Tag Archive for 'coaching'

Coaching to change

Many speak of Coaching and often cause shouted, promising the moon after walking on hot coals. Coaching is a process of change and takes time. You do not change on a weekend but we may have insights into how we, and is a lot. We have to know that we can all improve, even if no one says it will be easy. If we are willing to accept this approach, then we can walk on this road led by a coach. Coaching in this sense allows us to find a concrete solution to the main questions that managers and young talent, athletes and coaches, team members and leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs. These are:

I want to do better rather than good
I want to do more with less
I want to make new ideas instead of always repeating
I want to convey energy and not resignation
I want to explore new ways without doing the same
I want to balance work and private life
I want to delegate rather than do it all alone
I want to encourage curiosity and not boredom at work
I want to listen without prejudice instead of thinking to be always right
I want to live in movement and not in a marsh

If you are interested in knowing more about this approach to change write me and I will give you more information

Continuous improvement as the winning strategy

Coaching to cope with new challenges consists of personalized training, aimed at perfecting personal skills to the highest level and enabling everyone to be the best they can be. Moving along a path of continuous improvement thus makes it possible to meet the needs of organizations to have individuals who are increasingly effective and ready to respond to change.

Coaching is an approach to personal change that starts with a positive appreciation of professional performance. Phrases such as “Don’t rest on your laurels” or “If you stop, you’re lost” express the concept that every leader has always repeated, namely that only continuous renewal will make it possible to continue to repeat the successes achieved.

In this regard, the parallel between the managerial role and that of the high level athlete is very fitting:

  • They have, for the most part, achieved the goals they set themselves and are therefore considered successful people.
  • They are characterized by the energy and commitment that they put into their work.
  • their skills emerge in a decisive way precisely in situations of greater competitive pressure or greater stress.
  • They believe they can deal with most situations or problems effectively.
  • They take responsibility for the results of their performance.
  • they are perceived as reliable and competent.
  • They are seen by younger people as role models.
  • They derive maximum satisfaction from the continuous renewal of the challenges they face.
  • They are solver-problems
  • They look for contributions from people who can help them achieve their goals.

Do not fall into the trap of believing that these skills are easy to achieve or that these individuals do not experience difficult times. On the contrary, these skills are achieved through continuous work, pursued even on those days that are frustrating and seem to never end. The defeats and setbacks are the hardest and most painful moments to digest, but they must be accepted as part of the game in which one has chosen to participate.

10 aspects of tennis table

Today I have been interviewed by the Italian tennis table federation.

I propose again the 10 key points to be aware of and know how to accept in table tennis to be a winner.

  1. Table tennis is a sport in which every player makes many mistakes
  2. You can win till the last point
  3. Concentration must be high and consistent at every point and up to the last
  4. You have to react positively immediately after every single mistake
  5. The service is decisive
  6. It is necessary to have a specific pre-race routine
  7. It is necessary to have a routine between the points
  8. Even the champions are in trouble but they know what to do to get out of it.
  9. In defense: play an extra ball!
  10. Chen Bin, coach of Ding Ning, Olympic gold medalist: “Table tennis is not just about hitting the ball on the table, you have to return the ball, you have to feel how the ball comes towards you, and visualize how your ball will end up on the opponent’s table when you hit it again”

Coaching Z generation

Daniel Gould, Jennifer Nalepa & Michael Mignano (2019). Coaching Generation Z Athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 32:1, 104-120.

Although it has always been essential that coaches adapt their coaching to athlete characteristics, this may be more important today than ever before as coaches adjust to a new generation of athletes who have grown up in a total digital age, which has had major effects on their characteristics and ways of behaving.

Today’s young athletes represent Generation Z (Gen Z):

  • Youth born after 1996, making up 26% of the U.S. population and 27% of the world population
  • Gen Z youth, they have been influenced by socioeconomic uncertainty (e.g., the global recession of 2008), international terrorism (e.g., 9/11) and natural disasters (e.g., Hurricane Katrina)
  • They are the best-educated generation in history and are the first generation of youth who have grown up in a totally digital environment, which has resulted in Gen Z youth having excellent technology skills
  • At the same time, because of the amount of time they spend on technology, they are thought to have shorter attention spans, the need for frequent feedback, and a lack of independence

Social psychologist Jean Twenge (2017):

  • Today’s youth grow up more slowly (e.g., engage in sex at a later age, hold off longer on obtaining a driver’s license, engage in alcohol consumption later than their millennial predecessors) and are the most protected and safest generation ever but at the same time avoid adult responsibilities such as moving out of the house and becoming financially independent.
  • Growing up in the digital world spend less time in direct contact with their friends and loved ones. This is one reason they have highest ever generational reports of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Finally, growing up in a highly engaging digital world, Gen Z youth’s attention spans are shorter, and they often multitask even when this may not be effective.

