Archive for the 'Tennis' Category

How to improve the player’s self confidence

Improving a tennis player’s confidence is crucial for their performance on the court. Here are some strategies to help boost a player’s confidence in tennis:

  1. Positive self-talk: Encourage the player to develop positive self-talk during matches and practice sessions. Help them replace negative thoughts with positive and empowering statements. For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t make this shot,” they can say, “I can do this, I’ve practiced this shot many times.”
  2. Focus on strengths: Identify the player’s strengths and help them develop confidence in those areas. Encourage them to rely on their strengths during matches and remind them of past successes.
  3. Set realistic goals: Work with the player to set realistic and achievable goals. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps. Achieving these goals will provide a sense of accomplishment and boost confidence.
  4. Visualization: Encourage the player to visualize success. Ask them to imagine themselves executing shots perfectly, winning points, and ultimately winning matches. Visualization can help build confidence and mental preparation.
  5. Practice and preparation: Consistent practice and preparation are vital for confidence. Ensure the player is adequately prepared physically and mentally for matches. Practice different scenarios and match situations to build confidence in handling various challenges.
  6. Positive reinforcement: Provide positive reinforcement and praise for the player’s efforts and improvements. Acknowledge their achievements, even small ones, and offer encouragement and support.
  7. Learn from mistakes: Help the player understand that making mistakes is a part of the learning process. Encourage them to view mistakes as opportunities for growth rather than failures. Analyze and learn from mistakes to avoid repeating them in the future.
  8. Build a support network: Surround the player with a supportive team. Having people who believe in their abilities and provide encouragement can significantly enhance their confidence.
  9. Develop a pre-match routine: Establish a consistent pre-match routine that includes physical warm-up, mental preparation, and rituals that help the player get in the right mindset. Following a routine can provide a sense of control and familiarity, boosting confidence.
  10. Focus on the present momentum: Teach the player to focus on the present moment and not dwell on past mistakes or worry about the future. Help them develop techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or meditation to stay focused and confident during matches.

Remember that building confidence takes time and consistent effort. Encourage the player to be patient with themselves and celebrate every step forward, regardless of the outcome of the match.

What a coach must do to coach youth in an individual sport

To effectively coach youth in an individual sport, a coach should consider the following key aspects:

  1. Understand the sport: Have a thorough understanding of the rules, techniques, and strategies involved in the individual sport you’re coaching. Stay updated with any rule changes or developments in the sport.
  2. Develop a coaching philosophy: Establish a clear coaching philosophy that aligns with the values of youth development, such as promoting skill development, fostering teamwork, building character, and encouraging enjoyment of the sport.
  3. Create a safe and inclusive environment: Ensure the training environment is safe, supportive, and inclusive for all participants. Encourage mutual respect, fair play, and positive interactions among athletes.
  4. Assess individual abilities: Assess the skill levels and abilities of each young athlete. Tailor coaching strategies and training plans based on individual needs, considering their age, experience, physical attributes, and learning styles.
  5. Set goals: Work with each athlete to establish realistic short-term and long-term goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Regularly review progress and provide feedback to keep athletes motivated.
  6. Plan and organize training sessions: Develop structured training plans that focus on skill development, technique refinement, physical conditioning, and mental preparation. Include a variety of drills, exercises, and activities to keep sessions engaging and challenging.
  7. Teach proper technique: Emphasize the importance of proper technique and fundamentals from the beginning. Break down skills into manageable steps, provide demonstrations, and offer constructive feedback to help athletes improve their technique.
  8. Foster a growth mindset: Encourage a growth mindset in athletes, emphasizing the importance of effort, perseverance, and learning from mistakes. Teach them to embrace challenges, setbacks, and setbacks as opportunities for growth and improvement.
  9. Communicate effectively: Maintain open and effective communication with athletes and their parents/guardians. Clearly explain expectations, provide regular updates on progress, and address any concerns or questions promptly.
  10. Be a positive role model: Lead by example and demonstrate good sportsmanship, integrity, and professionalism. Instill values such as discipline, respect, teamwork, and dedication through your own behavior.
  11. Provide constructive feedback: Offer specific and constructive feedback to help athletes understand areas for improvement and provide strategies to enhance their performance. Balance feedback with praise and encouragement to maintain motivation and confidence.
  12. Encourage sportsmanship and teamwork: Emphasize the importance of fair play, respect for opponents, and teamwork. Teach athletes to value collaboration, support their teammates, and celebrate each other’s successes.
  13. Support mental preparation: Help athletes develop mental skills such as focus, concentration, confidence, and resilience. Teach them relaxation techniques, visualization, goal-setting, and effective coping strategies for dealing with competition pressure.
  14. Monitor athlete well-being: Pay attention to the physical and emotional well-being of athletes. Encourage proper nutrition, hydration, rest, and recovery. Be attentive to signs of injury, burnout, or emotional distress and take appropriate action.
  15. Continuously educate yourself: Stay updated with the latest research, coaching methodologies, and advancements in the sport. Attend coaching clinics, workshops, and seminars to enhance your coaching knowledge and skills.

