10 reason to prefer a personal trainer

The widespread prevalence of personal trainers today can be attributed to several factors. Here are some reasons why personal trainers have become so popular:

  1. Health and Fitness Awareness: More and more people are aware of the importance of health and fitness in their lives. Increasing awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle has led many individuals to seek the assistance of a personal trainer to achieve their health and fitness goals.
  2. Obesity and Related Diseases: Obesity and obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart diseases, have become a growing concern in many societies. This has prompted many people to seek ways to improve their health and lose weight, often through the guidance of a personal trainer.
  3. Personalized Planning: A personal trainer can create a customized workout program and dietary plan based on each individual’s needs, goals, and fitness level. This personalization is a key element in achieving effective and sustainable results.
  4. Motivation and Accountability: Many people struggle to stay motivated and accountable when it comes to adopting a fitness program. A personal trainer provides ongoing support, encouragement, and accountability, which can significantly increase the likelihood of success.
  5. Knowledge and Experience: Personal trainers are fitness professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in exercise, nutrition, and anatomy. This expertise enables them to effectively guide their clients toward their health and fitness goals.
  6. Time and Efficiency: Many people have busy schedules and seek efficient ways to work out. A personal trainer can help maximize workout time by creating effective programs and ensuring exercises are performed correctly.
  7. Variety and Enjoyment: A personal trainer can introduce variety into workout routines, making exercise more fun and interesting. This can help maintain high levels of motivation in the long term.
  8. Measurable Progress: Personal trainers track their clients’ progress and provide continuous feedback. This helps maintain motivation and demonstrates the achieved results, which can be very rewarding.
  9. Accessibility: Today, personal trainers can be found in gyms, fitness studios, online, and even through apps and digital platforms. This wide availability has made access to personal trainers more accessible to a variety of people.
  10. Investment in Health: Many individuals are willing to invest in their health and well-being, considering the cost of a personal trainer as a long-term investment in their health and quality of life.

In conclusion, the growing prevalence of personal trainers is the result of increasing awareness of the importance of fitness and health, along with the demand for professional assistance to effectively and efficiently achieve specific goals.

How to live the pre-olympic year

Less than a year until the upcoming 2024 Olympics and Paralympics in Paris, and I wonder what this year will be like for athletes, teams, and staff. The Olympic Games maintain their timeless allure that goes beyond the commercialization of sports. Many aspire to go there at least once in their sports careers, and the stress associated with this participation is intense for everyone. Of the Italian athletes participating in the Olympics, only about 15% will return with a medal.

However, this year should not be lived solely through stress, sacrifices, and fears but also with the enthusiasm of those who feel committed to achieving a great goal without being crushed by it. We aim high to achieve a result, whatever it may be for each individual, but we enjoy our daily lives.

We have now become aware that there is no distinction between the individual and the athlete; they are not two separate entities residing in the same body. There are no two different people, one of whom must sacrifice to satisfy the other. Research conducted among elite athletes consistently shows that their performance depends on their motivation, dedication to this profession which is sports, their coaches and the staff working with them, and their family and friends – in other words, their primary social environment.

Their performance largely depends on the effective integration of these elements. There will always be exceptions to this approach, but this does not represent the rule. Therefore, it is desirable that the culture of integration, which recognizes the value of the overall well-being of athletes and their lives, continues to spread.

10 habits that block positive thinking

Positive thinking can be a beneficial mindset, but there are some challenges and obstacles that people may encounter when trying to cultivate it. Here are some of the main obstacles to positive thinking:

