Tag Archive for 'allenatore'

Are you a coach accepting the mistakes?

Athletes and coaches need to accept mistakes as a unique opportunity to obtain future better performance. To know how a coach reacts to the errors of the athletes ask him/her these questions:
Which coach are you?
1. When athletes do some good actions, approximately how many times the percentage that you answered with a reinforcement? _______%

2. When athletes are very committed (regardless of outcome), how many are in percentage the times you’ve responded with a reinforcement? _______%

3. How many times have reinforced the athletes for their accuracy in the field, for their support to the teamates and to have accepted the rules of the team? _______

4. When athletes make a mistake, approximately how many are in percentage the times you answered with a:

  • Encouragement _____%
  • Technical instructions provided with an encouraging style _____%

5. When mistakes are commtted,  have you strongly emphasized the importance of learning from them? Yes No

6. You have strongly emphasized the importance of having fun during training and competitions? Yes No

7. Have you told your athletes to do their best is what you expect from them? Yes No

8. Have you told them that winning is important, but that commitment to improve skills is even more? Yes No

9. Have you said or done something to help your athletes to apply what they have learned today in other activities in their lives (for example, do the right things at school, at home or in social life)? Yes No

10. Something to think: would you do anything different if you had the opportunity to repeat this workout or this race?

The skills of the youth coach

The coaches of football school and in general of the youth sports are called to perform different functions and diversified tasks. It’s evident, therefore , that they need knowledge and skills not only related to technical and tactical sport aspects but covering all the functions that they have to play .

The necessary skills can be divided into four categories :

  1. technical skills
  2. specific teaching skills
  3. psychological skills
  4. management skills

The coaches very often think that to play their role it’s enough to know how to play and to talk about football. This belief is often related by an attitude that any lack of progress of the little players comes from the athletes. This coaches’ attitude, to always put outside of them the issues related to the learning difficulties and the lack of motivation of their player, recalls the urgent need for coaches to improve their teaching, interpersonal and psychological skills.

The best way to understand the competences useful to the coaches in their job is to let the word to the coaches. In a study by John Salmela (1996), high level coaches have reported a list of skills considered necessary to lead athletes .

Here below the skills regarding those working with young athletes:

  • Ability to develop critical thinking that helps to renew their interpersonal and teaching skills, especially when the athletes’ characteristics change significantly.
  • Know how to train themselves constantly teaching better.
  • Know how to evaluate and adapt their approach and the teaching strategies used.
  • Build an environment and atmosphere really able to stimulate the learning processes.
  • Ability to develop and enhance their personal style of teaching, being aware of it.
  • Know how to help the athlete to set goals, at short and medium term, and to assess correctly their potential.
  • Be integrate as much as possible in the psychological world of their athletes, offering them support.


(by Daniela Sepio)

Do you coach yourself to compete?

When the young athletes have acquired the technical skills required by the sport they enjoy and have become skilled in the execution of specific sport actions, it becomes important to train them to compete. These are the goals of the coaching that takes place from 16 years for most of the sports and that will lead some to become world-class athletes. One should not confuse the acquired skill with the ability to provide an adequate performance at their own level. Indeed, it’s not difficult to meet young teenagers capable, good from a technical standpoint but not ready to compete. For this reason a part of the training, that with the increase of age will become more significant and wide should be dedicated to achieve the purpose of teaching the athlete to give their best in terms of comparison with other athletes. The coaches should not be afraid to acknowledge that this is an essential goal of their work and the practice must be oriented in this direction. This type of training is intended to teach the athletes to maintain the quality of their performance under the competitive pressure.

Should I coach my son?

More and more often I am asked how to handle the difficult situation in which you find yourself being the coach of your son.
In professional football is hardly ever done, although over the years we can find some football stars like by  Cesare Maldini who coached is son Paolo or De Rossi father who coached his son in Rome youth team. In the world of the football school (5-12 years old) by choice or not, it happens that often  fathers coach their sons. Sometimes they are driven by an inevitable logistic choice and sometimes this choice is not just random. I would not demonize the situation, but I invite the fathers to think about this situation:  ”Why am I to coach my son? Is it really a coincidence or in my thoughts there was a desire to make sure that he is followed in the right way. Do I want to have the control of  him at home and outside? Do I believe that there are not others? Noboby will be able to train him as well as I am able.

I know it can happen and that it is a conscious choice or not I think is important to do some basic steps.
The first step is to reflect on the necessity of choice: is it really so inevitable? Once you have decided to go ahead it is important to have the ability to look inside and figure out which of these categories you belong inevitable:

  • Avoidance: to avoid incurring the criticism of nepotism that inevitably affecting their child label of “recommended”. You treat him worse than all the others: the fault is often its less encouragement (maybe then I’ll tell at home) and less attention.
  • Too demanding: demanding-father risks to challenge too much his son, never being satisfied with what this child does.
  • Feel-good: let go and end up justifying behavior becoming permissive at regards of those behaviors and habits that are wrongs.

Each coach-dad is unlikely to reach the right position within his dual role, but he should work to stay as close as possible to the ideal situation in which his child is a member of the team like everyone else, he will have qualities to improve, mistakes to correct and many things to learn as his teammates. It will be visible the potential to express but also the limits to overcome or inevitably to accept.

