Archive for the 'Tiro a volo' Category

Peacefulness to cope with the competition difficulties

Working with athletes from different sports disciplines like shooting, diving, walking and fencing in the days before the race, leads me to think that the peacefulness (serenity) is for them an important factor to compete at their best. I don’t consider peacefulness synonymous with being calm. Is, in my opinion, being aware of:

  • possess the necessary skills to compete this time at the best
  • be ready to face with the many difficulties of the race
  • get into difficulty and get out with success thanks to training and past experiences
  • have acquired the ability to just live the present moment and not the immediate future

In this sense, the race has to be understood as a succession of instants that run continuously until the end of the performance, but the concentration is always on the present task, not in the past, not in the future.

For all of us there is a lot to think on these issues being spoken too little, sometimes too busy to teach only the psychological techniques to deal with the competitions.

The Summer Schools in sport psychology are a great reality

The  Summer School in sport and exercise psychology, like this to take place in Ireland, are becoming a great reality. This shows that our discipline is booming. Find them on the web using as keywords: summer school, sport psychology.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Youth sport and the coach training

Il Seminario offrirà una panoramica delle più recenti ricerche nel campo dell’allenamento dei giovani atleti. In modo particolare verranno illustrati due modelli utilizzati per favorire un maggiore coinvolgimento ed assicurare il massimo impegno dei giovani nelle attività sportive: il Personal Assets Framework (PAF) e il Developmental Model of Sport Participation (DMSP).
Proprio quest’ultimo Modello, che mira allo sviluppo dei tre obiettivi tipici dei programmi per le attività giovanili, ossia Prestazione, Partecipazione e Sviluppo Personale, sarà protagonista del prossimo numero della Rivista della Scuola dello Sport con un approfondito Articolo.
Durante la giornata, si analizzeranno le tre componenti fondamentali di questi Modelli: le caratteristiche delle attività da svolgere, le competenze gli allenatori ed il contesto operativo.

Riguardo la formazione degli allenatori, verrà indicata come utile una prospettiva che metta al centro le relazioni interpersonali come strumento necessario per sostenere una partecipazione a lungo termine da parte degli allievi.

Il Relatore principale del Seminario è il Prof. Jean Cotè della Queen’s University di Kingston (Canada), il quale, per mezzo dello “Sport Psychology PLAYS Research Group”, da lui fondato e finanziato tra gli altri anche dalla English Football Association, svolge costante attività di ricerca sui fattori psicosociali che influenzano la performance e la partecipazione nell’attività sportiva, con particolare attenzione al contesto giovanile.
Il Docente rappresenta sicuramente un punto di riferimento in campo Internazionale per tutti gli studiosi ed i tecnici che si occupano di allenamento giovanile e della formazione degli allenatori.

The coaches have to be able to assess their professional experiences

A key factor for the improvement of the work of the coaches is the ability to evaluate their professional experience, with particular emphasis on the interactions with the athletes or team in training and in competition. The coaches must evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the work done, the reactions of the athletes and the difficulties and the solutions proposed.

This task must be carried out continuously over time, focusing on what happens during the workout and in competition.It is, therefore, not an episodic activity that takes place because they have to solve a problem, but it must be planned as an activity should be part of the usual way of doing things. In this sense, the coaches are facilitators, since they encourage the creation of a suitable climate to carry out training, developing the athletes’ competitiveness and their winning mentality. The coaches have to think to their professional experiences and need to be aware of:

  1. the decisions they take,
  2. the parameters that will enable to know that the training has been effective,
  3. the expectations about their athletes in connection with the training/competitions they perform,
  4. the difficulties they may face and the solutions to be adopted,
  5. how to deal with the competitions and how to evaluate the results,
  6. the plan to deal with unforeseen and unexpected events,
  7. what makes a successful or unsuccessful  season,
  8. how they might handle the tough times that will inevitably arise,
  9. how to face with the stress related to their profession,
  10. how they work with the staff and the management.

A common bias: the warmup is useful to avoid the injuries

There’s a lot of confusion among athletes in relation to the warmup function.

For some is practiced to avoid getting hurt.

For others it’s something to do well just before the races, but during the training they do not do ever in that way.

For almost everyone it’s a rather boring phase in which to prepare to start very well the competition.

It is often regarded like a school homework and it’s performed without conviction and with a reduced mental effort.

For example, almost no guy gets exhaling during the stretching. Let us remember that the first determines the later. Then bad stretching corresponds to a limited elongation and reduced muscle distension, with all the negative consequences coming if this kind of execution is repeated over time.

The tactics in sports

The tactic is a key factor of success in many sports, not just team sports. In summary, it’s to do the right thing at the right time and therefore requires timing, precision, awareness and quickness. They are skills that athletes must develop, otherwise they will probably perform doing the right thing at the wrong time or even they choked because dominated by performance anxiety.

The tactic consists of a set of factors that lead to sports action:

  • Have specific and achievable performance goals, adapted to the situational demands of the competition.
  • Know your skills and expertise, knowing the odds of success and risk.
  • Develop the situational awareness, perceive and analyze situations, choose between alternatives and use the personal insights.
  • Quickly change the action plan, if it does not produced the effects expected.
  • Act supported by thoughts and emotions.

The culture of mental toughness

The development of mental toughness has often been regarded as a strictly individual factor and we have few information to understand how the sport organizations show and build their culture of toughness and how this promotes the athletes’ toughness .

The article by Eubanks, Nesti e Littlewood (2017), A culturally informed approach to mental toughness development in high performance sport, IJSP, 48, 206-222, revived some new insights about this topic.

The purpose is to explore the importance of culture in the development of Mental Toughness (MT). This is done by means of a critical review of the current literature that exists in relation to the conceptualisation, definition and development of the concept. We argue that despite recent advances in our understanding, most research into MT has focused on the characteristics of mentally tough individuals. Although important and useful, the role of the environment, culture and context, and how these impact MT and its development has been given somewhat less attention and is perhaps not well integrated into practice.

The notion of Mental Toughness (MT) being broadly represented by “the ability to achieve personal goals in the face of pressure from a wide range of different stressors” (Hardy et al., 2014).

One of the criticisms frequently levelled at psychology as an academic discipline is that it often focuses on the individual, and forgets, or ignores the environment within which the individual exists.

Culture may be best seen as the hidden yet influential force, involving core values, beliefs, and traditions that operates as a type of soft power, which shape the working practices, ideas, strategies and philosophies of groups and individuals.

Weinberg et al. (2011) focused on the views of ten National Collegiate Athletic Association head coaches, who reported that a tough physical practice environment, a positive men-tal environment and an environment that provided mental toughness awareness and learning opportunities were fundamental to MT development.

The authors said that is clear that the optimum environments to build MT are those that are imbued with a challenging and stimulating culture, where personal responsibility is emphasised in all things.