Archive for the 'Stress' Category

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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.”

When stress is too much

The pandemic negative effects on physical activity on youth

Global Changes in Child and Adolescent Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic. A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Ross D. Neville, Kimberley D. Lakes,Will G. Hopkins, Giampiero Tarantino, Catherine E. Draper, Rosemary Beck, Sheri Madigan.
JAMA Pediatr. Published online July 11, 2022.

This meta-analysis provides timely estimates of changes in child and adolescent physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. By pooling estimates across 22 studies from a range of global settings that included 14 216 participants, we demonstrated that the duration of engagement in total daily physical activity decreased by 20%, irrespective of prepandemic baseline levels. Through moderation analysis, we showed that this reduction was larger for physical activity at higher intensities. Specifically, the average reduction in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day during COVID-19 (17 minutes) represents a reduction of almost one-third of the daily dose of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity recommended for young children (~3-5 years) and school-going children and adolescents (~5-18 years) to promote good physical health and psychosocial functioning.

We found that longer durations between pre- and post-assessment were associated with larger reductions in physical activity. It is possible that the cumulative toll of the pandemic has compounded over time to negatively affect children and adolescents,63 including their levels of physical activity. This aligns with a recent meta-analysis on youth mental health,18 which found that the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms increased across time during the pandemic. The temporal aspect of our findings is also broadly in line with research on the psychology of habit,64,65 which suggests that habits are contingent on the types of stability cues that have been significantly disrupted during the pandemic. Most of the known multicomponent, family, social, and community support mechanisms of child and adolescent physical activity66 were unavailable during COVID-19. This undoubtedly created a “perfect storm” for habit discontinuity65 in the context of child and adolescent physical activity.67 Research has also shown that young children with consistent access and permission to use outdoor spaces during COVID-19 had better physical activity outcomes.50 These children exhibited smaller reductions in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and were approximately 2 times more likely to meet physical activity guidelines during COVID-19. Taken together, changes in restrictions and the unpredictability of access to typical physical activity outlets for children and adolescents have likely contributed to changes in their physical activity levels and to greater engagement in displacement activities (eg, screen time12) that risk promoting an increasingly sedentary “new normal.”68

We found that reductions in physical activity during the pandemic were larger for samples at higher latitudes, corresponding to regions of the globe where restrictions coincided with a seasonal transition into the summer months. This finding is consistent with prepandemic data showing that unstructured summer days during school holidays can have negative associations with both academic and physical health behaviors,69-71 often referred to as the “summer slide.”72 A recent estimate of such a summertime reduction of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity of 11.4 minutes69 is substantially lower (~ 50%) than the pooled estimate from our meta-analysis, however. This suggests a substantial intensification during the pandemic of the usual summer slide into physical inactivity,70 which warrants particular attention from policy makers seeking to help children “sit less and play more,”73 as targeted initiatives will be needed as children emerge into the summer months.

There is an urgent need for public health initiatives to revive young people’s interest in, and support their demand for, physical activity during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. In terms of practice implications, research on physical activity promotion and maintenance during childhood consistently shows that multicomponent, multimodal, and multioutcome interventions work best.7,66 Therefore, public health campaigns can have greater effect if they are child-centered, target a variety of physical activity modalities, and incorporate the family unit and wider community as co-constructors of lasting physical activity behavior change.

What do you want to do to win?

In tennis you start losing when the other guy gets in your head.

How do you train yourself to avoid that?

How do you train yourself to get into the other person’s head?

Write to me I can help you!

Book review: Calcio magico

Francesco Fasiolo

Calcio magico. Oracoli, rituali e scaramanzie: il paradosso dell’irrazionale nel pallone

Ultra Sport, 2022

 

 

Il tema, assolutamente inedito nel panorama editoriale sportivo/calcistico, era troppo accattivante per non parlarne. “Calcio magico” infatti parte da una considerazione tanto vera quanto illogica: in un calcio fatto, oggi come oggi, da regole di finanza, economia, tecnologia e chi più ne ha più ne metta, la scaramanzia, la superstizione, i riti propiziatori di ancestrale memoria restano comunque protagonisti alla pari di tutti gli altri fattori. Il lavoro di Fasiolo, giornalista di Repubblica, si alterna tra Europa e Sudamerica tra aneddoti gustosi e oracoli bizzarri alla ricerca del perché nel calcio ci si appelli anche, se non soprattutto, a bizzarrie simili sulla falsariga dell’italico “non è vero ma ci credo” .

Cosa c’entrano con questo mondo i maghi, gli animali indovini, gli atti di fede, i numeri sfortunati, i rimedi anti-iella, le maledizioni e i vestiti portafortuna? C’entrano eccome, perché l’irrazionale spunta da ogni angolo di questo articolato meccanismo. Ce lo ricordano il rituale degli Azzurri campioni di Europa nel 2021 (Vialli “dimenticato” sul pullman prima di ogni match) e quello della Francia campione del mondo nel ’98 (il bacio propiziatorio sulla testa di Barthez), le previsioni pubbliche del polpo Paul, infallibile oracolo degli Europei del 2008 e dei Mondiali del 2010, gli incredibili riti prepartita di campioni internazionali e le avversioni di tanti presidenti per i numeri 13 e 17. “Calcio magico” si occupa delle superstizioni “interne al sistema”, quelle dei protagonisti dello show: calciatori, allenatori e club. Una casistica variegata e curiosa, che spinge a interrogarsi sul fenomeno con un approccio antropologico: questo abbandonarsi all’illogico è una sorta di resistenza alle ragioni della modernità?

Examples of transformational leadership

In this summer period, football coaches work with a new group and act to unite them, to give each a specific role and convey the common goal to be achieved, which is something bigger than the individual dream.