  1. Chronic negativity - Some people tend to be naturally more inclined towards pessimism or chronic negativity. Overcoming this predisposition requires effort and constant practice. Continuous comparison with other athletes – “I’m worth less than…” vs. “How can I develop myself more.”
  2. Stress and anxiety - High levels of stress and anxiety can hinder the ability to think positively. These emotions can lead people to focus on problems rather than solutions – “My heart beats so high, I will do evil” vs. “I’m tense because it is important.”
  3. Traumatic events - Traumatic experiences can leave deep scars and make positive thinking difficult. It is necessary to confront and process such events to progress towards a more positive mindset.
  4. Negative thought habits - Negative thought habits ingrained over time can be challenging to change. They often require awareness, commitment, and constant practice to overcome. Fear of being ridiculous – “If I fall, everyone will laugh at me” vs. “I just think about my performance.”
  5. Negative external influences - Our environment and the people around us can influence our thinking. If surrounded by pessimistic individuals or a toxic environment, it can be challenging to maintain a positive mindset.
  6. Low self-esteem - Self-esteem and self-confidence play an important role in positive thinking. People with low self-esteem may struggle to believe in themselves and see the positive side of situations. “I’m worth less than…” vs. “How can I develop myself more.”
  7. Fear of failure - The fear of failing or not succeeding can hinder positive thinking. People may avoid being optimistic for fear of disappointment. Fear of critics – “I wonder what they think of me” vs. “The other me encourages me.”
  8. Unhealthy lifestyle habits - An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and insufficient sleep can negatively impact mental well-being and make positive thinking more challenging.
  9. Lack of clear goals - A lack of clear goals or a sense of purpose can make it difficult to maintain a positive mindset. Having clear goals can provide direction and motivation for positive thinking. “I must not make an error” vs. “Do it to concentrate more.”
  10. Resistance to change - Some people are simply resistant to change and prefer to stay in their comfort zone, even if it’s negative. This resistance can hinder the willingness to adopt a more positive mindset. Fear of disapproval – “If I’m wrong, the coach will scold me” vs. “I’m here to give my best. Let’s go!”

To overcome these obstacles, it is important to work on self-awareness, seek support from professionals if necessary, develop more positive mental habits, and create an environment that fosters positive thinking.

10 rules to become world level athlete

Becoming a world-class athlete is extremely challenging for several reasons. Here are some of the main reasons:

  1. Fierce Competition - The world of sports is highly competitive, with thousands of talented athletes vying to reach the top in every discipline. Competition is fierce at all levels, from youth competitions to international events.
  2. Full-Time Commitment - To become a world-class athlete, it is often necessary to devote oneself to the sport full-time. This means training hard every day, following a strict diet, receiving adequate medical and mental support, and often sacrificing other career or leisure opportunities.
  3. Financial Resources - World-class athletes often require significant financial resources to cover training expenses, travel for competitions, and specialized equipment. Many athletes need to find sponsorships or funding to support their efforts.
  4. Talent - Genetics can play a significant role in determining an athlete’s potential. Some people are genetically predisposed to excel in certain sports, but even with natural talent, hard work and consistent training are required to reach the top.
  5. Mental Resilience - The pressure and stress associated with world-class competitions can be extremely demanding. Athletes must develop strong mental resilience to cope with pressure, defeats, and high expectations.
  6. Adequate Support - Successful athletes often need a strong support network, including experienced coaches, doctors, physiotherapists, and mentors. This support network is essential for addressing physical and mental challenges.
  7. Time Investment - Becoming a world-class athlete requires years of hard work and constant commitment. Often, athletes must start at a young age and dedicate most of their time to training and competitions.
  8. External Factors - Various external factors can influence an athlete’s career, such as injuries, national or international sports policies, and career management decisions.
  9. Career Duration - A world-class athlete’s career often has a limited duration. Most athletes reach their peak physical condition in a relatively short time frame, which can vary depending on the sport. After reaching the peak, aging and physical wear and tear can limit performance. Therefore, becoming a world-class athlete requires not only reaching that level but also maintaining that performance over time.
  10. Variables Beyond the Athlete’s Control - Athletes may face various variables beyond their control that can impact their careers, such as changes in game rules, suspensions for rule violations, sports policies, or arbitral decisions. These external factors can have a significant impact on the opportunities for success for a world-class athlete and make the journey even more challenging.

In summary, becoming a world-class athlete requires a combination of talent, hard work, resources, support, and some degree of luck. It is a difficult and competitive path, but for those who manage to reach this level, the rewards can be extraordinary in terms of personal success and global recognition.

