Tag Archive for 'attenzione'

The best athletes suffer of emotional overload

TAIS is a system for assessing attentional and interpersonal style and these data show that élites’ emotional overload is an important component reducing their performance, including world record holders, who instead suffer less the environmental distractions and cognitive mental overload. This also explains why top athletes use psychological preparation programs to reduce competitive stress.

Be focused to be tough

... the most important aspect of mental toughness in Tennis !

The focus is on the present. To show a consistent focus during all the points means be tough.

Coach the mindset to have success in sports team

Da tempo le nazionali degli sport di squadra non vincono più e presidenti di federazione e club si accusano vicendevolmente di fare poco per affrontare seriamente questo problema. Al di là di questa lotta sterile che evidenzia paradossalmente la difficoltà a ‘fare squadra’ per un interesse superiore alle singole esigenze, ciò che manca è il sapere come si sviluppa a lungo termine l’atleta. Sappiamo per certo che ci vogliono anni d’investimento, probabilmente almeno 10.000 ore di allenamento dall’inizio della pratica dello sport scelto sino a diventare giocatori esperti e maturi per affrontare eventi di livello internazionale. Abbiamo tanti presunti campioncini che non diventeranno mai giocatori di prima fascia per un eccesso di valutazione positiva quando sono adolescenti mentre i genitori si gratificano pensando di avere scoperto in casa un Totti, solo perché il loro figlio è più bravo dei suoi compagni o nella pallavolo e basket solo perché a 13/14 anni è più alto degli altri e allora ha vita facile a fare i punti. I genitori si entusiasmano, i club li sfruttano e l’anno successivo un altro diventa più bravo di loro e così avanti, il risultato è che si rovina l’autostima dei ragazzi che non sanno a cosa credere: ‘sono bravo oppure no?’.

In Italia la ricerca psicologica in questo ambito non è sviluppata perché difficilmente le squadre mettono a disposizione i loro giocatori per indagare sullo sviluppo psicologico di questi giovani. Non è lo stesso in paesi come il Regno Unito dove molte Football Academy hanno adottato un sistema denominato 5C’s che è un modello per sviluppare le abilità psicologiche (concentrazione, impegno, comunicazione, controllo e fiducia) durante le sessioni di allenamento. Lo stesso vale ad esempio in US per la Little League di Baseball, dove da 40 anno si utilizza sul campo un sistema per monitorare il comportamento dell’allenatore, il Coaching Behavioral Assessment System, che ne permette l’esame e fornisce al tecnico informazioni utili per migliorare professionalmente, tratte direttamente dal suo modo di lavorare con i giovani. Esistono, inoltre, sistemi per il miglioramento della concentrazione nelle abilità di precisione, trasversali a tutti gli sport di squadra come sono i calci di rigore, la battuta nella pallavolo, il tiro libero nel basket e i calci nel rugby, che potrebbero insegnare ai giocatori come affrontare queste situazioni, che dipendono in larga parte solo dalla convinzione che hanno in quel momento di fare nel modo migliore la cosa giusta.  L’utilizzo di questi approcci integrati nell’allenamento determinerebbe un migliore sviluppo dei giovani negli sport, potenziando in loro le competenze psicologiche di base, che saranno certamente utili anche nella vita di tutti i giorni ma che sarebbero di grande sostegno alle loro prestazioni che non sono mai solo tecniche. Rappresentano invece l’espressione massima del giocatore nella sua globalità fisica, tecnico-tattica e psicologica. Senza questo tipo di sviluppo personale e di gruppo sarà sempre difficile, al di là di qualsiasi forma organizzativa venga adottata dagli organismi sportivi, allenare futuri giocatori di successo.

The winning athletes’ main competences

The psychological skills the athletes must show in competition and in training are often difficult to list, because the risk is to do a very long and too generic list. Nevertheless, today I would like to try to identify, from my point of view,  the skills that can represent milestones in the athletes’ sport careers.

  • Self-control – it means knowing what are the behaviors to put in place to address the competition requests. The self-control requires respect for opponents; at the same time the athletes must be the leader of themselves, to overcome the difficulties posed by the races and opponents with the aim of providing the best performance.
  • Readiness for action – the athletes are persons oriented to act and therefore they must be ready to kick a ball, pulling a shot, to run in a precise rhythm, to anticipate opponents, to start rather than conclude effectively a race and so on. Readiness goes with high levels of situational awareness: the athletes have to know what to do at any given time and do it at their best.
  • Toughness and resiliency – I did not completely understand the distinction between these two psychological concepts, but I believe the athletes should continue to do the best even when they are tired, when all seems lost, during the decisive moments, at the end of the race, when they feel confused but know they have prepared an action plan for those moments.
  • Attention – Robert Nideffer said the attention is the only important thing in the decisive moments. I agree and, that is the reason, I consider it as the ability allowing to lead the mental commitment. The athletes have to know what to look for, knowing when to use a broad attentional style oriented toward the environment rather than a narrow attentional style, more focused on very few external factors. Without proper attention they cannot understand what is going to happen and to move in advance.
  • Optimism – The explanation of the performance results is an important factor, because it determines the expectation in relation to the future competitions. Humans are often engaged to explain their positive and negative results. It is therefore essential, the athletes develop an optimistic perception of their performances, because if they explain the positive results in term of luck or lack of competent opponents is unlikely they improve and gain a winning mind.

Coaches don’t coach the attention

The coaches think that being focused is a matter that primarily concerns the athletes and devote little time to the development of this skill.

