Tag Archive for 'angoscia'

Ideas for the new sport year

I started again last Saturday the activity of what I consider the new sports season. I started with tennis, volleyball, handball, the revision of an article on teaching soccer to children with autism and the reading of a dozen thesis projects being carried out. It hasn’t been a soft start but it’s giving me a sense of work normality, at a time that obviously is not the case. Like everyone else I live with this perception of uncertainty and not knowing what will happen in the coming months.

My work is quite planned and without this pandemic it would be varied and interesting. In the meantime it is done “as if” it should proceed as planned, with the awareness that I have to prepare for the necessary adaptations and changes depending on how the health situation will evolve. I am thinking, for example, at “Calcio Insieme” project with our 80 young people with autism playing soccer. With AS Roma and the Integrated Football Academy we are organizing ourselves in order to be able to carry out the training activity in conformity with the rules and in safety for everyone.

My main work is with teenage athletes who aspire to excellence but don’t know if they will reach these levels and with top athletes who are preparing to establish themselves internationally. To a large extent, they are aware of the importance of the mental component of their activity, knowing that they must also engage in psychological work, which is certainly not easy to do. In a time of crisis as it is today, psychological support becomes even more essential to learn to accept fears, anxiety about the future and the limitations required to ensure your own health and that of the people you work with on a daily basis.

I experienced their fears during the lockdown, when left alone at home, many risked living in angst and passively suffering that period. Psychological support with them was, in my opinion, indispensable to allow them to take their lives into their own hands even in those negative moments. Now the limitations have been greatly reduced, but the fears remain until we will have the vaccine. The psychologist remains the only person with whom to share these concerns and to improve resilience and confidence.

Our main sports organizations, compared to those of other European countries, have not clearly dealt with these issues and the same is true for the organizations of sports psychologists. No shared and specific documents have been produced and, therefore, the responsibility has been left to the individual initiatives of professionals.

What can I say, I hope to realize together with all the people I work with the projects we have planned. What is certain is that we never give up, we have been and will always be ready to solve the problems that will arise. My motto is: “something done well, you can do better” (Gianni Agnelli).

Good luck to all the optimists!!!

The mindset of the people who do not respect the rules

As long as I breathe I hope,” Cicero said, today we could translate it into “as long as there is life there is hope,” more brutal but equally true. The coronavirus affects precisely this capacity that is at the basis of the physiological and psychological needs of living beings. You may not drink or eat for a few days, but you can’t breath for a few minutes if you are not a champion of underwater apnea. Correct breathing is at the base of self-control and the stresses of our daily life determine as a first negative effect our own breathing problems. Fear makes us block our breath, anger hates it to allow us to scream at someone, sadness reduces it to a trickle of air that goes in and out and anxiety makes us breathe in a shallow and superficial way. Breathing reflects our level of physical fitness and well-being and one of the effects of this new virus is to block it, making assisted breathing necessary in many cases. Mario Garattini, founder of the Mario Negri Pharmacological Research Institute, MIlano, said that “everything will depend on us, on our ability to avoid contagion. Let’s adhere to the dispositions. If everyone had adequate lifestyles and there was adequate prevention, perhaps we would be more resistant”.