Hall of Fame of sport psychology

The induction into the ISSP Hall of Fame is a recognition that ISSP bestows to globally outstanding scholars, practitioners, and organizational leaders in the field of sport and exercise psychology. Our inductees are immortalized for their contributions to research, practice, and/or international leadership and the lasting impact they have left in sport and exercise psychology. The ISSP’s Hall of Fame has been established to increase and ensure awareness of exemplary work such as the accomplishment of milestones, essential perspectives, and the development of a fundamental disciplinary framework for this profession. The ISSP Hall of Fame is open to sport and exercise psychology professionals worldwide, across sport, exercise, and psychology societies. The ISSP Hall of Fame is a historical project intended to provide an evolving historical backdrop of recognized professional greatness.


Davide Mazzanti’s ideas and mistakes

The theme of excluding the best player by explicit choice of the national team’s coach is a recurring topic in various teams, often with similar explanations.

The latest case refers to the women’s volleyball national team, where the coach preferred a young 20-year-old player with limited international experience over the champion Paola Egonu. The explanation given in interviews by Davide Mazzanti is clear: “Inside, everything is clearer, I don’t make my choices for convenience but based on my principles.”

It would have been interesting if he had explained what is clearer inside the team compared to someone who can only gather information by watching the games. I would say that the second part of the sentence is a typical expression of someone who feels attacked and rigidly defends their ideas. So, following his ideas means excluding the player considered to be the best in the world, while making her a starter would be seen as a convenience-based choice.

We can also say that from his words, there are apparent issues of leadership and interpersonal dynamics within the team, including the coach, driven by the presence of this player, which outweigh the benefits derived from her sporting value. According to the coach, a young player like Andropova, grateful for the unexpected role offered to her, fosters better team cohesion.

This style of leadership should not be surprising; team sports are filled with stories like this. Spalletti with Totti, Sacchi with Baggio, Valcareggi with the relay between Mazzola and Rivera. So, it’s not my intention to debate whether these choices are right or wrong, nor to express value judgments. In this high-level sport, there is one ultimate parameter we all are judged by: victory. The women’s national team has lost, so some choices were wrong and need to be pragmatically corrected. The role of the player Egonu should be interpreted according to this logic, aware that there have also been other limitations that emerged in the last two games.

Personally, I believe that in the national team, the players who have proven to be the strongest and are accustomed to winning in their clubs should be given the opportunity to play because this type of experience is extremely relevant for handling the crucial moments of the games and paying attention to the details that prevent errors in high-stress phases of competition. Building cohesion on the field and alignment with the coach’s ideas follows from this foundation.

Teaching critical and divergent thinking

Teaching critical and creative thinking to today’s youth is a complex challenge influenced by various social, cultural, and technological factors. These difficulties include:

  1. Information Overload - The current generation is exposed to a constant stream of information from digital technologies and social media, the quality of which is difficult to verify. This information overload can hinder young people’s ability to discern and critically evaluate information sources.
  2. Technological Dependency - The increasing dependence on digital devices and social media can undermine the concentration and mental disposition required for critical and creative thinking due to constant digital distractions and stimuli.
  3. Culture of Instant Gratification - Contemporary society promotes the expectation of immediate results and instant gratification, discouraging the patience and depth of analysis required for critical thinking and solving complex problems.
  4. Academic Pressure - Young people may face significant pressure to achieve outstanding academic results, leading to a focus on memorizing information rather than developing critical thinking skills. Others may lack academic pressure because they believe that web-based research is sufficient for acquiring any knowledge.
  5. Cultural Changes - Contemporary culture may favor conformity and uniformity of opinions, with less tolerance for diversity of thought and individuality. Influencers often become the primary cultural and interpersonal relationship references.
  6. Fear of Failure - Reluctance to embrace failure can discourage young people from taking risks and experimenting with new ideas, even though failure is often an essential component of the critical thinking and learning process. This mindset undermines the acceptance of errors as a fundamental part of learning.
  7. Limitations in the Learning Environment - Educators may face challenges in teaching critical thinking due to time constraints, pressure to follow the curriculum, and limited resources. They can also be affected by these cultural changes.
  8. Information Distortion - In the age of fake news and online misinformation, young people may struggle to distinguish between accurate and misleading information. This makes the acquisition of critical analysis skills for evaluating sources and verifying information crucial.
  9. Abundance of Digital Entertainment - Constant access to digital entertainment and games can compete with time dedicated to reflection and critical reading. The ubiquitous presence of entertainment devices can discourage intellectual depth, as digital entertainment often presents learning as a game that is abandoned if not enjoyable.
  10. Online Social Interaction - Frequent use of social media and messaging platforms can promote superficial and rapid communication at the expense of meaningful conversations and critical reflection. This can limit opportunities for in-depth idea exchange. In sports, only the most significant moments of performances are watched, while the rest is considered boring.

