Archive for the 'Stress' Category

Hasta siempre Gento

“The honorary president played 18 seasons at Real Madrid and became a legend of world soccer.”

Francisco Gento López has passed away at the age of 88. A key figure in the Real Madrid legend, he played for our club from 1953 to 1971. Eighteen years in which he achieved an unparalleled record. He won 6 European Cups, which makes him a unique player in the history of soccer. To these he added 12 Leagues, 1 Intercontinental, 2 Latin Cups, 2 Spanish Cups and 1 Little World Cup. His contribution to Real Madrid led to him being elected honorary president of the club in 2016.

With a portentous physique and incredible speed, Gento was the best left winger in the world. But apart from his spectacular conditions as a player, he was the link between two legendary generations at Real Madrid: that of the first five European Cups and that of the equipo yeyé.

Beginning with Di Stefano
Gento was born on October 21, 1933 in Guarnizo (Cantabria) and joined Real Madrid in the 1953-54 season from Racing Santander. That same year, Di Stéfano also joined our team and together they transformed Real Madrid into the best club in the world.

In their first year, they won the League and ushered in a golden era for madridismo. The best players in the world wore our shirt and the forward line formed by Kopa, Rial, Di Stéfano, Puskas and Gento is considered the most important in history.

Since the birth of the European Cup in 1955, Gento is the only player to have won the trophy six times. First he was part of the historic team that won five consecutive titles from 1956 to 1960 and then he was the captain of the Real Madrid yeyé that won it in 1966.

Gento was a starter in the finals of Real Madrid’s first six European Cups and scored in two of them. In the second, he scored the 2-0 goal against Fiorentina, in a final played at the Santiago Bernabéu. He was even more decisive in the Third, when his goal in extra time settled a tough match against Milan”.

The referee: a man alone with his worries

Once again a refereeing error negatively affected the result of the match. It happened in Milan-Spezia where Serra for a supposed foul by Bastoni stopped the attack of Rebic, who had served Messias, whose shot under the cross had been successful.

The referee immediately realized the glaring mistake he had made but obviously could not turn back. This fact shows us once again that sometimes it is the referees who have a major influence on the outcome of the match. Technology helps but does not exempt from mistakes. This new case highlights a substantial difference between the errors of the players and those of the referees. The former have the team to take refuge in while the referees remain alone with their sense of guilt for having made a mistake, which should not have happened. Everyone agrees that mistakes are part of the game but this assumption is not enough for the referee to get out of the angst that a serious mistake causes. Serra’s mistake is like that of Jorginho who misses the decisive penalty or of the gymnasts who pursue the perfection of their performance without succeeding. We never talk about volleyball or basketball refereeing, because the referee’s choices rarely determine the final result, they are sports where points are scored in every minute of the match and the value of referee’s sanctions have less impact on the match. In soccer it is different. The goal is a rare event and the game is influenced by cautions, important facts for that game and the next.

The player goes to the field the next day and has teammates and staff to share his problems with. The referee has no one, he has no teammates, he has a boss, the manager who, if on one hand can understand him, on the other hand is the one who decides the games he will referee and if it is the case to stop him for some championship turns. The referee is alone in having to fight with the insecurities generated by a wrong choice, and I hope that in his private life he has people with whom he can share his feelings and fears, without being judged but simply accepted, because mistakes are part of any profession.

L’arbitro: un uomo solo con le sue insicurezze

Support the children of Sport Senza Frontiere Onlus

Matteo Simone, un caro amico psicologo dello sport, correrà la prossima Maratona di Roma per i bambini, i ragazzi, i progetti di Sport Senza Frontiere.

L’ha fatto già altre volte con coraggio, impegno, determinazione, volontà e amicizia, accanto a tanti altri atleti che si vogliono mettere in gioco con lo sport e per lo sport, condividendo gioie e dolore e correndo non solo per se stessi ma anche per gli altri.

Sostieni l’iniziativa di Matteo Simone per Sport Senza Frontiere Onlus

Perché correrò per Sport Senza Frontiere? 

Perché ho conosciuto da diversi anni alcuni di loro, persone molto sensibili, solidali, speciali, straordinarie e cerco di affiancarmi a loro, per contribuire nella loro risuscita di permettere a bambini e ragazzi in condizioni svantaggiose di fare sport, vivere bene, stare in salute fisica e mentale, fare una vita dignitosa.

Ritengo che lo sport non debba essere considerato solo performance ma anche modalità e opportunità di inclusione, integrazione, solidarietà, aggregazione, quando è possibile.

The internship is the key value of the Master in Sport Psychology

Il valore di un master in psicologia dello sport è dato da molti aspetti fra cui certamente la qualità dei docenti che devono avere svolto attività significative e continuative nello sport e la partecipazione in presenza poiché la nostra è un’attività in cui l’apprendimento professionale è di gran lunga ridotto se avviene a distanza.