Finally I leave all the dads in search of the Champion, who does not ask if the real desire of their child is staying on a football field, with an invitation to reflect on a passage of the famous biography by Andre Agassi:
I have seven years old and I’m talking to myself because I’m afraid and because I am the only one who listen to me. Whisper softly: Forget it, Andre, surrender. Laying the racket and exit immediately from this field. Would not it be wonderful, Andre? Just let it go? Do not play tennis again? But I cannot. Not only my father run behind me throughout the house brandishing my racket, but something in my gut, a deep  invisible muscle prevents me. I hate tennis, I hate it with all my heart, and yet I continue to play, I continue to dribble all morning, all afternoon, because I have no choice.

(by Daniela Sepio)

The coach’s skills

Often coaches discuss what should be their best competencies and often they tend to repeat the phrases most banal: “must have charisma,” “must be a leader,” or “must be decisive and firm in decisions.” Sentences are of a general nature that do not want to say anything, because every coach has his own idea of what it means “to have charisma or to be a leader.” Here I report instead a set of specific skills that a coach should have and on which everyone can compare their own behaviors.

  • Strive to acquire and implement new tactics and strategies into your coaching repertoire.
  • Never stop assessing yourself and making adjustments when they are needed.
  • Maturing as a coach takes time. Be patient and honest with yourself.
  • Just because something worked for three years does not mean it will be today. Constantly evaluate and adjust your approaches and strategies.
  • Hard work is important and must become and accepted way of life.
  • If you want to excel, be prepared to devote more hours than you originally thought necessary.
  • Do not emulate the coaching style of others just because they have been successful.
  • Find a coaching style that suits your personality and brings the best out in you.
  • Help your athletes identify and achieve they own goals.
  • Show concern for both the athletic and personal development of your athletes.
  • Respect is not given, but shared. If you respect your athletes, they will respect you in return.
  • Keep your relationship with athletes on a professional level.
  • Demonstrate ease for your athletes in subtle way.
  • Create an environment that is educational, supportive, fun, and challenging for your athletes.

Goals of psychological counseling

Main goals of psychological counseling in top sport

  • Development/improvement psychological skills athletes for competition
  • Athlete psychological assessment
  • Counseling for coaches on specific issues of interest to them
  • Solutions to athletes’ problems that coaches do not know how to cope
  • Collaboration in the management of the group outside training
  • Support to athletes and coaches during the competition
  • Competition stress management for athletes, coaches and staff
  • Improving well-being and life outside sport
  • Injuries management

Top athletes need the coach-leader

Crucial skill for the coaches of elite athletes is not only to have a technical background updated continuously, but especially the ability to manage the best athletes. They are coach – leader  acting as a leader to conduct them to achieve their best performances.  They are not coach – teacher as they should be with those less experienced.  These coaches talk and make themselves in the shoes of the other to establish emotional closeness. This is necessary because the top athletes have built through their careers a specific profile summarized as follows:

  1. have achieved some of the goals they had set, and therefore are considered successful people
  2. are characterized by the energy and commitment
  3. their skills emerge in a decisive manner in situations of increased competitive pressure
  4. are convinced to be able to deal with most of the situations or problems
  5. assume responsibility for the results of their performances
  6. are perceived by others as reliable and competent
  7. are often considered by most people as young as a model to emulate
  8. derive maximum satisfaction from the continuous renewal of the challenges facing
  9. are driven to find solutions
  10. seek the contribution of people who can help them in achieving their goals

Of course we must not fall into the trap of believing that a good level of effectiveness in these areas will be achieved with ease or that these individuals do not live moments of difficulty. On the contrary, these skills and standards are achieved and maintained through a continuous work, an effort to improve even when it seems far away, pursued even in those days that are frustrating.

Basketball coach Phil Jackson on team love

“What do you mean when you write that the critical ingredient for a championship is love?”

“I know teams that get along well, they party together, but they’re not about the sharing and the deep care that you have to have as a team. You have to protect each other. You have to cover the other’s butt when he’s getting beat offensively. You have to know how to deliver the ball so people can get a good shot. You have to move outside yourself and think others.”

(By Belinda Luscombe,  Time, June 3 2013, 10 Questions).



The relationship between coach and athlete: is that all to win?

In Italy there is still a craftsmanship conception of high-level sport particularly true in individual sports. In most cases, the development and success of an athlete is based on a deep collaborative relationship with his/her coach. It is not uncommon that the coach is the husband of the athlete or the parent (father/mother). It’s obvious that this system is subject to all interference that are typical of the dual relationships. The psychological components of each of these relationships have unbelievable significance, because the training is to build situations with predetermined levels of stress that the athlete must successfully deal to improve in his/her performances. In this context, the coaches have a reduced exchange of ideas and discussion with other colleagues and the use of innovations produced by the sports science depends only on their curiosity and desire to upgrade. The limitation of this approach lies not only in the limited use of the contributions of science by the coaches but also the failure of researchers to listen and understand what are the needs and demands of the coaches. In other words, there is need to talk together, to share ideas, to criticize each other in a constructive way and to build work plans based on collaboration.

Coaches’ competences

In the same survey conducted a few years ago by the U.S. Olympic Committee conducted interviews with the athletes of US Olympic team  in the period 1984-1998, they were asked what were for them  most important coach’s skills.

These athletes ranked at the the top, the ability to teach skills and the ability to motivate and encourage. Following the more typically skills related to the training knowledge  and strategic knowledge of sport. Therefore, given that the coaches must be able to plan and conduct their work technically, however, are their interpersonal and psychological skills  to make effective their work. These data should make used by those who organize training courses for coaches, in which most of the hours are devoted exclusively to the technical component of this work and little time is dedicated to the development of those skills that instead the top athletes  perceive decisive for their success.