Archive for the 'Olimpiadi' Category

Who will win the Serie A championship?

The predictions of which teams will fight for the Scudetto have begun,. These are evaluations based on the characteristics of the players, the coach’s preferred game and the playing patterns but little is said about the mentality of the players and the role of the club. Dealing with these issues in an integrated way could, instead, provide fans with more information about how their team and key opponents might actually play. One could predict how the team will react in the face of emotionally intense situations, such as conceding a decisive goal in the last minutes of a game, know which players will react best to unexpected situations, and what the repercussions on the team will be of the Club’s decisions to problems that arise.

In fact, the mentality of a team is composed of these different factors, which then include not only what happens during the match but also, for example, the organizational quality of the soccer club. The better the efficiency and effectiveness of the organizational quality, the more likely the team will be to play with a winning mentality. Public image also plays a relevant role, think of Juventus that has had the same ownership for 100 years, Milan that has been the team considered the strongest of all time, the achievements of Napoli through the Maradona epic. These two elements are conducive to building a winning team.

There are others that are more obvious to everyone, which concern the team’s goals, the standards of play and the technical-tactical quality of the team in dealing with the different phases, including emotional ones, of the game. In turn, these aspects determine collective effectiveness, expressed through performances that are superior to those that each could provide individually. Finally, a further component of performance concerns the leadership style of the coach, his role in guiding technical and tactical guidance and supporting the motivation of the players.

Analyzing these aspects could thus lead to more precise analyses and not just based on the teams’ history and recent results.

SportdelSud: The head in the ball

For the past few months I have been collaborating on SportdelSud a new online sports newspaper, with a column entitled “The Head in the Ball.”

It is an innovative editorial reality created by a group of young people who have been able to take up the challenge of putting themselves at the head of an entrepreneurial project in the communication sector.

Accompanying and supporting them along the way since its inception are great names in Italian journalism such as Darwin Pastorin, Roberto Beccantini, Fabio Monti, and Luciano Scateni, masters of sports literature such as Luigi Guelpa, and historical figures from the world of sports, while the corporate and managerial mentoring is entrusted to the experience of Vincenzo Imperatore’s Imperatore Consulting.

The goal of SportdelSud is to give readers back a space in which to confront each other, through original information that fights single-minded and homogenized thinking and acts as a glue between the sports people and the media world, setting itself as an antithesis to today’s media trend of clickbaiting and fake news. SportdelSud is, also, the voice of readers and fans, those who very often express through social networks the most interesting, “different,” politically uncorrect, frequently funny, sarcastic analyses.

A participatory newspaper, to which readers can send offline their reflections that will be turned into articles and published after approval by “moderators.”

The newspaper is growing so fast that in July it reached 54,753 visits and nearly 400,000 total visits, a record for the newspaper. It has been online for less than a year and is about to break the 60,000 visits per month mark!

Amazing team awareness and social responsibility

An open letter from our Lionesses.

The second wave gets us over fatigue

The “second wave” is a phenomenon typical of long-distance running, but which is applicable to any situation in life. It occurs in situations when you think you have used up all the energy you had and , instead, suddenly find the strength to continue.

It is certainly something that happened to me when during the 100km del Passatore, all of a sudden starting at 75km I had the certainty that I would finish the race and found the energy to run the fastest I was capable of until the finish line, without worrying about the route anymore.

The “second wave” was first described in 1906 William James in his speech to the American Philosophical Association and entitled “The Energy of Man”: “The existence of a reserve of energy which is not ordinarily available to us is very familiar in the phenomenon of the “second wave.” We usually stop when we encounter this lying, called, fatigue. We have walked, played or worked enough and desist. The amount of fatigue is a good obstacle. However, when an unusual need presses us to continue, something surprising happens. Fatigue grows to a certain point, then gradually or suddenly disappears and we are fresher than before. We have evidently uncorked a new level of energy.”

The value of the lionesses success

There are, in my view, four indices that confirm that the victory of the England women’s national soccer team at Euro 2022 can be seen as an event that could also positively affect gender differences and not only in soccer.

The first refers to the extreme public success of this event: nearly 90,000 people at Wembley, London filled with a large non-violent but happy crowd, with thousands of families who brought their children/children to celebrate.

The second, they were called the lionesses as well as their male counterparts, may not have been the first time but certainly it is a juxtaposition that explains much about the positive evolution of the concept of women and women footballers at least in the UK. It includes team spirit but also individual strength.

The third, the myth phrase: “football is back home,” the English founded modern soccer but had not won anything since 1966, now after 55 years it has happened again. This idea of soccer being back home will be remembered forever and it was realized by a group of women, when still in 1971 soccer was forbidden to them by the Football Association.

Fourth, this team will be an inspiration not only to many young people who want to play soccer but also to those who believe that dreams are achievable and work hard to fulfill their goals.

Commenting on this victory, even Queen Elizabeth acknowledged this role to them: “You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.”

The sport psychologist of the England women football team

Quando si leggerà sul sito della Federcalcio qualcosa di simile a questo testo, relativo alla nomina di una psicologa dello sport come consulente della nazionale inglese femminile di calcio? Data l’arretratezza culturale dei nostri dirigenti e allenatori probabilmente mai!