True. The ideomotor training or visualization is a concentration technique which consists in the repetition of the sport gesture as if you were running at that moment. Early research in this area date back to the 50s, and in 1984 Richard Frester published a survey on this subject in a German Journal (Medizin und Sport, 4) from which it emerged the utility in the following exercise phases:
1. Technical education of the individual elements of the movement and global exercises, in sports in which are required cyclic and acyclic movements.
2. Training of individual movement parameters such as the sense of rhythm, time, and frequency.
3. Correction of incorrect motor processes and to break motor stereotypes.
4. To promote or support a maintenance effect of the movements … Particularly suitable in the active recovery phases.
5. Preparation of the race. The visualization ​​facilitates concentration on the movements and the realization of what as been planned.

Three common mental mistakes did by golfers

Three common mistakes did by golfers

• The athletes’ skill to direct attention toward the appropriate stimuli is often taken for granted
• Being physically fit and mechanically perform own routine does not mean to be focused
• Be focused or be able to refocus on the target after one mistake it’s difficult even for experienced players

This happens because the ability to stay focused, to respond promptly to the difficulties and to be accurte and effective in carrying out the answers to these situations is one of the main golf problems.

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Global fitness: Give yourself the winning advantage

In business, as in sport, the competitive arena is now worldwide. Technical and tactical advantages are rapidly disappearing. With deadlines tighter and pressure to perform increasing, the ability to control concentration and emotions is critical. That’s where we come in. Our performance-enhancement systems combine sport and business psychological research to give you the winning edge. When we use terms like coaching, team building, and competition, we know what we’re talking about.

PAY ATTENTION

Ask yourself what the best business executives have in common with elite athletes and Navy SEALS — the ability to pay attention, to avoid becoming distracted and remain focused on the task at hand. Whether you are a business executive or an athlete — you can’t perform effectively if you can’t concentrate. Mistakes break deals and lose games.

 

THE INVENTORY

EPS has developed the most effective tool in the industry for assessing attentional and interpersonal skills enabling individuals, teams, and companies to perform better. Unlike many other programs, Enhanced Performance Systems employs a performance-based instrument — The Attentional & Interpersonal Style (TAIS) inventory — to gain crucial information useful over a wide range of applications from executive coaching to employee selection and screening.

TAIS inventory is a 144-item, performance-based, self-report inventory. Derived from the Theory of Attentional and Interpersonal Style, TAIS inventory provides a direct link between the concentration and personality characteristics measured and performance. TAIS is designed to increase the ability to understand, predict, and control behavior of highly effective individuals. It is the only inventory of its kind in the world.

GIVE MORE THAN LIP SERVICE TO COACHING

It is no surprise that sports metaphors are widely used in business. Both arenas employ strategic planning, emphasize competition, and demand performance under pressure. TAIS has been used to enhance the performance of some of the world’s most talented athletes and teams. Why is it an advantage to have a background in sport and coaching and an instrument that has been tested in the athletic arena? Because, unlike in business where mistakes may take years to be detected and where improvements are often measured subjectively, in sport, it’s crystal clear what works and what doesn’t. You can’t charm your way to a four-minute mile and money won’t buy you a seventy at Pebble Beach Golf Course.

Attentional training in shooting sports

Attentional training in shooting sports 

How to train the process to be focused under pressure

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Attention can be destroyed by the wrong emotions

In any sport to be focused on the present is one of the key success factors and its main enemy are the emotions arising in the athletes’ mind to distract them from the performance.

Any young athlete who learned the necessary skills to be competitive at his/her sport level should devote much of the training to improve this competence to compete with a winning attitude.

Otherwise, the technique will not help anything, rather it will be a source of further frustration for the young athletes not able to use it in the race, because they are dominated by an emotional condition that hinders them.

If you want to be competitive you have to train vigorously your self-control, it’s the only way you can prove the fundamental value of the technical skills.

Understanding the destructive emotions

The destructive emotions are often the most frequent cause of failure of the athletes. At this regard I want to report a talk between one of the greatest scholars of emotions, Paul Ekman and the Dalai Lama. Everyone can draw their own teaching.

The Dalai Lama asked for clarification: “I think there are two things here. One is the process of the emergence of emotion, the other the feeling of emotion. You are suggesting that we become aware of both only in retrospect?”

“No,” said Paul, “we become aware when the excitement has already appeared. It focuses and directs attention once it has begun, but not during the process that generates it. For better or for worse our lives would be very different if in fact we judge knowingly, becoming responsible for the onset of emotion. But it seems that the excitement happen to us. I do not choose to have an emotion, to become frightened or angry. Suddenly I’m angry. I’m usually able to understand what someone has done to create that emotion in me, but I’m not aware of the process that assesses, for example, the action of Dan that made ​​me angry. It’s a key issue for the Western understanding of emotions: the starting point, a crucial process, it is something we can only speculate because we do not know. We become aware only when we’re in the excitement. at the beginning it’s not us that we command. ”

“I wonder,” said the Dalai Lama “if there is perhaps a similar situation in meditation practice, where it’s grown the introspective ability to monitor our own mental states … In developing this capacity for introspection, there is an initial phase in which it does not particularly refined, so we can grasp the presence of excitement or weakness only after it’s arisen. However, penetrating deeper into this practice and cultivating with more and more attention, even when we can understand the excitement or weakness are going to occur. ”

Basically these are the useful to take home for us:

  • The emotions suddenly appear and direct attention.
  • Meditation develops self-awareness and allows us to react to the emotion as soon as it’s harmful to manifest.
  • The focus is thus kept on the important aspects of the performance.
(The text is from the Italian version of Destructive emotions, by Dalai Lama & Daniel Goleman, Bantam Books, 2003, p.168-169)