Autismo and sport: a relation not well known

Sport for young people with intellectual disabilities, children and adolescents, especially with autism spectrum syndrome is a difficult wall to break down. There are too many dogmatic thoughts blocking the opportunity for the development in this age group, which is critical for the approach that can to provide at their life not only in these years but also for the future as adults.

Sedentary and overweight are the most common outcomes faced by these young people and their families. In Italian school system the young with disabilities are 216,013, equal to 2.4% of the entire population (close to 9 million students).

Of these, 68% are young people with intellectual disabilities.

How many of them practice sports or physical activity continuously? Unfortunately we do not know and this is already a rather serious fact that highlights the limited interest in sport. How many sports organizations are carrying out programs for these young people? Even on this point, information is very scarce and families have not places where to ask about this.

We could continue with many other questions, which at the moment did not find an answer.

Finally, the scientific data, not only in Italy, even internationally are reduced. Rather, it’s better to follow the motto: “sport is good, do it”. Little is known about the training programs carried out, about the characteristics of the professionals involved, there are no longitudinal studies.

In Italy, Even the recent book on “Good practices in autism” published by the Psychologist Register certainly interesting for the aspects related to diagnosis and relationships between School, Families and Services, ignores sports as a system of empowerment of young people with ASD. It is a pity that they did not inquire about this issue, because sport is instead an essential piece for the development of young people with ASD.

International Journal of Sport Psychology has dedicated a special issue on the subject and anyone interested can request it from the publisher Luigi Pozzi.

Italian sport psychologists talk about their job

New trends in Sport psychology, special issue of the Italian Journal, Movimento, 3, 2018

17 Italian sport psychologists talk of your job in sport answering at four questions:

  • What motivated you to start the career of sport psychologist?
  • What do you like of this job in SP?
  • Which are the SP areas where you like to work.
  • Describe your current job in PS.
The experts involved are the following:
Giovanna Barazzutti, Emiliano Bernardi, Sara Biondi, Gladys Bounous, Edoardo Ciofi, Cristiana Conti, Sarah Corazzi, Sergio Costa, Sara Landi, Sammy Marcantognini, Stefania Ortensi, Barbara Rossi, Daniela Sepio, Flavia Sferragatta, Matteo Simone, Cecilia Somigli e Graziella Zitelli.

Sport psychology: new trends and new professional jobs

Alberto Cei (2018). Psicologo dello sport: nuove tendenze e sviluppi professionali, Movimento, 3, 57-66.

Sport psychology is a scientific and professional field in continuous development, as many other areas of psychology and in the last 10 years occurred several situations that have changed this job deeply. This contribution will be described seven areas protagonists of these changes. They refer to: sport psychology and performance psychology, the psychologist in youth programs, sport psychology, performance and stress management; sport psychology and mental health of athletes, sport psychology and disability, sport psychology and physically active lifestyle and sport psychology 4.0. The purpose of this article is to deepen the knowledge in the areas of sport psychology consultancy, providing cues for reflection in relation to where it’s going and how is moving this work context and stimulating the professionals to develop counseling programs, increasingly adapted to the new demands of the sporting world.

World Day of Autism Awareness

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The meditation in sport

Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant talk about the relevance of mindfulness and meditation to develop the self-control and full mastery of ourselves during the competition.

“It’s like having an anchor. If I don’t do it I feel like I’m constantly chasing the day as opposed to being in control” – Kobe

“You seat on the bench, you take a deep breath and you reset yourself; and you do that through the mindfulness.” – Phil

 

Risultati immagini per Phil Jackson & Kobe Bryant discuss the value of meditation and mindfulness

How the positive thinking can destroy our performance

How many times we have heard we must be optimistic, that we have to believe we can win, or that “with everything we’ve done we deserve to achieve a great result.”

There is apparently nothing of wrong to have this thinking, “That’s the way to push ourselves” many people say.

They also add: “What should I tell: to lose? Nobody start a competition with the goal to lose, therefore, you must start the race with the will to win it, because if you don’t even think it, how will you get it?”

In short, “think positive and you will see that it will happen what do you want.”

Well, all these good thoughts are useless and they can become harmful, because at the first difficulties and errors during the race, the athlete will not be ready to react immediately because he expects to win, that is to say that she is focused on the result and not on what to do to get it. “I was ready … and then things didn’t go as I had expected.”