Encouraging critical and creative thinking among young people requires a collaborative effort by educators, parents, and society as a whole. This may include adopting educational approaches that prioritize critical thinking, promoting mindful technology use, and offering experiential learning opportunities that enable young people to apply critical thinking in real-world contexts.

How’s that climate change going?



Who should train young to deal with emotions?

We know that “you can win by losing if you give it your all.” It is a key concept in the development of an athlete and should be taught from the very first day a boy or girl enters a playing field. On the contrary, we see young people who as soon as they make a mistake become angry with themselves or depressed. We know that this happens because of the conjunction of different reasons:

  • parents often do not recognize the value of effort and think that it only matters to win, so they get angry at their children for their mistakes and would like to take the place of the coach to give them technical guidance,
  • coaches are more focused on teaching technique and do not emotionally coach athletes,
  • young people themselves are unable to express their emotions constructively and lack self-control,
  • social media obsessively push fake but appealing models of success to young people (beauty, fitness, success if you match the rules that influencers propose)

And so we see young tennis players slamming their rackets to the ground after a mistake alternating between angry and depressed moods against themselves or in other sports made one mistake almost quickly follows others, because frustration due to the first mistake dominates in athletes. Changing this way of experiencing defeats and mistakes requires parents and coaches who are more aware that their role includes teaching self-control, working with their children and athletes to change these destructive behaviors.

One certainly does not have to impose our adult solutions to their problems. We need to listen empathetically and not to judge, so that young people feel supported and respected in their states of mind. Only after this stage should we start talking about what could be done differently, giving time for the young people to express their ideas and for us to stimulate their awareness in regard to how they act and identify possible solutions. Acting in this way takes time, and it is often for this reason that adults do not follow this path.

We need to be aware, however, that if we often refrain from intervening, young people will begin to think that their reactions do not interest their parents and coaches, and worse, they will continue to behave negatively toward themselves. If we want our young people to develop the ability to deal effectively and satisfactorily with their daily stresses, we must spend time teaching them how to behave, feel and think in those moments.

Athletes victimized by stereotypes about mental illness

Petersen, B., Schinke, R.J., Giffin, C.E., Larivière, M. (2023). The Breadth of Mental Ill-Health Stigma Research in Sport: A Scoping ReviewInternational Journal of Sport Psychology, 54(1), 67-90.

Mental ill-health affects athletes at prevalence rates similar to the general population, despite beliefs that athletes are protected by highly physically active lifestyles. Though discussions of stigma are ubiquitous within sport, the research landscape on mental ill-health stigma in sport is unclear. Consequently, we conducted a scoping review overviewing the extant literature and researchers’ approaches to stigma in sport. We collated data from 68 articles and provided interpretations of the emergent trends. Researchers have primarily focused on athlete help-seeking and mental health literacy in relation to stigma. Additionally, future research should clarify the type of stigma under study and explore structural stigma, which remains a significant literature gap. Finally, shifting toward open-ended and inclusive research methodologies can centralize participants’ involvement, incorporating their experiences and leading to progressive understand- ing of mental ill-health stigma. Our findings present future research directions and research suggestions to expand mental ill-health stigma in sport research.

Stigma isthe devaluation of an individual based on a characteristic they possess or are believed to possess.

As a result, athletes indicate that stigma attached to mental ill-health is one of the biggest barriers to help-seeking behaviours, inhibiting athletes’ utilization of mental health services as they seek to prevent any stigma-related repercussions. Athletes’ unwillingness to access mental health 230 services to avoid stigma may lead to ongoing performance detriments or exacerbation of mental ill-health; subsequently, the effects of stigma on help-seeking behaviours feature prominently in sport psychology stigma research.