Remember, coaching youth in an individual sport goes beyond just teaching athletic skills. It involves fostering personal growth, instilling values, and creating a positive and enjoyable experience that will benefit young athletes both on and off the field.

2023 Report on sport at school in England is dramatic

These are the data from the 2023 Report on “Physical Education and School Sport” related to England.

Our children are:

Unhappier

  1. 97% of teachers are concerned about the mental health of young people in their school.
  2. The number of children in England needing treatment for mental health problems has risen by 39% in a year.
  3. 18% of children aged 7 to 16 have a probable mental disorder.
  4. 45% of parents are concerned about their child’s mental health.

Unhealthier

  1. 73% of teachers are concerned about the physical health of young people in their school.
  2. Rates of obesity are higher than before the pandemic. In England, prevalence of reception children with obesity is 10.1% and 23.4% for year six children. These are both decreases from last year’s data but are still higher than pre-pandemic.

More distracted

  1. Most parents (78%) believe that children are spending too much time online and not enough time with each other in person.
  2. Over 3 in 5 (62%) of parents believe that digital distractions mean
  3. that their children are spending less time being active.
  4. Almost half (46%) of 7- 8 year olds
  5. and 38% of 9-11 year olds agree they spend more time online or watching TV than they do talking to their family.

Physical activity

  1. Less than half (47%) of young people in England are meeting minimum physical activity levels.
  2. 72% of parents are concerned that young people are not getting enough physical activity, however, only 43% of parents are aware that children should be active
  3. for 60 minutes or more a day.
  4. 54% of children would like to do more exercise or sport than they are currently doing – an increase from 44% in 2014.

PE and school sport

  1. In England, PE hours have fallen in the last decade — a reduction of 11.1% from 326, 277 to 290,033 since 2011.
  2. The number of PE teachers in England has also declined in the last 10 years, from 26,005 in 2011 to 23,708, a fall of 8.8%.
  3. Whilst around half (52%) of practitioners feel that PE, school sport and physical activity are seen as priorities within their schools, a quarter (26%) disagree or strongly disagree that this is the case for their schools.

What we need is:

  1. Urgent action: Build back healthier, happier and more resilient young people and level the playing field for those most disadvantaged.
  2. Generational shift: To balance the demands of the digital age through the human connection of physical play and sport.
  3. Societal change: Transform society’s perceptions and attitudes towards the importance of physical literacy, play and sport in the education and development of young people.

Which are the adolescents difficulties during a competition?

Teenage athletes may face several challenges during competitions. Here are some of the most common challenges they may face:

Social pressure: Teenagers often face social pressure from their teammates, coaches, parents, and even their peers. The expectation of excellent performance can put a lot of pressure on the athlete, increasing stress and anxiety.

Balancing commitments: Adolescent athletes may have difficulty balancing sports commitments with school and social commitments. The need to devote a lot of time to training and competition can interfere with study, friendships, and other extracurricular activities.

Growth and physical development: During adolescence, athletes experience rapid physical development, which can involve changes in strength, coordination, and balance. This transitional phase can make it more difficult to maintain consistency of performance and adapt to the body’s new demands.

Injuries and injuries: Adolescent athletes may be more susceptible to injuries and injuries than older athletes. Their bodies are still developing, and muscle imbalances or less joint stability may be present, increasing the risk of injury during sports practice.

