Archive for the 'Olimpiadi' Category

Perseverance and passion roots

“Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake.

Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked…

men the world over possess amounts of resource,

which only exceptional individuals push to their extremes of use.”

William James (1907), The Energies of Men, pp. 322-323

Not all the mistake are equals: rules from business to sport context

“A sophisticated understanding of failure’s causes and contexts will help to avoid the blame game and institute an effective strategy for learning from failure. Although an infinite number of things can go wrong … mistakes fall into three broad categories:

Preventable - Most failures in this category can indeed be considered “bad.” They usually involve deviations from spec in the closely defined processes of high-volume or routine operations … With proper training and support, employees can follow those processes consistently. When they don’t, deviance, inattention, or lack of ability is usually the reason. But in such cases, the causes can be readily identified and solutions developed.

Complexity-related –  A large number of …failures are due to the inherent uncertainty of work. A particular combination of needs, people, and problems may have never occurred before  … To consider them bad is not just a misunderstanding of how complex systems work; it is counterproductive. Avoiding consequential failures means rapidly identifying and correcting small failures.

Intelligent - Failures in this category can rightly be considered “good,” because they provide valuable new knowledge that can help an organization leap ahead of the competition and ensure its future growth—which is why the Duke University professor of management Sim Sitkin calls them intelligent failures. They occur when experimentation is necessary: when answers are not knowable in advance because this exact situation hasn’t been encountered before and perhaps never will be again.”

(By Amy C. Edmondson)

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Be focused to be tough

... the most important aspect of mental toughness in Tennis !

The focus is on the present. To show a consistent focus during all the points means be tough.

The athletes’ main psychological mistakes

The athletes’ main psychological mistakes:

  1. Think that feel healthy is enough to do the best.
  2. Visualize the race without providing for the possible difficulties that could be happened and not provide a way to solve them.
  3. Be too much/little activated, driven by the desire to win or the fear of not succeeding.
  4. Be so much worried about the race and not focused on the present but on what might happen of negative.
  5. Not thinking the difficulties during the race as a normal part of the performance but as personal incompetence.

Who is accountable of the long term athlete development?

Confidence is a relevant topic for the psychologists and very often the coaches use it to point out the errors of their athletes are caused by a deficiency in this psychological dimension. Sometimes this explanation is used to hide the coaches’ mistakes but other highlights limits in psychological development.

On this topic we can say a lot. One such example comes from the interationist approach to the study of personality, it explains the behaviors are derived from the relationship between the personality, the situational challenges, the specific skills and expectations of the social environment.

Since the question is so complicated, no one among athletes, coaches and staff, sports organizations and parents can shirk their responsibilities, which determine the athlete long term development.

How many address the issue of poor performances with this vision? How many clubs are organized to meet this need, taking into account these variables?

Self-Efficacy in track & field

Creating Confidence: The Four Sources of Self-Efficacy

Matthew Buns, Assistant Cross Country and Track & Field Coach, Concordia University, St. Paul

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford

Rarely in competitive athletics is the importance of the mind doubted. Specialists in sport psychology are often asked some variation of the question “How do I make my athletes more confident?” There are many aspects of training and competing that may shake an athlete’s confidence, from the importance of the event, to fearing certain fellow competitors, to the challenge of the race course. Coaches often wish for their athletes to simply trust in their training, but it’s not always as simple as that. The purpose of this article is to provide a blueprint for coaches to teach mental readiness and demonstrate why it can be just as critical to performance as physical readiness. A coach does not need to be a sport psychologist in order to realize how performance improves with a mental edge in track and field. In order to be mentally ready to compete and put forth an optimal performance in track and field, athletes must be confident in themselves’ and have a high level of self-esteem. Above this, an athlete must possess something more specific: a high level of self-efficacy. Self- efficacy, in and of itself, has been shown to be a better predictor of performance than just outcome expectations (goal setting) before a performance and as good of a predictor as anxiety levels (Gernigon & Dolloye, 2003). It is one of the most important, situation specific, mental aspects that a track and field coach can instill within their athletes.

A new scientific Journal in the world of sport sciences

A new scientific Journal in the world of sport sciences.

“We wanted to focus on a quality journal, a prestigious publication that could, in some way, convey to a wide readership our point of view on the evolution of training, and, in particular, on the evolution of strength training applied to weightlifting …

Strength was a major element in standing up to observe and do- minate the surrounding area and beyond: slowly and steadily or with bursts of strength, mankind has come a long way. Strength was also paramount to the develop- ment of man’s cognitive abilities, the ability to move in his immedia- te surroundings, to interact with the environment and to process the ensuing stimuli …

We must invest in culture, the vehicle with which we can spread knowledge and experience. The world of sport needs to reflect on the importance of culture and we feel it is our duty to set the ball rol- ling and continue on this journey.”

(Source: Editorial Antonio Urso EWF President)



Coaches’ competences to improve

Mental coaching for coaches, analogous to that of managers, is a project not yet so widespread in the world of sports. This article highlights the main areas of improvement required to coach and how to organize an individual improvement plan.

(Source: European WeitghtLifting Federation Scientific Magazine, Alberto Cei, Coaching Skills, 2016, 4, 16-23.

Children, sport, family income

This new survey shows most clearly how children’s sporting activities are closely related to the economic possibilities of their family, confirming the trend that a low income  reduces the frequency of participation in team sport. Do sport half of children with a household income less than 25,000 $US (34.6%), if compared with children who come from families with an income of at least 100,000 $US (68.4%).

Very often the athletes don’t have someone to talk about their fears

The need to use an humanistic psychology approach to sports it comes out, in my opinion, continuously in demands that athletes do to psychologists. It regards, not so much in teaching specific strategies and psychological techniques like to manage the competitive stress to stay focused on the tasks or to know how to collaborate with the mates. It regards some aspects of the sport life, that for these people is not just a job to do at the best but it has become an all-encompassing experience that gives meaning to their existence, where the value of oneself as a person is measured on results to reach. For many athletes it is not enough to do their job professionally,because they want always, even in training, be committed at the top and get in the race results of the highest level.

The relevance of the humanistic approach stems from concerns that arise from the athletes’ performance. The mother of all questions is for young people: “I will achieve the results for what I am working?”. That for older athletes becomes: “I shall be able to repeat these results?”. But these are just some of the possible concerns, arising in the minds of most of the best athletes, those who have managed to move their youthful passion into an ambitious and satisfying job, which for many it has become so overwhelming do not to leave space for very little else, with the joys and sorrows of this condition. The athletes, with rare exceptions, do not have qualified people to talk about these subjects. Rarely talk about coaches or mates, more often with their partners or parents.

The sports psychologists should be the most qualified professionals to address these issues but they must possess a well developed training and a personal sensitivity to help the athletes in dealing with these issues.