Tag Archive for 'allenamento.'

Coaching Generation Z athletes

Michael Mignano is one of the authors of this article on Generation Z: Gould, D., Nalepa, J., & Mignano, M. (2019). Coaching Generation Z athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.

Based on the data collected, he recently wrote some recommendations for coaching these young people born since 1996.

The uniqueness of Generation Z lies in the rapid onset of these changes, most likely due to technological advancements that have caught teachers, coaches, and support staff off-guard. So, how can adults work most effectively with Generation Z athletes? The following are suggestions based on empirical research of the topic:

  • Explain the ‘Why.’ With technology and information at their fingertips, Generation Z athletes expect adults to have done their homework. Providing a quick rationale for training methods and practice plans can improve motivation and effort of young people. It also reduces the inevitable ‘why’ questions from both athletes and parents.
  • Communicate Effectively. While face-to-face communication is not a strength of Generation Z athletes, coaches and support staff can challenge young athletes by asking open-ended questions, using text messaging only for logistical communication, practicing face-to-face conversations in team meetings or training, and switching up the methods of communication (i.e., videos, articles, and demonstrations) to aid messaging.
  • Be Direct. With shorter attention spans of Generation Z athletes, coaches and support staff can adapt by making their messages more direct at the start and end of training sessions and during pre-game or half-time speeches.
  • Focus on Quality Over Quantity. Today’s young athletes (and their parents) are more in tune with strength and conditioning techniques as well as injury prevention. Coaches and support staff can assist by being aware of overtraining and burnout symptoms and using periodization principles when scheduling training and competitions.
  • Build Independence. Undoubtedly, Generation Z athletes are more dependent on significant adults than any other cohort in history. By giving athletes some autonomy, choice, and responsibility, coaches and support staff can give them more ownership and develop skills related to independence. For example, providing opportunities for decision making, critical thinking, and accountability can help athletes with personal and professional development.
  • Promote Resiliency. While each generation is considered “softer” than the previous one, Generation Z is known to have heightened difficulties dealing with adversity. Coaches and support staff can create opportunities for athletes to cope with adversity and learn perseverance and resilience. Creating pressure and challenging situations in training, along with teaching appropriate coping strategies, may assist Generation Z athletes with how to better handle competitive and personal setbacks.

While more research is needed on generational differences in today’s athletes, early studies have provided insight into some unique characteristics of Generation Z. Coaches and support staff can benefit from this knowledge and adapt their teaching and coaching philosophies to suit today’s young athletes.

References

Gould, D., Nalepa, J., & Mignano, M. (2019). Coaching Generation Z athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology

Empathy and compassion to communicate with the others

Tania Singer e Olga Klimecki (2014) Empathy and compassion. Current Biology, 24, R875-R878.

“Although the concepts of empathy and compassion have existed for many centuries, their scientific study is relatively young. The term empathy has its origins in the Greek word ‘empatheia’ (passion), which is composed of ‘en’ (in) and ‘pathos’ (feeling). The term empathy was introduced into the English language following the German notion of ‘Einfühlung’ (feeling into), which originally described resonance with works of art and only later was used to describe the resonance between human beings. The term compassion is derived from the Latin origins ‘com’ (with/together) and ‘pati’ (to suffer); it was introduced into the English language through the French word compassion. In spite of the philosophical interest for empathy and the fundamental role that compassion plays in most religions and secular ethics, it was not until the late 20th century that researchers from social and developmental psychology started to study these phenomena scientifically.

According to this line of psychological research, an empathic response to suffering can result in two kinds of reactions: empathic distress, which is also referred to as personal distress; and compassion, which is also referred to as empathic concern or sympathy. For simplicity, we will refer to empathic distress and compassion when speaking about these two different families of emotions. While empathy refers to our general capacity to resonate with others’ emotional states irrespective of their valence — positive or negative — empathic distress refers to a strong aversive and self-oriented response to the suffering of others, accompanied by the desire to withdraw from a situation in order to protect oneself from excessive negative feelings. Compassion, on the other hand, is conceived as a feeling of concern for another person’s suffering which is accompanied by the motivation to help. By consequence, it is associated with approach and prosocial motivation.