Pressure from parents: Some adolescent athletes may face pressure from parents, who may have unrealistic expectations or project their own desires onto the athlete. This can create tension and negatively affect the athlete’s motivation and well-being.

Psychological aspects: Adolescence is a period of emotional and psychological transition. Adolescent athletes may face challenges such as stress management, performance anxiety, lack of self-confidence, and balancing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intense competition: Sports competitions can be extremely intense, especially at the competitive level. Adolescent athletes may find themselves competing against more experienced, stronger or bigger opponents than themselves, which can test their mental resilience and technical skills.

It is important to note that the difficulties may vary from athlete to athlete. Some adolescents may face only some of these challenges, while others may experience all of them. It is critical to provide adequate emotional, physical, and psychological support to adolescent athletes to help them cope with these difficulties and promote healthy athletic and personal development.

The coach role in the development of the young athlete

A coach’s role in leading a young adolescent athlete is of paramount importance to his or her athletic and personal development. Here are some key aspects of a coach’s role at this stage:

Technical instruction: The coach must provide a solid technical foundation for the adolescent athlete. This includes teaching skills specific to their sport, improving technique and execution, and developing a thorough understanding of game tactics. The coach should provide constant feedback on the athlete’s execution and offer targeted drills to improve performance.

Physical development: During adolescence, the athlete’s body is going through a period of rapid development and change. The coach must help the athlete develop a solid physical foundation, including strength training, agility, balance, and endurance. It is important to adapt training according to the athlete’s individual characteristics and developmental levels.
Mental education: Adolescents often face emotional and psychological challenges during this transitional period. The coach should play a lead role in managing stress, building confidence and promoting a positive mental attitude. The coach can teach focus, emotion management and problem-solving strategies to help the athlete overcome mental obstacles.

Emotional support: Adolescence can be a difficult time for many young athletes, with pressures from a variety of sources, such as school, family, and friends. The coach should be a point of reference and emotional support for the athlete. He or she should encourage open communication, listen to the athlete’s concerns, and provide a safe environment in which the athlete feels supported and understood.

Values and character development: The coach has a significant influence on shaping young athletes as individuals. He or she should promote values such as fair play, work ethic, respect, and responsibility. The coach should encourage the athlete to set realistic goals, develop a strong training ethic, and understand the importance of discipline and commitment in achieving success.

In summary, a coach’s role in leading a young adolescent athlete goes beyond the technical aspect of the sport. A good coach creates a positive learning environment in which the athlete can develop skills, overcome challenges, and grow both as an athlete and as an individual.

Goodbye to the explosive and unforgettable Tina Turner

A definitive explanation of what should be meant by resilience was provided by Tina Turner in May 2018, declaring to Marie Claire:

“People think my life has been tough, but I think it’s been a wonderful journey. The older you get, the more you realize that it’s not what happen but how you deal with it.”

On days when you’re feeling a little down, hearing Tina Turner is really a breath of explosive energy good for the soul. Everything about her conveyed strength, starting with her voice, her movements, her music. Her life represented the power of optimism despite the difficulties. Despite the separation of her parents and the repeated violence she suffered from her first husband to name but a few.

Optimism as evident in the lyrics of “We Don’t Need Another Hero.”

Out of the ruins

Out from the wreckage
Can’t make the same mistake this time
We are the children
The last generation (the last generation, generation)
We are the ones they left behind
And, I wonder when we are ever gonna change, change
Living under the fear, ’til nothing else remains
We don’t need another hero
We don’t need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond Thunderdome
Looking for something, we can rely on
There’s gotta be something better out there
Ooh, love and compassion
Their day is coming (coming)
All else are castles built in the air
And, I wonder when we are ever gonna change, change
Living under the fear, ’til nothing else remains
All the children say
We don’t need another hero
We don’t need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond Thunderdome
So, what do we do with our lives
We leave only a mark
Will our story shine like a light or end in the dark?
Give it all or nothing
We don’t need another hero (hero, hero)
We don’t need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond Thunderdome
All the children say
We don’t need another hero (we don’t need another hero)
We don’t need to know the way home, ooh
All we want is life beyond Thunderdome

How to teach to use social media at young

La scorsa settimana l’American Psychological Association ha pubblicato la sua prima guida sull’uso dei social media in età adolescenziale, una serie di 10 raccomandazioni per educatori, politici, aziende tecnologiche e genitori, con l’obiettivo di aiutare gli adolescenti a utilizzare la tecnologia in modo sicuro e positivo.

