Tag Archive for 'competenze'

Use your social and cognitive skills to find a job

Jobs with a high demand for cognitive and human skills, and therefore cities with a high concentration of such occupations, are generally less sensitive to recessions, according to a study by Carlianne Patrick and Amanda Weinstein. Their research is the first to show that the recovery of metropolitan areas from economic recessions depends more on the composition of skills – cognitive, social or motor skills – than on the level of education, which is more difficult to measure.

“Existing studies show that recessions reinforce trends already in place, so we looked at the data in light of multiple recessions, especially the Great Recession. With each recession, it seemed to take the economy longer to recover, and we wanted to understand that particular trend,” said Patrick. “In the Great Recession, for example, more than 8.6 million people across the country lost their jobs, but not always in proportionate amounts to their community populations.”

Researchers examined metropolitan areas with high levels of cognitive and social skills, and others with a high concentration of motor skills. They found that workers with high cognitive and/or social skills had less unemployment, especially during recessions, than those with high motor skills.

In addition, metropolitan areas, even small ones, which were fortunate to have a high concentration of workers with cognitive and social skills, were not only less likely to feel the effects of a recession, but were more likely to recover quickly from a recession.

“Occupational data shows that people with cognitive skills also tend to have people skills, and it’s the ability to relate to people that is most important in reducing the length of time it takes a city to return to pre-recession levels … Education is important but it’s not enough. It’s critical to cultivate people skills in workers with motor skills, to help them weather changing economic conditions,” Patrick said.

Because workers need high levels of cognitive and social skills to increase their chances of employment during a recession, researchers suggest that governments, particularly in cities and regions that have historically relied on motor skills, should consider training workers to build their cognitive and social skills and people to foster more resilient and recession-proof economies.

Review book: The Autism Fitness Handbook

The Autism Fitness Handbook

David S. Geslak

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London & Philadelphia

2015, 168 p. – 54 illustrations


This book is one of the very few contributions devoted to provide information, guidance and practical supports  to people who want to start a motor program with children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The main goal achieved by David Geslak is to write and focus us on abilities, rather than on mental and physical problems. It’s a true fitness book, which describe a specific program based on 46 exercises to practice. The Author said the program has been used not only with children but with adults too, determining improvements independently from the ability possessed at the begin of the activity.

The program is divided in four parts: engage, educate, empower and exercise. The first part talks about the way to involve the children in the program. In this section very important are the patient and motivation of the teachers, their ability to provide structure and routine and the use of visual supports (e.g., pictures, cards, timers), in the same time it’s important that the parents at home are committed in the same direction, improving the child health, for example also following an adequate food and beverage management and continue the movement activities.  The second part talks about education, that means why they are exercising. In this section are described the five components of physical fitness: body image, motor coordination, posture, muscular and cardiovascular fitness. There is also an additional item regarding the children abdominal strength, part of the body image and muscular fitness,  weak in these children and it needs to be reinforced. The third part talks about empower, in this section are reviewed the champion stories and exercise routines used by David Geslak with eight people with ASD. The fourth part regards the exercise area. It proposes exercises following the five components, including abdominal strength. Each of the 46 exercises is described in term of goal satisfied, how to do, repetitions and coaching tips. I appreciate this contribute to spread the physically active life style also in children with ASD, based on the assertive concept to start from their competences to improve them in the long period with a specific program.

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)

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.

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

Beyond the traditional PST training

On the fourth day of “International Sport Psychology Week” at INSEPin Paris, David Tod talked about how the psychological consulting work with athletes now goes beyond the traditional teaching relaxation techniques, visualization, self-talk and so on but it must include an approach even more specific. This approach involves an extension of the sports psychologist skills to address the changes that have occurred today in lifestyles, in the growing complexity of the sporting career and the needs of high-level athletes. Then request the psychologist greater expertise  to understand the needs of  his/her clients, to show more and more competences in interpersonal communication and to understand the performer not only in relation to the needs of the sporting life but also in relation to the global life.

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.