Research by Daniel Batson and Nancy Eisenberg in the fields of social and developmental psychology confirmed that people who feel compassion in a given situation help more often than people who suffer from empathic distress. Furthermore, Daniel Batsons’ work showed that the extent to which people feel compassion can, for instance, be increased by explicitly instructing participants to feel with the target person. Interestingly, the capacity to feel for another person is not only a property of a person or a situation, but can also be influenced by training.

In order to train social emotions like compassion, recent psychological research has increasingly made use of meditation-related techniques that foster feelings of benevolence and kindness. The most widely used technique is called ‘loving kindness training’. This form of mental practice is carried out in silence and relies on the cultivation of friendliness towards a series of imagined persons. One would usually start the practice by visualizing a person one feels very close to and then gradually extend the feeling of kindness towards others, including strangers and, at a later stage, also people one has difficulties with. Ultimately, this practice aims at cultivating feelings of benevolence towards all human beings.”

Coaches don’t give up the athletes

Never as in these days the role of the coach is crucial to support their athletes.

One must not give up the role of leader, otherwise it is easy for athletes to feel only discouraged, abandoned and think that if you can not do as before, then there is nothing to do.

The situation is difficult for everyone, but it is even more so for those who practice contact sports and in the gym, there are no competitions, it is difficult to train and frustration can become the dominant mood.

The task of sports clubs and coaches is now priceless  to provide guidance on how to train but above all to share this dramatic experience with athletes.

Don’t give up!

10 things to do for athletes

  1. establish with them goals for improvement
  2. provide a physical, technical-tactical and mental program to be carried out
  3. give a system of evaluation of their progress
  4. search video to comment together
  5. organize online or outdoor challenges
  6. listen to what the athletes have to tell you
  7. talk to them about the difficulties of training in this new way
  8. emphasize this type of training and the benefits it provides
  9. strengthen their commitment and correct mistakes
  10. be determined to lead athletes

Advise to return to play for athletes with Covid-19

Wilson, M. et al. (2020). Cardiorespiratory considerations for return-to-play in elite athletes after COVID-19 infection: a practical guide for sport and exercise medicine physicians. British Journal of Sport Medicine, 54 (19).
SARS-CoV-2 is the causative virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has necessitated that all professional and elite sport is either suspended, postponed or cancelled altogether to minimise the risk of viral spread. As infection rates drop and quarantine restrictions are lifted, the question how athletes can safely resume competitive sport is being asked. Given the rapidly evolving knowledge base about the virus and changing governmental and public health recommendations, a precise answer to this question is fraught with complexity and nuance. Without robust data to inform policy, return-to-play (RTP) decisions are especially difficult for elite athletes on the suspicion that the COVID-19 virus could result in significant cardiorespiratory compromise in a minority of afflicted athletes. There are now consistent reports of athletes reporting persistent and residual symptoms many weeks to months after initial COVID-19 infection. These symptoms include cough, tachycardia and extreme fatigue. To support safe RTP, we provide sport and exercise medicine physicians with practical recommendations on how to exclude cardiorespiratory complications of COVID-19 in elite athletes who place high demand on their cardiorespiratory system. As new evidence emerges, guidance for a safe RTP should be updated.

This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

https://bmj.com/coronavirus/usage

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The coaching process

Think about this idea.

The training is:

Feeling comfortable in an uncomfortable situation

Mental warmup: how to build it

In preparation for the competition, the warm-up phase represents an opportunity to mentally prepare yourself at the start of the race, giving you the time to focus on the tasks to perform at the best. It is recognized that many top athletes complete some form of mental preparation before the competition. Typical strategies include:

  • visualization of performance
  • repetition of keywords
  • search for optimal activation through physical and technical exercises
  • speed and accuracy

HOW DO YOU PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE RACE? AT THE START ARE YOU ALWAYS READY?
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF DOING A MENTAL ROUTINE AND NOT ONLY A PHYSICAL ONE?

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE AND TRAIN YOURSELF TO START THE COMPETITION WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE?

WRITE ME AND WE WILL DO IT TOGETHER

 

Track & field and training after coronavirus

The blog “10 goals to train with pleasure and success” continues to be diffuse in Italian sport.

Now it’s on Italian track and field federation web site.