PLAY WOMEN’S & GIRLS FOOTBALL

Dr Kate Hays has been appointed England Football’s head of women’s performance psychology.
Hays joins after more than seven years in a similar role with the English Institute of Sport [EIS]. Vastly experienced in performance psychology and being part of multidisciplinary teams, she has worked across a range of different sports and supported athletes in major global events including world championships, Olympics and Paralympics – most recently at the Tokyo Games.
Her remit within the technical directorate at St. George’s Park will include working closely with elite England players in an on-camp role as a key part of head coach Sarina Wiegman’s support team.
Day to day, she will also ensure a consistent approach is introduced across all development sides within the wider commitment to strengthening the women’s player pathway.
Dr Hays said: “I’m really looking forward to joining a world class team at such an exciting time for women’s football. After speaking to Kay and Sarina at length I know that we share the same vision and values and I can’t wait to meet the players and wider staff group.”
Kay Cossington, head of women’s technical, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Kate. She is vastly experienced and will help our efforts to move to the next level of high performance. Another important aspect of her role will be developing performance psychology strategy for all of our national teams across the age groups. Kate is very passionate about making a difference and her experience will be invaluable for us.”
Sue Campbell, director of women’s football, said: “I’m pleased we have been able to bring someone of this calibre into Sarina’s team. Kate has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this area and shares Sarina’s drive and values.
“We’re at a very exciting moment with the home EURO next summer and the start of World Cup qualifying this month. We want to strengthen across all of our teams and Kate will be invaluable in preparing our players for success.”

The patient

Cristiano Ronaldo and the rule of 30 years

To understand Cristiano Ronaldo’s choice of probably going to play for Sporting Lisbon, thus not a top team, before talking as most articles did about the player’s narcissism and his outsized ego one should have explained what the rule is that most prestigious clubs respond to. This allows one to understand how it is possible that he found himself in this situation at the age of 37.

Instead, an article in the New York Times explains this concept well, which refers to when a footballer is considered old and considers the age of 30 as a watershed between two distinct career phases.

The age of 30 has always been considered a milestone. Alex Ferguson you have soccer players over30 provided an extra day of rest. Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s coach, once midfielders and strikers reached 32, was only willing to offer them one-year contract extensions.

In short, after the age of 30 one is officially considered old.

Of course there are exceptions, Tottenham bought 33-year-old Croatian midfielder Ivan Perisic and it was the first time since 2017 that the club took a player of this age. Liverpool has not done so since 2016. Manchester City has not paid a signing for an outside player over the age of 30 in nearly a decade. Goalkeepers, who many believe boast greater longevity, are the only players who have been granted an exception. This is because the game has become much more intense and fast-paced, and younger players are considered better equipped to handle this load than older ones.

Into this big picture comes Cristiano Ronaldo, who is 37 years old, and however much he is coached, he no longer has the characteristics that made him unique. Added to this is his lack of interest in changing roles and responsibilities within the team. As a result, the 30-year rule and his mental rigidity have prevented him from having a role in a top team among those fighting to win the Champions League. Returning to Sporting Lisbon will not be easy, however, as the team cannot be centered on Ronaldo’s play while it would be more convenient for him to mentor the players and play a role similar to Ibrahimovic’s role in AC Milan. It is a difficult operation because it would mean for him to think and act in a different way from his usual one but it is not certain, also, that it corresponds to the interests of the club and the coach. We shall see.

Pep Guardiola and team responsibility

Pep Guardiola tells his team, “You have permission to make a mistake. You have permission to lose…when you have permission, you accept. “I want the ball!”

He expresses a simple concept – you have permission to make a mistake – and when you have that permission, you have to be in the game -I want the ball – .

Wanting the ball, means “I’m here pass it to me, I’ll take responsibility for continuing the action.” Not accepting it has the opposite meaning and that is denial of the responsibility to be part of the game.

Not accepting the ball is the most serious mistake a soccer player can make. Anxiety, laziness, individualism, poor team spirit, a complaining attitude, lack of concentration or perceived excessive fatigue are at the root of this difficulty. Data tell us that most of the decisive goals are scored in the final part of games that are lost or won by the spread of one goal. This awareness on the part of the team should have as a consequence that every minute or single pass can become decisive for or against. Accepting the ball and wanting to offer it effectively to another teammate thus represents a move, which, as in a game of chess, can elicit significant positive outcomes.

This approach to the game applies to everyone, from the stars of the team to those who play less often. In the team concept everyone is important if they consistently display this behavior on the court, otherwise they are not only useless to the game but also harmful, since not accepting the ball means representing the weak side of the team on which the opposing team will insist.

Question to coaches: how do you coach this behavior?

Same concept has been expressed by Sarina Wiegman, coach of the English football team: “As I grew in my personality, I really wanted to be relaxed more. Why do players start playing football when they’re seven years old? It’s because they love the game. Yes, it’s all about winning, but you perform better when you can be yourself and when you’re in an environment – and it sounds like school – an environment where you’re safe, where you will not be judged. Because when you’re on the pitch you’re being judged all the time and that’s uncomfortable and unsafe.”