These are often the words of those who start with a too trusting attitude and then at the end of the performance they attributes the result to something out of themselves, without taking responsibility for what it has happened.

These thoughts, which represent the athletes’ expectations about the race, can really be considered as the performance killers. They are amazed by their own mistakes and the difficulties they face in the race and they have not prepared a plan to react effectively to these situations.

Charles Leclerc: the mindset of a future champion

Charles Leclerc is a predestined to succeed not only for having deserved to debut in this season in Formula 1 and in the legendary Ferrari and not even for the compliments received from Lewis Hamilton. It is a predestined, for his exceptional race conduct, highlighting that his mindset is that one of the absolute level champions. At the beginning of the race, he was able to demonstrate that he had considerable self-control, reacting emotionally to the overtaking that caused him to go back into third position and immediately setting the reaction that led him from this position to the top of the race, surpassing his partner of team – because he went faster – and having also asked for the green light on the radio.

These actions highlight the high emotional control of a 21-year-old athlete, who did not let it go to his head in being the youngest Ferrari driver to get pole position but struggled with determination throughout the race. This is the example of what is called open mind, which requires removing from the mind what it has been done previously, the day before but also a few moments before, to put one’s physical and mental energy only in the realization of what should happen in the following moments, since in a few seconds you overtake or overtake yourself, you keep the pressure on the opponent, you say in practice “I’m here and I’m going to take you”. This is the killer instinct that as the legendary Rod Laver always remember means: “Never allow the opponent to think that it will be easy to compete with you”. Charles Leclerq has shown he has this quality.

The problem with his Ferrari in the final, deprived him of the victory he deserved, but here again Leclerc showed his ability to react quickly to an external disturbing factor, the mechanical one, and one internal to himself, which competitive reaction to have. He has been tough, he did not show signs of emotional discouragement or anger and reasoned in order to reach the third position, taking advantage of the entry of the safety car, allowing him two laps from the deadline of not being overcome thus losing the third position and without push too much because he would have run out of gas. These are behaviors, that watching the race from the sofa at home, may seem obvious but, for those who live the competition in the first person, are instead situations to be used with awareness and competence, that only a driver able to manage these external and internal factors will be able to lead. With this race, Charles Leclerc has joined in the wake of the champions of every sport, for his ability and propensity to use competitive stresses at his advantage, continuing in this way he will be able to reach them and discover the subtle pleasure one feels in being of absolute level.

Zero talent, the best results if

Risultati immagini per habit and success performance

Walk as a tool to be health

Health strongly favored by:

  • 10,000 is the minimum number of steps to do per day
  • 150 are the minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity
  • 130 steps per minute is the ideal pace for a walk
  • 100 are the walking steps per minute. 25 steps in 15 seconds
  • 5 are the minutes to walk every hour
  • The world don’t walk so much and the world average is 5.000 steps
  • Warning: introduce changes to one’s habits through the adoption of habits tailored to one’s psychological and physical conditions and compatible with everyday life

Risultati immagini per Large-scale physical activity data reveal worldwide activity inequality

Smartphone data from over 68 million days of activity by 717,527 individuals reveal variability in physical activity across the world.

a, World map showing variation in activity (mean daily steps) between countries measured through smartphone data from 111 countries with at least 100 users. Cool colours correspond to high activity (for example, Japan in blue) and warm colours indicate low levels of activity (for example, Saudi Arabia in orange).

b, Typical activity levels (distribution mode) differ between countries. Curves show distribution of steps across the population in four representative countries as a normalized probability density (high to low activity: Japan, UK, USA, Saudi Arabia). Vertical dashed lines indicate the mode of activity for Japan (blue) and Saudi Arabia (orange).

c, The variance of activity around the population mode differs between countries. Curves show distribution of steps across the population relative to the population mode. In Japan, the activity of 76% of the population falls within 50% of the mode (that is, between the light grey dashed lines), whereas in Saudi Arabia this fraction is only 62%. The UK and USA lie between these two extremes for average activity level and variance. This map is based on CIA World Data Bank II data, publicly available through the R package mapdata (https://www.r-project.org/).© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.