Tag Archive for 'atleti'

10 questions to understand the coaching effectiveness

10 questions for athletes and coaches. How much my coaching is oriented to teach:
  1. athlete controls the process of his/her performance (e.g. technique, timing, speed and accuracy) and much more less the result
  2. what happens before determines what happens immediately after (e.g. warm-up quality determina to be ready to start training)
  3. mistake is a coaching component, the improvement occurs through the prompt reaction at this situation
  4. high intensity and concentration must be showed during all the coaching time
  5. athlete must be mentally ready to do and not only to start one exercise just to do
  6. athlete must be aware of his/her thoughts, feelings and behaviors
  7. coaching is not a sequence of exercises but it is a sequence of situations to be solved in the best way
  8. coach/athlete dialogue is a fundamental aspect of the coach and athlete improvement
  9. before to start one exercise it’s necessary to be committed for some moments to visualize the task to do
  10. behavioral routine are essentials to execute difficult tasks and to cope with competitive situations

With muscles, ‘use it or lose it’ rings true

This study included 40 recreational masters athletes between the ages of 40 and 81, who trained 4 to 5 times a week for running, swimming or cycling. Neither leg muscle size nor strength declined significantly with age among the subjects…

The emotion management during the Olympic Games

2018 Winter Olympics begin and many athletes to achieve their dream will find themselves in the position of having to provide the performance which is worth a life. The Olympic Games are the most important event for each athlete, it’s the competition that can change their sports career, much more than a world championship. it’s true for those who have already won and would like to repeat and for those athletes who are for the first time in the leading role. In fact, despite the doping scandals, winning a medal in the Olympics is still the dream of every athlete and for those who have a realistic chance of success is really all they don’t dared to think, for fear the desire  take place.

In these last days, the athletes have to handle their panic, they can swing by the peaks of confidence in their abilities, supported by the results obtained, with moments of sheer terror in which negative scenarios seem to take over. More rare that these emotions leaping those athletes who cannot aspire to the Olympic podium, who aspire to a good performance, which are already satisfied to compete during the world’s biggest sport event.

For others, those who compete for a medal, those at the top of the world ranking, the wait can be exhausting. They have to know how to handle this waiting phase, accepting this emotional background noise in all its shades, reducing the destructive emotions with constructive moods and thoughts. The race with themselves doesn’t begin just before the start moment, it has already begun in these days. Because the before determines the after, as you face the days immediately preceding determines how you will get to race day.

I often asked the athletes which the mental part of their warmup. For many consists to mentally repeat their performance or use key words, chosen by them, to reach a level of optimal emotional activation. This mental work determines a mixture of emotions, physical sensations and thoughts, used to be focused only on their performance. In this way, they lead themselves to the moments preceding the start, inside their mental bubble, totally caught up in what they’re doing; then they start and everything happens, or should happen, in a way apparently spontaneous.

New proposals to diffuse sport among young

Aspen Institute launched a model of sport development for children and adolescents based on the most recent research in this area with the aim to increase their involvement in sport. The goal is to change the sport culture centered on the early start to a single sport, suggesting the validity of a multi-sports even for future elite athletes. This initiative also aims to increase the number of young physically active that in recent years is narrowing significantly. The project, developed together with the most important sports organizations and worldwide company has been called Project Play – Reimagining Youth Sport in America.

Fig. 6 Physical activity has long lasting benefits that affect all aspects of a child’s life and last into adulthood. (Courtesy of Aspen Institute Project Play) [Citation]  

The athletes’ main psychological mistakes

The athletes’ main psychological mistakes:

  1. Think that feel healthy is enough to do the best.
  2. Visualize the race without providing for the possible difficulties that could be happened and not provide a way to solve them.
  3. Be too much/little activated, driven by the desire to win or the fear of not succeeding.
  4. Be so much worried about the race and not focused on the present but on what might happen of negative.
  5. Not thinking the difficulties during the race as a normal part of the performance but as personal incompetence.

The continuous improvement as successful strategy

The coaching to cope with the new challenges is an individual training. Its aim is to increase at the maximum level the personal competences, permitting at each one to become the best she can be.

The coaching is a road supporting the personal change, starting from a positive appreciation of the past performances and knowing that it is the continuous renewal that will permit to repeat the successes reached.