10 goals to train with pleasure and successo away from competitions

  1. Starting over to train again on the field is not the same as repeating the same things as if nothing had happened - It is a new beginning, and everyone must learn from the experience of these months. For many the races are still a long way off, but the motivation has to be ignited immediately, setting the goals to be ready when the racing season will resume.
  2. Life is a constant change - Determine what changes you want to make and start on the path to achieving them right away.
  3. Accept this unexpected condition - Some people prefer to think, “Why did this lockdown have to happen” and so they cultivate their own victimhood while others think, “Why didn’t it have to happen to me? This second approach allows people to live negative situations in an active way, supporting personal motivation and the search for a proactive role.
  4. A new opportunity - Think about why this new training period can be an opportunity for improvement that you would never have had.
  5. Focus on your personal growth - Every situation, therefore even lockdown and the restart of training without competitions, is a stimulus to know ourselves and learn to react with thoughts, emotions and actions. In this way we strengthen our self-control.
  6. Be committed every day - Every day take a step to make your life’s dream come true. Many athletes don’t cultivate their dreams because they are afraid of being disappointed if they don’t realize them. Others take the risk and try their best without any certainty of the end result.
  7. Use mistakes as instructions to improve - It’s true that mistakes are the only chance for improvement. Learn to know them and accept that excellent performance is based on correcting thousands of mistakes made so far.
  8. Use appropriate strategies to manage stress - In this time of uncertainty, moments of anxiety, worry, depression, unstable mood are common for many people. This is not the problem, we have to live with our fears. However, it becomes a problem if we do nothing to overcome these moments. Therefore, the mental training practiced daily allows to get out of these negative and limiting mental states of mind.
  9. Share your thoughts - do not put yourself in a condition of psychological distance from people who are important to you. Instead, listen and talk them, share thoughts, feelings and actions.
  10. Be optimistic - Optimism is the art of giving a temporary and not permanent meaning to what happens to us. It is about recognizing that tomorrow will be a better day because of our personal skills that we will use to their best advantage.

The goals of this long training period

Recently I wrote a blog titled “Back to field, how the training without competition?” I said:

These are trying times in any professional field and even sport has had to stop in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.These first two months of lockdown at home have been really hard for those who are used to spend their days engaged in intense and prolonged training or to travel and participate in competitions. Who better spent this unique time in everyone’s life? Probably those who have managed to make sense of their days by recreating their habits and activities within the walls of their homes. For example, from Cristiano Ronaldo to the young junior athletes, to follow a program of physical preparation has been an important moment of their daily life, representing a bridge between yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Set goals. Having new goals is necessary, as this training period has been and will continue to be much longer than usual. Athletes should consider this period as an opportunity to continue to improve. Their goals will not change but the timing of these goals will have to be adapted to the lack of competition.

Be resilient and tough. Knowing how to adapt to this moment of their career is based on these two psychological skills, more than ever essential to maintain a high level of motivation during training. The speed and quality of adaptation will have a major impact on how they will behave in the future. Resilience and toughness with respect to how their competitors are reacting and coping. If they can adapt better than their opponents, then they will return better than before coronavirus period.

Use time wisely. There is much time now, much more than ever. It should be used as an opportunity to work on those skills that are usually more neglected or that they have not been able to work on. For example, the importance of breaks in one’s sport to recover physical and mental energy and refocus on the immediate future, develop attentional training and improve in managing one’s stress and negative moments.

Sharing. It is always important to have people with whom the athletes share their dreams and fears, goals and obstacles along the track, achievements and mistakes. Physical distance should not involve psychological distance from people who are important to athletes.

To find out more write to me!

Mental coaching must follow the coaching rules

The psychological training of athletes should develop according to the basic concepts of training, which are basically about passing:

  • from simple to complex
  • from exercises of a general nature to those specific to the discipline practised
  • from a reduced to a longer time duration
  • to be driven in relative comfort to more stressful and challenging conditions

The proposal formulated in the previous blog responds to these needs.

  • The first exercise is simple and basic (do a deep abdominal breathing)
  • The second exercise is of a general nature and applies to any sport.
  • The third exercise is specific (in this case for tennis)
  • Finally, the third exercise can be done in your comfort zone, but afterwards you can add environmental or personal stress conditions

Here is a simple and practical explanation of what has been said above and that brings the psychological preparation closer to the rules and methods of physical and technical-tactical training that are well understood by every athlete. In this way it promotes a better and more effective understanding by athletes and coaches of the purposes and effects of mental training.