There is no one way to build and lead a team. Each coach manifests a personal way of team leadership style; let’s look at some examples of absolute star coaches.

Conveying pride to players, he allows them to earn their respect in a way that increases the relevance of values. Alex Ferguson, former Manchester United coach for 27 years: “I always take a lot of pride in seeing younger players develop.”

Conveying the vision of where the group is going motivates the players and encourages them to accept challenges and is a way to foster optimism and enthusiasm. Pep Guardiola, coach of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City: “I don’t want everyone trying to dribble like Leo Messi, you have to pass the ball, pass it and pass it again … Pass, move well, pass again, pass, pass, and pass … I want every move to be smart, every pass precise, that’s how we make the difference from the rest of the teams, that’s all I want to see.”

Encourage problem solving through new and creative strategies. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool coach: “Playing unforgettable games, being curious and looking forward to the next game to see what will happen, and that’s what soccer should be about. If you make this attitude your own, you will be 100 percent successful.”

Recognize everyone’s commitment and needs within the group through empathy, listening, compassion and the coaching process. José Mourinho, coach Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Roma: “There are many ways to become a great manager … but above all I think the most difficult thing is to lead men with different cultures, brains and qualities.” At Inter he granted a vacation to Wesley Sneijder, who was exhausted. “All the other coaches only talked about training,” Sneijder said. “He sent me to the beach. So I went to Ibiza for three days. When I came back, I was willing to kill and die for him.”

Change your thoughts and you will change your world

Norman Vincent Peale once wrote, “Change your thoughts and you will change your world.” As human beings, and in our case as athletes and coaches, we all have something in common: we are constantly making small decisions about how to respond to what happens in training and competition.

However, we have to get used to the fact that we cannot control everything and that it is not enough to decide to compete at our best, because there are also opponents who have the same goal and challenge us. So the external environment whether it is an opponent, the fans or the weather conditions are constantly testing us.

Of course we also make bad choices but we forget about it too often and like to remember only the correct choices

It is hard to admit that we are actually only as good as our last worst performance. As Djokovic often acknowledges so his goal is to minimize the difference between his best and worst performance. If the difference son in a handful of points one must understand that sports performance is but an endless series of small decisions, details, actions and thoughts. However, the consequences are far-reaching.”

With this kind of awareness, we must take responsibility for our choices and assume accountability.

In daily practice, it then becomes necessary to become aware of the decisions we make in competition, and to train ourselves to recognize the positive and negative ones in order to improve in the following competitions.

The beautiful cycling of Vingegaard and Pogacar

The Tour de France has taken us back to the great challenges of the past, those between cyclists who want to win and do battle. Vingegaard and Pogacar this year made us experience this epic condition with their endless duel. This direct confrontation like that of cycling’s legendary period between Coppi and Bartali has been missing for many years.

For many years these races were the territory only of big teams that dominated mainly due to team organization (not to mention the roaring years of doping). Instead, these two athletes, aged 23 and 25, conveyed to us the pleasure of trying everything that is one of the typical dimensions of cycling. They also showed us their fairness when today Pogacar fell downhill and his opponent slowed down to wait for him. A gesture of a champion who does not want to win by taking advantage of an accidental fall of the other.

Stage cycling to a sport of total exertion, where the effort is clearly seen. Where there is also the passion of the hundreds of thousands of spectators who wait on a mountain all day to see the riders pass for a few seconds. There is no other sport that has this kind of audience.

Despite technological, scientific and organizational development, cycling continues to remain a simple sport where the person with the most in his or her legs wins. This is good news.

Ignorance is a prison

Corrado Augias through a recollection of him thus describing his first day of high school when the professor asked the students : who can say what is the purpose of studying? Some answered : to become adults, to grow up well and become good people..
The professor was not convinced of the answers until he said “to escape from prison.”
We were amazed.
The professor said : ignorance is a prison, because in there you don’t understand and you don’t know what to do!
Studying is to break out of prison from those who want you stupid and gullible and to climb over the wall of ignorance so that you can understand without asking for help. And it will be hard to fool you!

Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the gateway to freedom, democracy and development.”

My passion for endurance sports

The cycling of the great classics and stage races has always excited me. At home as a child I heard about Coppi and Bartali, and when I went to the mountains at 12/13 years old when they raced to overtake us we took the names of the cyclists, and I always took the name of Pambianco. Until I was 16 I did a lot of biking, starting in Turin and going into the mountains on military roads. With a Legnano with four gears.

Then I left the bike to go more frequently to the mountains, at that time these multi-day tours were not called trekking but mobile camp. Now I have started using it again, as running has become a bit too wearing. I always enjoy biking and it allows me to be in nature and outdoors. Biking, mountaineering and running are what I like to do and I am fortunate to have friends with whom I can do them even though I often find myself alone.

These activities have taught me to accept fatigue and to distribute physical and mental resources I learned when I was in middle school, and even at that age several friends were dropping out, precisely because they didn’t like facing fatigue, it was too cold or hot or you had to get up early in the morning. I don’t know where this motivation of mine comes from, I tried to play basketball, volleyball and soccer but they bored me while I always enjoyed going for a run or a bike ride. I was never interested in becoming an athlete, I wanted to study psychology and sometimes to achieve this goal or to establish myself as a professional I gave up sports, resuming it as soon as possible.

However, I wondered for what reasons I write these reflections. These days I am watching, when I can, the Tour de France and these thoughts came to my mind, how beautiful it is to be in the open air, to watch these young people struggle just when they are tired, to see them give their all what energy they have inside and, then away like that day after day for three weeks.

I feel fortunate to have had these passions but also to continue practicing them.