Il gruppo ha affermato che gli adolescenti dovrebbero essere monitorati per individuare un uso “problematico” dei social media e che è importante ridurre al minimo l’esposizione degli adolescenti al cyberbullismo, all’odio online e ai contenuti che li inducono a confrontare il proprio aspetto fisico con quello degli altri. Ha inoltre sottolineato l’importanza di insegnare agli adolescenti la cittadinanza digitale.

Allo stesso tempo, l’A.P.A. ha riconosciuto che le aziende tecnologiche hanno un ruolo da svolgere in tutto questo, invitandole a considerare se funzioni come lo scorrimento infinito e il pulsante “mi piace” siano adeguate allo sviluppo degli adolescenti.

Ma come tutti i genitori sanno, l’onere principale è quello di monitorare ed educare i propri figli e di stare al passo con una tecnologia in rapida evoluzione. E cercare di farlo può risultare frustrante e inefficace. Le richieste poste ai genitori vanno oltre le normali capacità.

Ma cosa potrebbero fare per ridurre i danni dei social media?

All’inizio è consigliato di essere disponibili.

Una fase critica l’uso dei social media nei bambini di età è tra i 10 e i 14 anni. L’obiettivo è fornire una guida pratica. Una famiglia potrebbe decidere che all’inizio il bambino si limiterà a una sola applicazione e che per i primi sei mesi i genitori esamineranno i post e le richieste di amicizia con il figlio. Ciò richiede disponibilità da parte dei genitori ma anche solo 5 minuti al giorno sono già un tempo sufficiente. Però niente schermi dopo le 21.00.

L’uso notturno dei social è la causa principale dell’insorgenza di disturbi del sonno.  Lasciamo tablet e smartphone fuori dalla camera da letto, mettendoli in uno spazio comune per la notte.

Dobbiamo aiutare gli adolescenti a capire come i social media influenzano il loro cervello. La parte centrale del cervello, il “cervello sociale”, si sta costruendo attivamente durante l’adolescenza ed è la più suscettibile alle influenze esterne. La parte anteriore del cervello, invece, che gestisce aspetti come il processo decisionale, la riduzione dei rischi e la regolazione delle emozioni, si sviluppa fino alla fine dei 20 anni. Quindi gli adolescenti agiscono con un cervello sociale molto attivo, che li rende molto vulnerabili alla pressione dei coetanei e alla ricerca di novità. E ricevono poche informazioni dalla parte anteriore del cervello che dice loro di fermarsi e di fare una pausa.

Tutti i contenuti, i feedback e gli stimoli disponibili online sono facilmente accessibili ai bambini proprio quando il loro cervello sociale si sta sviluppando,

E’ importante chiedere ai giovani se percepiscono di avere il controllo o di essere controllati dai social. Questa domanda è particolarmente efficace per valutare se l’uso dei social media da parte di un adolescente si diventato problematico. Se l’adolescente risponde avere problemi, si apre la possibilità di parlare di strategie di gestione. Per esempio, si può insegnare a impostare un timer per assumersi la responsabilità del tempo trascorso sullo schermo e di capire come comportarsi quando il timer suona e si vuole continuare a rimanere online.

Sebbene l’invito dell’A.P.A. a limitare l’uso dei social media da parte degli adolescenti per confrontarsi con gli altri possa sembrare nebuloso, un approccio consiste nell’insegnare agli adolescenti a fare un semplice controllo di pancia chiedendosi: “Qualcuno di questi account mi fa sentire peggio con me stesso o con il mio corpo?” Sebbene gli effetti negativi dei social media sull’immagine corporea delle ragazze siano stati ampiamente discussi, il dottor Nagata ha sottolineato che i genitori dovrebbero incoraggiare questo tipo di pratica con i figli di entrambi i sessi.

Anche se è meno compreso e meno trattato, anche i ragazzi sono suscettibili di queste influenze. Gli studi hanno dimostrato che l’uso di Instagram nei ragazzi e negli uomini è associato al salto dei pasti, all’alimentazione disordinata, all’insoddisfazione per i muscoli e persino all’uso di steroidi anabolizzanti.

