Tag Archive for 'consapevolezza'

Mistakes coming from a poor awareness coaching

If your athletes commit any of these mistakes, it means that you have not taught them to give value at their commitment in training:

  1. When you ask them to take a deep breath, they snort or sigh
  2. Without no reason they modify times and ways of the warm-up
  3. They say: “But I thought I was ready while …”
  4. They get angry or easily disappointed even in training
  5. In training they have result outcomes  and less frequently process outcomes.
  6. They are focused on the results of their performance and not on how to perform effectively
  7. They are only partially aware that it is how you prepare yourself that determines the quality of the performance
  8. They think: “I have the technique therefor I know how to compete
  9. They are deluding themselves to do well only because they have done it before and they are not aware that every time it is different and the commitment must be consistent
  10. Usually from their favorite champs they take only the most superficial and most glamorous behaviors

How many types of athletes’ awareness do you know?

Brad Gilbert said that the tennis players usually spend for their mental preparation the same time they spend to learn to jump the rope. This means that usually they are not aware about their mental skills. Therefore you as psychologist how much time you spend to improve the athletes’ awareness? The question is also:
How many types of athletes’ awareness do you know and how is your intervention?
  1. Proprioceptive awareness
  2. Mistake awareness
  3. Awareness about the reaction to the mistakes
  4. Skill awareness
  5. Goal awareness
  6. Awareness about his/her learning style
  7. Value awareness
  8. Confidence awareness
  9. Awareness of the coach role
  10. Performance awareness
  11. Awareness about his/her life style
  12. Awareness of his/her relationship with the coach and staff

Mental coaching in the Romanian football

It’s not easy to accept that the main limits of the team performance are in the psychological area. Giani Boldeanu talks about this subject in the Romanian football.

”Jucătorii români refuză să discute cu psihologul”. Verdictul dur al lui Giani Boldeanu, mental coach. ”N-au mentalitate de învingători”

Understand the athletes’ solitude

It starts a new season, which it means new challenges. In this work there is little room for the routine, for consolidated assets repeated year after year. Working with athletes and coaches, committed to get the best of themselves, always represents a novelty and the final result is never done.

Although I teach valuable skills like to improve concentration or the stress management, the most important aspect for me concerns the acceptance of their loneliness in front of the daily work and to drive themselves in those unique moments represented by the competitions. So I wish to the athletes to accept these moments, living them as significant aspects of life and not as weak moments to hide or delete. I wish also to the psychologists to know how to be in contact with this part of the athletes’ life and be able to help them to live it responsibly and constructively

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)

Consciouness is the first step of mental coaching

The awareness can be defined as the “miracle that, in a heartbeat, draws our mind and reassemble it, allowing us to live every moment of our lives” (Thich Nhat Hanh). Jack Kornfield has described it as “the innate human ability to deliberately pay full attention to the situation in which we find ourselves, to our practical experiences, and learn from them.”

Awareness is the basis of mental coaching, maximize learning and improve performance requires an understanding of ourselves and the emotions that underlie it.  The consciousness of this moment  is specific to each activity and determines the condition of readiness for action: a global psycho-physical state, involving what is going to happen, that is the performance.

Coach to think: why not?

Why not train the young athlete to think. Is it expected that an athlete (as well as a child) reflects on what s/he is doing ? How many coaches ask at the end of an exercise:  ” What did you do? How could you have done better?” That these are precisely the questions or others it does not matter, what it’s important is to spend the time to ask and encourage a deeper awareness in relation to the technical execution . Another thought: do the coaches believe that talking with their athletes is helpful for learning? Or do they believe that it’s a waste of time? For the reason the athletes are still not sufficiently experts to understand and therefore is it better to follow the coach’s instructions and stop? How many times have you faced on this issue with other colleagues? Is it  important to train and develop the athletes’ awareness? My idea is that this is a topic which is discussed too little, because the  coaching science  is dominated by physiology , biomechanics and medicine, disciplines that do not question themselves on mental (cognitive and emotional) and of social factors of  motor learning. As long as there will not be a unitary conception of the individual, the coaches will continue to act largely ignoring the role of thought in sports teaching .

We only improve through the difficulties

Thought for the day

The races are to challenge ourselves to overcome moments of difficulty that inevitably there are in every competition. Who wants to escape this challenge will never expand his/her limits.

Coach the sensations in tennis

I attended a session of  training of a young tennis player based on the research of sensations related to the optimum of  her service. It was an intense workout  where the focus on correct execution, feelings and execution has been stressed in a contemporary way, to lead to an improvement of this tennis fundamental. Overall, it was a session in which the mental component and the technique have been engaged in a consistent manner.

A first effect of this type of exercise resides in making aware the tennis player of the sensations related to the wrong movement and the correct one. The coach never said the athlete: “Do this because it’s better.” On the contrary, he led to try both ways and to assess which determined the best service. The development of a consciousness different from the one he had up to that time was the main theme of this training. The tennis player was able to develop a personal idea on what movement was better, convincing herself according to the result obtained.

It ‘s evident that in this way the storage of the new elements of the technical behavior was much deeper because it has been based not on the coach’s instructions  but on the realization that the behavior suggested it was more advantageous. Trainings of this type demonstrate the importance of enhancing the mental processes of young athletes, using the physical sensations they feel in doing in one way rather than another, and subsequently, evaluation by the tennis effectiveness of the shot.

La fiducia di una squadra

La Fiorentina ha perso la fiducia è quanto si legge sui giornali di oggi. E’ un tema ricorrente nelle spiegazioni di prestazioi negative di una squadra di calcio. Posta in questo modo la questione sembra anche difficilmente risolvibile nel breve tempo ed è un concetto che è utile per spiegare qualcosa che non si capisce o che non si sa come risolvere. Se invece si capisce di cosa è composta la fiducia probabilmente ci si sta già avvicinando alla cura. Un primo ingrediente della fiducia è la competenza, il sapere fare. La domanda è quindi: “I calciatori e la squadra sanno cosa sanno fare?” Secondo: “Sono concordi su come devono giocare nelle varie fasi della partita o hanno dubbi/timori?” Terzo: “Sanno mantenere con coerenza questo tipo gioco durante l’incontro?” Quarto. “La squadra ha un piano per reagire a situazioni di gioco impreviste?” Se non si risponde a queste quattro domande non si potrà migliorare, perchè non si è consapevoli, l’allenatore per primo, di cosa manca. Non ci si può nascondere dietro la frase: la squadra non ha seguito le mie indicazioni oppure la squadra non ha personalità, bisogna conosscere cosa ha determinato questi effetti altrimenti si continuerà a perdere.