Encel, Mesagno, and Brown (2017) surveyed 298 British athletes to determine both their Facebook use and if Facebook use was related to anxiety. Results revealed that 68% of the athletes used Facebook within 2hr of competition, and time spent on social media was related to the Concentration Disruption subscale of the Sport Anxiety Scale.

At the beginning stages of working with Gen Z athletes, coaches felt that athletes lacked the ability deal with adversity.

Overtime, with structured resilience-building practices, coaches observed an improvement in Gen Z athletes’ abilities to handle adversity. By creating stressful practice situations and coaching athletes through them, Gen Z athletes improved their resiliency.

Athletes did not respond well to negative feedback. Athletes often took negative feedback personally and would get upset when confronted with criticism.

Gen Z athletes show short attention spans. Coaches also found that Gen Z athletes were easily distracted and had difficulty blockling out distractions.

Gen Z athletes were perceived to need structure and boundaries to guide them through their tennis development.

Gen Z athletes were mostly extrinsically motivated by results, material things, and social comparison. Coaches discussed how pressure from parents and coaches served as extrinsic sources that drove players motivation.  In terms of work ethic, most coaches discussed how Gen Z athletes worked hard and had a strong work ethic once on the tennis court.

Gen Z athletes had poor communication skills. Coaches believed that players had difficulty expressing their emotions, were shy and hesitant to speak up, and lacked basic conversational skills (i.e., eye contact).

Coaches also felt that Gen Z players would check what they were told by the coach and were not quick to believe something just because the coach had said it.

Coaches felt that today’s athletes were more educated than in past generations as they had access to an abundance of information online and had excellent technology skills that made finding information easy for them.

Gen Z athletes were perceived to be visual learners, which was discussed as a strength, as coaches were able to incorporate technology as a learning aid during practice and training. Last, coaches felt that athletes were curious and open to learning from coaches through their need to understand the “why” and the connection to performance.

The advanced mental coaching

La costruzione di un programma di allenamento psicologico avanzato richiede la conoscenza delle implicazioni psicologiche tipiche di una determinata disciplina sportiva. Di seguito una descrizione sintetica

  1. Gli sport di resistenza (e.g., fondo, maratona, canottaggio, nuoto) – richiedono di tollerare la fatica fisica e di saperla gestire nei momenti in cui si presenta in gara. Necessitano di una notevole consapevolezza delle sensazioni corporee così da potere riconoscere e anticipare eventuali momenti critici durante la gara.
  2. Gli sport di precisione (e.g., tiro con l’arco, tiro a volo, tiro a segno, golf) – richiedono di coniugare insieme precisione dell’azione sportiva e velocità, per cui la concentrazione è totalmente orientata all’esecuzione tecnica.
  3. Gli sport di coordinazione del corpo nello spazio (e.g., ginnastica artistica, pattinaggio artistico, nuoto sincronizzato, tuffi) – in queste discipline sportive l’atleta tende a fornire la prestazione ideale ma sa anche che è quasi impossibile da raggiungere. Anche un minimo errore porta alla riduzione della qualità della prestazione e, quindi, anche del punteggio che la giuria gli attribuirà.
  4. Gli sport di velocità (e.g., 100 e 200 metri, staffette, 400 metri, nuoto) – richiedono una concentrazione totale per l’intera durata della prova. Decisiva è l’abilità a gestire efficacemente l’impulsività e la tendenza a reagire in modo troppo anticipato che si prova negli istanti che precedono la partenza.
  5. Gli sport di combattimento (e.g., scherma, boxe, arti marziali) – richiedono un livello elevato di reattività mentale e fisica per tutta la durata del combattimento. Notevole importanza ha la capacità di sapere anticipare le mosse dell’avversario. Data la brevità dello scontro è decisiva l’abilità a sentirsi in gara sin dai primi secondi.
  6. Gli sport di squadra (e.g., calcio, pallavolo, pallacanestro, rugby) – Richiedono lo sviluppo del pensiero tattico in un contesto di collaborazione con i propri compagni di squadra. Le punizioni nel calcio, il servizio nella pallavolo, i tiri liberi nella pallacanestro e i calci nel rugby richiedono un tipo di concentrazione molto simile a quello degli sport di precisione.

Coaching for sport manager

Il coaching per manager dello sport: un’altra moda o una  naturale esigenza, segno dei tempi? 

La maggior parte delle organizzazioni sportive per sopravvivere e competere efficacemente deve riuscire a fare dei veri e propri salti di cambiamento, delle virate che impattano in modo ben più sostanziale sul modo di funzionare dell’organizzazione rispetto ai cambiamenti incrementali dell’ultima parte del XX secolo.