Soprattutto con gli adolescenti più grandi, è bene condurre le conversazioni con curiosità, non con giudizio. L’approccio è davvero fondamentale. Dobbiamo aiutare i ragazzi a capire perché stiamo ponendo la domanda. Non è una domanda accusatoria, critica o giudicante. inoltre, gli adolescenti possono non essere onesti o non voler parlare con voi, ma il compito di un genitore è quello di continuare a chiedere.

The young rights and the coach tasks

I often wonder why we continue to talk about sports and sports performance when we live in a time when uncertainty dominates. Moreover, sport and soccer itself are not immune from serious problems involving athletes and their organizations, from doping to match-fixing, from false accounting to scams related to the acquisition of world-class sporting events. If we stop at just these aspects of our society, we would obviously not have to deal with sports, but we probably would not have to deal with anything if we thought that “everyone is a thief.”

Then there are the young people with their expectations and motivation to succeed in achieving their dreams, and that is what drives me to talk about sports. We cannot leave them alone in finding their way, we certainly cannot leave them prey to the many who want to advise them only to satisfy their narcissism. Instead, we must convey to them:

  • awareness in their own qualities and the need for continuous improvement
  • the ability to accept mistakes and defeats, living them as the only experiences that enable improvement
  • the pleasure of striving to achieve their dreams
  • the belief that the power of the athlete is exercised 100×100 in delivering the best performance of which one is capable, not in winning
  • the belief that the emotional experiences they experience in training and competition are a way for them to learn to manage themselves during the most intense and stressful times in their lives
  • the ability to rejoice and be proud of themselves
  • the ability to respect opponents and competition judges
  • the ability to accept difficulties as an essential and present part of every performance even when one is really well prepared to compete

For these reasons, teaching young people who want to become good at what they do is a very challenging and different experience from working together with adult athletes or those who have already achieved international visibility. These are young adolescents, boys and girls, who are committed to finding out if they have the qualities to stand out in sports and to turn their passion into a high-level sports career.

In individual sports, by high level, we must mean an athlete capable of competing competitively at the international level. In team sports, we refer to playing at least at the level of the top two national championships (where space to play is too often occupied by foreign players).

We know that once established, these long-term goals, however, must be set aside because we must focus on what we need to do to improve and pursue this goal on a daily basis. We also know that it is not easy to acquire this mindset because of the mistakes that are made all the time. They test the personal beliefs that must sustain the athlete in reacting immediately to a single mistake as well as an unsatisfactory race performance.

Teaching young people to acquire this open mindset toward mistakes, interpreting them as a unique opportunity, should be the goal of every coach. We need to teach what Aristotle stated and that is:

“We are what we constantly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit.”

In fact, sports is full of stories of young people who were spoiled by their talent (physical and technical) because they thought that this gift was enough to succeed and when life then confronted them with the decisive tests they were not able to cope. Because we are what we do on a daily basis, study, work and for athletes training. We must be aware that excellence comes from the habit of training with dedication and intensity. Those who do not understand that this is the way to go on a daily basis believe they are making up for it with their natural talent; unfortunately, it is only an illusion that will be demolished at the first rough patches. As counter-evidence of the importance of this mental approach, one can quote what Roger Federer said at the age of 38:

“In order to face younger players, I had to reinvent my play; tennis is constantly evolving.”

Coaching to change

Many speak of Coaching and often cause shouted, promising the moon after walking on hot coals. Coaching is a process of change and takes time. You do not change on a weekend but we may have insights into how we, and is a lot. We have to know that we can all improve, even if no one says it will be easy. If we are willing to accept this approach, then we can walk on this road led by a coach. Coaching in this sense allows us to find a concrete solution to the main questions that managers and young talent, athletes and coaches, team members and leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs. These are:

I want to do better rather than good
I want to do more with less
I want to make new ideas instead of always repeating
I want to convey energy and not resignation
I want to explore new ways without doing the same
I want to balance work and private life
I want to delegate rather than do it all alone
I want to encourage curiosity and not boredom at work
I want to listen without prejudice instead of thinking to be always right
I want to live in movement and not in a marsh

If you are interested in knowing more about this approach to change write me and I will give you more information