Tuttavia, direi che la dimensione più significativa sia rappresentata dal tirocinio presso un’organizzazione sportiva. S’impara attraverso l’opportunità di svolgere esperienze all’interno di un contesto sportivo organizzato in cui lo psicologo è chiamato a proporsi con degli obiettivi e un programma costruito per quella situazione.

  • Nel Master organizzato da Psicosport ciò è possibile poiché i partecipanti sono inviati in società sportive che vengono a loro proposte o, in rare occasioni, suggerite da loro stessi. Quest’anno abbiamo organizzato tirocini che vanno dalla Lombardia, alla Campania e alla Puglia.
  • Un secondo aspetto professionalizzante è che il tirocinio è supervisionato da Daniela Sepio, coordinatrice del Master, e da me. Questo legame permette agli psicologi di avere sempre un confronto continuo sulle loro attività.
  • Terzo, il tirocinio è anche la base per la formulazione del project work finale, che riguarda come continuare l’attività in quella società sportiva una volta terminato il master.
  • Su queste basi, è probabile che la loro esperienza si possa tramutare nel primo lavoro retribuito come psicologo dello sport.
  • Quarto, il tirocinio ha la durata di 5 mesi, per un minimo di 90 ore di pratica, a cui si aggiungono quelle necessarie per organizzare il lavoro sul campo e valutarne gli effetti.
Personalmente, considero questa esperienza lavorativa come l’aspetto formativo che permette di mettere in pratica le conoscenze e le competenze trattate nel master. In tal modo abbiamo integrato teoria e pratica.
Questo è un master per chi vuole tramutare il suo sogno di diventare psicologo dello sport nella realtà di un professionista che conosce e sa applicare le sue competenze. Non è retorica, noi la pensiamo e lavoriamo in questo modo.

Non only success stories

Sport is not only the telling of great personal and team success stories.

There are also stories of life such as that of Djokovic, Shevchenko and Dybala. Very different stories that express the non-sense of many situations, that could also seem comical if they did not have important social implications like Djokovic’s and professional implications like the other two stories.

Everything has been written about Djokovic and the situation seems to have no more secrets. This experience has reintroduced us to the story of the successful person who feels he is beyond the rules and must be accepted for the role he has achieved. When you perceive yourself as untouchable, it’s easy to act on the belief that every choice you make is legitimate and should be accepted. He made a mistake, it ends there.

Shevchenko is the latest example of how too often there is no professionalism in the choice of a coach. Presidents prefer to throw their money away in keeping more coaches under contract, they are resources taken away from other investments that no one seems to care about.

Dybala and his contract that has been pending for several months. It is true that the new contract foresees an important economic jump and the club needs time to decide, but at the same time, the prolongation of this condition for months cannot but exert a negative influence on the player’s serenity. Situations that go on for months without a solution are rarely experienced well by people; on the contrary, they often undermine the player’s confidence and his sense of acceptance. These experiences have a personal psychological cost and eventually damage the team.

Do you know how to improve your focus?

Many young people are not aware of what is meant by the intensity of an exercise or a workout.

It is certainly easier to understand it in those sports where execution is required with a precise time or in any case with a well-defined speed.

But these definitions still refer to technical aspects. It seems to me, however, that there is often less awareness of the quality of their concentration and how much it is possible for them to increase it even when they believe they are at maximum focus on a task.

There is also little attention from coaches to train concentration and especially to improve it over time even in those who are focused and motivated. It is believed that attention and motivation are assets that the athlete must put on his or her own and that teaching should only concern technique or tactics or physical and athletic improvement.

Of course, even psychologists do not know how to enhance these psychological dimensions, since their course of study does not include these issues. I consider this deficiency rather serious in a world that bases everything on speed of response, on the management of more information and on the reduction of stress that these determine in everyday life.

How do we become aware of the way we pay attention and how do we train it to improve our performance?

How computer job increases the sedentariness

Shirin Panahi and Angelo Tremblay, 2018, Sedentariness and Health: Is Sedentary Behavior More Than Just Physical Inactivity? Front. Public Health, 10 September 2018     

The World Health Organization recommends that adults aged 18 or older participate in at least 150 min of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week or the equivalent of 30 min of daily activity . Currently, just over 15% of Canadian adults are meeting these guidelines.

The problems of sedentariness may not only be attributed to a lack of movement, but also to the stimulation provided by replacing activities.

In addition to the changes in human activity, globalization and technological changes have favored a progressive switch from physically demanding tasks to knowledge-based work or mental activity soliciting an enhanced cognitive demand. Screen-based leisure activities (e.g., television watching, video games, and internet use) and screen-based work activities (e.g., computer use for work purposes) have often been considered together while they may not trigger the same stress response and/or use of substrate. Furthermore, from a physiological perspective, the biological requirements and effects of physical and cognitive work are not the same. Mental work, for instance, may significantly increase glycemic instability (i.e., wide fluctuations in blood glucose concentrations) leading to an increase in the desire to eat and thus, higher energy intakes.

