going in deep it means “Do the right thing in the right moment” and in a fast tactical play like it’s top basketball, to play with this approach it’s a very demanding task.

The players with a growth mindset assume on themselves the responsibility that also if we play at our best, the success is not guaranteed because there is the other team that can play better than us. In any case it’s this kind of mindset that lead them to fight each second of the match, they say to them “I don’t think to the final results or how many mistakes I will do but I know that my teammates and me will perform till the last shot with the maximum focus needed to do our best performance.” It could be a thinking little bit rhetoric, but it’s not true. It means, as Jan Vesely said:

“I think the secret was in our concentration to do the little things until the end, until the referee stops the game or we get the rebound or something. I think all those things are much more important now than in the regular season. I think the mindset is the most important thing.”


[1] http://www.euroleague.net/features/interviews/euroleague-2017-18/i/8obkylpgs38hn48s/jan-vesely-fenerbahce-the-mindset-is-the-most-important-thing