At this proposal it seems very specific the comparison between the manager skills and the top athletes skills because they have to perform at their best:

  • they have reached most of the goals expected and planned in advance and they are oriented to achieve their next performance goals
  • they are totally committed and very energetic in their activities
  • they perceive themselves accountable about the results of their/team performances
  • they are considered by the young collaborators/athletes as a model to emulate
  • they like the challenges, compete and win
  • they are solution oriented
  • they search the contribution of the people able to help them to reach their goals

It is obvious that it is not easy to reach all these skills in one person and also in the high potential people these characteristics come from a strong commitment in this direction. For them the frustrating days and/or the unsuccessful performances represent hard situation to cope with, but they know  the mistakes represent  good learning opportunities to approach with confidence.

What I learned from these Commonwealth Games

What I learned from the Commonwealth Games 2014:

  • was attended by 71 countries and 7000 athletes
  • there are many nations that I did not know (at least 5/6 around Australia and New Zealand)
  • for all the participants are as important as the Olympics and maybe more, because many athletes in this competition can aspire to a medal that at the Olympics would be almost impossible
  • as always win the athletes who best manages the competitive pressure and they are not always the best to do it.
  • even small countries like Cyprus can win 5 medals
  • small countries who win a medal are those in which the athletes are not influenced by the reduced size of their nation but  travel abroad to compete  regularly and frequently.
  • to win you must often compete at the international level in order to learn how to cope with the stress which increases wildly when you understand that you can really get into the finals and fight for a medal. Those who go beyond these moments can do it, otherwise they gets scared and collapses. And this is happened.

Are you proud to do your best?

An important key point for athletes is to be proud with themselves  for having done their best even if they have made ​​mistakes. In doing so, they will have less fear of making mistakes, as they consider the  information coming from the errors as necessary, though not pleasant, to do better next time. This thinking can lead them to continue  to choose challenging targets because they are not frightened by failure and they are aware that they will always have the opportunity to try it again. In the long period, being focused on performance (do your best) and not on the result (win, lose) will lead them most likely to achieve their potential and to abandon the idea of being afraid of making mistakes.

The sport psychologist role in the national team

It was held at the Sports School of Italian Olympic Committee a workshop about the role of different professionals, who work in the national team before and during major sport events. In relation to the role of the sport psychologist I have highlighted what are the main activities to be carried out:

  • The essential psychological preparation has been carried out previously
  • Do not introduce new strategies and procedures, but to help athletes to follow their habits
  • The psychologist should not be obsessed with “doing”
  • Provide 24 hours of service and availability to advise in any environment
  • The sport psychologist must be prepared to the uniqueness of the Olympic Games
  • Follow the program prepared earlier
  • Being responsive and effective
  • Promote the use of routine and daily plans
  • Help athletes stay focused on the competition without being distracted from the atmosphere of the Olympic village
  • Helping athletes and coaches not to put too much emphasis on race
  • Helping the team to create a positive atmosphere and facilitating effective solutions
  • Being psychologically prepared to support the coaches
  • Develop strategies for the management of interpersonal relationships
  • Check and manage the interpersonal communication between staff members: free time management, relations with the head of team delegation and federal managers, media management

The reason to teach dogs to get up on the trees

The search for talent is often based on a basic idea that can be summed up as: Why teach a dog to climb a tree, when the monkeys do it so well. Apparently the reasoning is flawless and as a result scientists have made ​​search for them and discard the dogs. Then arose the first problems, so for example the lemurs while being at ease on the trees are too slow, others are too unruly and attack and so on. Despite these limitations still many scientists screen athletes/monkeys on the basis of their physical characteristics and motor skills. The nature leads us, however, also other examples that are not usually considered. The story of the caterpillar becomes a butterfly or that of the swan as a young is not really a splendor as it is an adult teach that the appearance, so how the young are at a given moment of development, may not correspond they will become. These stories should teach us that research on talent should not be based on the simple sum of the capacity possessed in a specific time but must be a long-term journey, because it’s not true that the best at 14 years old, they will be also at 16 . Commitment and dedication are two dimensions that usually are not part of the dimensions examined, however, they are considered as the most important by top athletes; they should instead begin to be taken into account. The other key aspect to succeed as an athlete is to assess the degree of improvement of the young during the competitive season. Athletes initially less competent can come to compete with the best ones, thanks to a greater willingness to learn from training. So do not discard a priori all dogs, interesting surprises may be happen.