Sono queste le sfide che determinano una domanda crescente di leadership in grado determinare empowerment, di impegnare e di allineare le persone alle strategie, di ispirare e motivare le persone, in grado di realizzare una rete di rapporti fondati sulla fiducia ancor prima di definire la catena formale del comando.

Sono sfide che hanno modificato la natura stessa del lavoro manageriale, rispetto alle quali i manager sono mediamente impreparati e che possono essere vinte investendo sulla personale efficacia di ruolo, cercando di armonizzare e bilanciare la fase della consapevolezza con quella del cambiamento, del che fare, del come fare, e soprattutto del come monitorare i progressi fatti.

Il Leadership Coaching Program è una  sponda concreta a chi vuole influire nel suo specifico contesto sportivo per guidare, condurre oltre che per gestire, in una parola a chi è chiamato ad essere nella sua organizzazione un manager leader e a sua volta coach per il suo team.

Per informazioni scrivi a: coaching@ceiconsulting.it

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.

Coaching in these difficult days

These days it is not always possible to train as we would like because the sports center could be closed, in many sports you need to train with someone else and there is not always this opportunity, because the coaches could have personal problems and so on. Especially younger athletes than senior national team athletes may encounter these difficulties more.

For those at home I would like to give some suggestions to train anyway, even if in a different way than usual.

Set goals - It is necessary to have goals on which to orient the daily commitment, in many sports can relate more to physical and mental preparation, easier to perform at home or in spaces other than the usual training environment. So set what to do, when and for how long.
Physical Preparation - Have your coach send you the physical preparation program you can do at home. Follow it and exchange results, thinking and difficulties with him/her.
Mental Preparation - Use this days to focus more on this type of training. You can train 4 psychological skills: self-control through breathing, concentration on task and performance, imagination of your performance, and have a constructive self-talk. Do it on a daily basis, if you work with a sports psychologist, work together for this program that is good to do on a daily basis. If you would like to use this time to start such a job, you can contact a sports psychologist or write to me through the blog and I will reply.
Videos - Watching videos of other athletes’ performances is useful to understand how they face competitions, moments of difficulty, style of play or anything else that may interest you. Watch videos driven by a specific target and not like a fan.

Training is in the pleasure to repeat

Training is to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, with the pleasure of repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, with the pleasure of repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, with the pleasure of repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat with the pleasure of repeat.

The coaching social value

Today in Roma there will be the Conference of Reinhard Stelter regrading the social individual value connected to the coaching process, I propose again the review of his book about this topic.

A Guide to Third Generation Coaching

Reinhard Stelter

Dordrecht: Springer Science, 2014, p.254


This book talks about coaching from a societal perspective. Since the beginning coaching has been interpreted as a process to increase managers’ skills and in any case as a system to approach and solve problems. Third Generation Coaching   is oriented on values  and create meaning underlying aspirations, passions and habits. This concept remember me the Amartya Sen identity idea, when he explains that every day we are part of different groups and in this way we have a multiple identity, build on this different contexts and roles. Thus, Third Generation Coaching talks about our identity, view as interpersonal process continuously in movement. Coachees and coaches  live a space of self-reflection not to improve specific competences but to permit to the coachees to know better themselves and may be to see their life in a new perspective.  Really, this coaching vision is an invitation to change stride, moving to a different interpretation of our life.  For this reason Stelter underlines the main role played by values “as important landmarks for navigating in life.” Today where financial fraud in business and doping in sport are so diffuse, a changing process based on values and ethics became fundamental to guarantee social respect and freedom form illegal actions. In fact, Stelter developed this new coaching approach in a time where values are not very well represented in our society, where at the contrary every day the newspapers published news about bankruptcies or doping cases like the most famous is Lance Amstrong fall. The book talks about the necessity to build in professional or every life meaning-experiences, based on our past stories and the present in order to have a better future. Third Generation Coaching changed also the coach role, he/she became a facilitator of the coachee’s reflections concerning is cultural roots and social relations, very important because determining his/her confidence into the social environments. Third generation coaching proposes a form of dialogue where coach and coachee are focused on creating space for reflection through collaborative practices and less concerned with fabricating quick solutions. Aspiring to achieve moments of symmetry between coach and coachee, where their dialogue is driven by a strong emphasis on meaning-making, values, aspirations and identity issues. Coach and coachee meet as fellow-humans in a genuine dialogue. I can say that also in sport we assisted in an evolution of this kind in the program of athletes’ mental coaching. Till 10 years ago the programs for them were related almost exclusively to increase specific mental skills, to use during the most important events. At this approach, successively, has been added an approach more oriented to reflect about their life style, to the positive role the athletes can play in our society, to doping as negative value for them and for the society because based on deception.