The before determines the after

Valuing our actions means being aware that what precedes determines the following actions. In sport this rule is quite evident if we think that:

  • How you train determines how you compete.
  • How you warm-up determines how you start the race.
  • How ready you are to face difficulties (have a plan) determines how you will face them in the race.
  • How you react to the mistake determines how ready you are to start doing well again.
  • In sports where there are breaks: How you prepare between one point and another determines how you perform the next.

So, do you know how you prepare to do your best?

Summer camp for young with intellectual disability

Once again this year together with AS Roma we organized two weeks of summer camp for young people with intellectual disabilities. It started today and the sports activity took place in spaces organized with a sequence of motor stations so that everyone is active without moments of waiting. This allowed each child to be able to do the activity at their own pace, thus allowing them to take breaks depending on their tiredness and motivation to continue.

Having much more time to do the activity, compared to the usual training duration of 60 minutes also allows each person to take rather long breaks of 15 to 20 minutes while continuing to be on the field and then resume it having a time of 5 hours. This aspect also has a positive effect on the coaches who work in the knowledge that they do not have to urge the young person to do the activity, as can happen during the year when training time is much shorter.

Participants will be active for 5 hours per day for a total of 25 hours per week, which in quantitative terms is equivalent to 3 months of training for two hours per week. In addition, these more limited-functioning boys/girls are also unlikely to make several absences during the year, so it is not difficult to assume that for many this weekly number of hours may be equivalent to 4 months of training.

Look the video of today: WhatsApp Video 2022-06-13 at 11.33.03

Coaches ignore the mental education of young people

Mental education of young people is one of the tasks of training.

Often, however, training is centered almost exclusively on learning and perfecting sports technique and physical fitness.

Nonetheless, instructors and coaches use terms that squeeze psychological concepts to support athletes in training and competition (focus, stay calm, you need to be more determined, put your mind to it, don’t give up, wake up! Don’t sleep).

Thus an obvious difference emerges: the technical aspects of sport and physical fitness are trained and developed over time and with continued effort. The psychological aspects are considered innate skills that will be put into action through simple words of reminder from the coach about the aspects that are deficient at any given time.

Obviously this approach is wrong, but many do not know this.

What the failure is.

The reasons why people do not change

  1. It is thought to be imposed
  2. It is believed to be useless
  3. It is believed to be impossible
  4. It is thought to have already given much
  5. For lack of information
  6. People don’t listen
  7. One is impulsive
  8. One feels incapable
  9. One does not see the benefits
  10. One has always done that way
  11. One is afraid of making mistakes
  12. One thinks about something else
  13. One is too busy
  14. One is suspicious
  15. One is arrogant

Mental coaching program for young athletes

Goal: Practice sport requires to the young athlete to develop specific mental and interpersonal most of which will be useful to succeed not only in this setting but also at school and in the daily life.

Coaching and competitions are real situations where the young show their competences and their desire to do the best in the respect of the rules. Also UN and CIO have been written guidelines in this direction, recognizing the great role played by sport in the human growth of the children and adolescents.

Starting from this perspectives this program propose to develop specific mental and interpersonal skills in the young with the collaboration of their coaches.

The main skills that could be learned and developed are the following:

  1. Learn from the experiences made during the sessions and in competition
  2. Techniques to relaxation and stress management
  3. Techniques of mental warm-up
  4. Visualization of the sport performance
  5. How to focus in the shooting sports
  6. The role of mental rehearsal in the shooting sports
  7. The positive dialogue: how to encourage ourselves through the self-talk
  8. How to react to the errors
  9. How to cooperate with the coaches

Brain and muscles

Mental repetition of a movement, even as simple as raising an arm or as complex as performing a high jump, results in a moderate increase in the level of activation of the muscle districts involved in the actual execution. It is a process analogous to that which takes place in the actual movement and also results in feedback information to the brain that is perceptible to the subject. It occurs in the following way:

1. The person imagines jumping focusing on the action of the legs (information from the brain to the muscles)

2. The leg muscles contract (effect on the muscles of mental repetition)

3. The person feels the sensations from that part of the body (information back from the muscles to the brain).

This result is known under the name Carpenter effect and confirms the relevance of thought to movement. Mental repetition immediately before a motor or sports performance puts the body in a condition of physical and psychological readiness that predisposes the individual to perform it effectively.

Learn from Nadal’s philosophy

Nadal reminds us that his philosophy is, “I don’t let go, I look for the solution in every moment, we see how far my opponent can go, he has to give his best to win.”

To achieve this mindset, we need to orient young people to:

  • Plan, monitor and adjust their thoughts more in relation to different tasks.
  • Focus on the task, improve goal monitoring and willingness to change strategy after a negative result.

The role of the coach:

  • Encourage reflection and provide strategies for improvement after mistakes. Strategies may involve technical aspects or the demand for more effort and persistence.
  • Show enthusiasm, with high interaction, defined goals and supportive feedback.

Campaign “The BIKE build the FUTURE”

A survey by the Ipsos Research Institute on mobility and the Italian perception of the bike:

  1. 49% Italians own a bike.
  2. 30% say they use it to engage in motor activity
  3. 10% to get to work
  4. 6% of Italians do not have access to a car they can use
  5. 8% say they use bike share.
  6. 37% recount that they use it at least twice a week
  7. 13% say it is their primary mode of transportation
  8. 88% believe that using bikes is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions and traffic
  9. 62% state that riding a bicycle in their living area is dangerous,
  10. 71% think that new mobility projects should prioritize bikes over cars.
  11. 50% of those looking for a bike want it electric (Source: Idealo)