Thus, the problems of sedentariness may not only be attributed to a lack of movement, but also to the stimulation provided by replacing activities. In a context where there is exposure to cognitive work, novel strategies to increase physical activity and improve energy balance regulation are needed.

 

As has been previously suggested, from a physiological perspective, the biological requirements of physical and mental work are different because knowledge-based work is a type of activity that relies on the brain which utilizes glucose for the metabolism of energy compared to physical activity which uses skeletal muscle and relies mostly on fat metabolism, depending on the type of physical activity.

However potential solutions that consider approaches to counteracting the negative impact of mental work may be possible with the readjustment of daily physical activity schedules.

In the context of a school or work environment, recent data has suggested that combining mental and physical work (e.g., active pauses/meetings), may be one strategy to reduce sedentary time in a context where potential neurogenic stress may be high.

An acute bout of interval exercise after mental work was shown to decrease food consumption compared with a non-exercise condition suggesting that it may be used as an approach to offset positive energy balance induced by mental tasks.

In the workplace, sit-stand desks were found to be effective in decreasing workplace sedentary behavior in office workers with abdominal obesity, with no change in sedentary behavior or physical activity outside of work hours; however, these changes did not alter markers of cardiometabolic risk in these individuals. Furthermore, the use of sit-stand desks in sedentary office workers was also associated an overall sense of well-being and energy, decreased fatigue, and reduction in appetite, food intake and lower self-perceived levels of hunger.

Pills of movement

It was held today in Bologna, Italy, the national press conference of “Pills of movement” national campaign Uisp-Italian Union of Sport for All against sedentariness and promotion of the culture of movement, which involves 31 Committees Uisp and from January will involve more than 235 Italian municipalities and 370 associations and sports clubs. The project is funded by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers – Department for Sport under the Call EPS 2020 and through the pharmacies of Lloyds Group and Federfarma provincial circuits, partners in the project, will be distributed 480,000 packs of “Pills of movement”.

Paola Paltretti, president of Uisp Bologna, did the honors and coordinated the press conference: “For us it is a source of pride that the national Uisp believed in the project and presented it to the Department of Sport, which decided to fund it at the national level. Its strength lies in its simplicity and the goal is to get sedentary people moving again, stimulating them to return to moments of social interaction”.

During the press conference, the project’s launch spot was presented.

The packages of “Pill di Movimento” that will be distributed throughout Italy contain free coupons that will allow you to choose from a list of over 1200 sports and motor activities promoted throughout Italy. In other words, the coupon contained in the box, which is very similar to that of an over-the-counter drug, allows you to take advantage of a free month of physical activity and will be delivered by the pharmacist, just like any medicine.

The project was born in Bologna in 2010, thanks to a widespread network created between Uisp, the local health authorities and pharmacies involved. A winning and absolutely innovative idea, that has established itself in the territory and that, thanks to this national project, will be launched for the first time at national level.

#Djokovic

“We’re guys playing with a ball in our underwear, we don’t think we’re more important than Gino Strada!” A few but very effective words from Claudio Panatta to @radioanchio #Djokovic

Dreams and determination to get out from the negative moments

Recovering from repeated injuries and illnesses is not easy and from personal experience I can say that it requires at least two psychological skills as a priority. The first is the weapon that opens the door to return to sporting activity. It is what a dear friend of mine, Robert Nideffer, calls “having faith”, he used to say when talking to athletes or managers, “You have to have faith in yourself, you have to believe that you will reach the goals you have set for yourself. I know you haven’t reached them yet, but you have to have faith that you will, it will certainly be difficult, at certain times you will think you can’t do it, but it doesn’t matter, you keep trying, keep committing and eventually you will succeed”.

Terry Orlick asked what is your dream, John Salmela asked his students, “How good do you want to be as a sports psychologist? Do you want to be the best in your neighborhood, in your city, in your state, do you want to excel?” For many, these are meaningless questions, because what they want is to stay in their comfort zone and have no other ambitions.

So the first goal to set is to determine what your dream is. One must have the ability to dream in spite of the current situation in which we find ourselves. By definition dreams may not be achieved, they are not realistic goals but we must have faith in ourselves.

The second skill we can call determination, grit or resilience. We need to recover from a negative health condition. In this regard the question is, “When do we start?”. The doctors tell us when we can start, the physical therapists tell us what to do. It’s up to us to start as soon as possible, without delay. The motivation to perform exercises that are usually boring and initially tiring is not aimed at making us enjoy what we are doing, but should support us in the realization of our dream. It’s not the exercise that’s important, it’s the recognition that each repetition of the program we’ve begun to follow is a step toward achieving the dream. It is this mindset that fuels our perseverance to incorporate and maintain the path we are on in our daily lives.