This awareness, combined with the worldwide spread of the coronavirus and its devastating effects, should have frightened people enough to never leave their homes again, motivating them to respect the rules that have been spread and whose implementation is mandatory. Nevertheless, thousands of people have continued to travel throughout our country and the police have fined more than 2000 people for violating the restrictive rules of the government decree. What are the reasons for this behaviour? Superficiality, too positive approach to the problem, anxiety and a lack of habit of following the rules. Superficiality is a kind of magic thought, in which people think that the coronavirus is a problem that affects others, such as the elderly and sick, is a way to protect themselves from feelings of sadness in the short term. These people deny the existence of the problem and, therefore, engage in behaviour to escape from their reality. A second type of attitude is people who have an approach not mediated by reality and that is too positive, such as those who thought at the beginning of the spread that it was little more than a flu. They are individuals who live under the illusion of positive short-term solutions. A bit like those who start a diet or want to quit smoking and are confident that they will succeed just because they have made this decision, they are illusory forms of thinking so that at the first obstacles people give up following the new rules they have given themselves because it is too difficult. In the case of the coronavirus the problem manifests itself in the difficulty in maintaining the rules of physical distancing from other people and then they go out, take a walk with friends and take their children to play in the gardens. Similar for the effects but different in reasons is the approach of those who feel angst in staying at home. They perceive themselves as prisoners, feel violated in their freedom of movement and live this condition in a claustrophobic way. To overcome it the only solution in going outside. Finally, there are those who live reactively to the rules, have an attitude of eternal adolescents fighting against the norms of the adult world. They find it difficult to make the rules their own, which in this case are mandatory, and to develop a pluralistic concept of social coexistence, based not only on their rights but also on their duties towards the community.

These are some possible interpretations of behaviours that in a period of world crisis like the one we are experiencing and of upheaval of our daily life can explain the actions of the many who seem not to want to adapt to the new rules.

How to cope with coronavirus angst

Right now we’re training to manage our angst.

The angst is not about anything determined, it has no precise object on its way. The fear but not the angst is always directed towards a situation that frightens or worries and that can be faced with a logical and rational process.

Angst is about a state of mind that isolates the individual from the world and makes them prey to their own deep insecurity. Existential angst is the fear of not being able to live fully what it is committing us to, because there is no guarantee that by virtue of our abilities we will be happy. We must try and try again but without knowing whether our commitment will be enough. The coronavirus generates these same psychological conditions, I do whatever it takes to prevent the virus but I do not know if it will be enough and nobody can say until this war with the virus is won.

We have to wait with patient, developing the disposition of mind of those who accept and bear with moderation a pain or an adversity. It is patient who follows the rules imposed by the government to reduce the risks of contagion; since the rule is a norm, considered valid in every situation and binding, formulated with a logical process of abstraction based on science data and experience. These must be followed with confidence that corresponds to firm moral or intellectual certainty, especially if it has been acquired by overcoming conflicting doubts and reasons.

In short, we beat our angst by following rules with patience and conviction.

L’angoscia competitiva

Sul tema “vincere è l’unica cosa che conta” si è detto molto parlando dei giovani atleti che giustamente non devono essere oppressi dall’idea del risultato, mentre si dovrebbero concentrare sul fare del loro meglio. Penso invece che sia stato poco discusso in relazione allo sport agonistico di livello assoluto e in riferimento a quel numero limitato ma sotto gli occhi di tutti rappresentato dagli atleti fortissimi. Gli americani nel loro pragmatismo hanno coniato la frase: “from hero to zero” per identificare quella linea sottile su cui si muovono questi atleti che hanno l’obbligo di vincere. Gli atleti conoscono bene questa regola del gioco e per quanto siano talentuosi e vincenti sanno di non potere corrispondere a queste aspettative che li vorrebbe sempre sul podio, belli e sorridenti. E’ per questa pressione con cui devono convivere che improvvisamente emergono le loro debolezze, quelle della Pellegrini con gli attacchi di ansia, quelle dell’Inter in cui si è inceppato quel sistema di collaborazione in campo che ha permesso i risultati della scorsa stagione e molti altri. L’antidoto più semplice a cui ricorrere è quello illegale, il doping e l’abuso di farmaci. L’antidoto ecologico è vivere in un ambiente sociale (famiglia e amici) comprensivo e affettivo. Può non bastare, perchè l’atleta deve imparare a vivere con questa angoscia esistenziale, che si può chiamare angoscia competitiva, che consiste nel sapere che non sempre si può corrispondere alle proprie aspettative e a quelle degli altri. Bisogna imparare di più a accettare i propri limiti, soprattutto chi è impegnato a allargarli sempre di più. Come diceva Sartre bisogna volere tutto sapendo di non poterlo raggiungere.