Tag Archive for 'doping'

To fight doping we need to teach to thing more and more to coaches and athletes

We can fight the culture of doping teaching young people think while practicing sports. To move thinking is my motto, otherwise we give reason to those who think that sport is just a matter of iron muscles, hours of training or genetics. We must, therefore, work especially on the athletes’ mind and motivation to do something they have up to now never done or they thought for them unreachable. Everyone has limits but no one will know what they are, if he/she does not want to undertake what it has not yet reached. To teach young people to move thinking  we need coaches aware of the relevance of this approach to learning sports and confidents that the psychological qualities should not be pre-existing. Without this conviction on the part of the coaches it is very difficult for young people to develop this attitude, because they will never make training with this approach. We need to bring examples from the athletes who follow this approach and that also owe their successes to this mindset. This in brief should be the future of the sport training.  We should always take with us the words of Reinhold Messners to remember us that everything is achievable.

How it was training to climb the Eigh Thousand?
“I ran. And then I went two or three times a year in Himalaya. I was always more or less in shape. Today, there are climbers who train eight hours a day. I have worked mostly with my head. My successes are also the result of the ability to do something that others thought impossible. I kept trying to figure out who in 150 years of mountaineering did move things forward. I wondered why he did it, and how he did it. I have often did only the next step. I have a normal heart, my lungs are normal, and my body is normal. Only my mind was perhaps more determined than others. and I was much more cultivated than many climbers. Even today I’m ready to bet that if you take me ten thousand first-class climbers, no one can beat me on the history of mountaineering. For me, mountaineering is not just business, it is also culture “

The fall of Maria Sharapova

I always brought Maria Sharapova as an example to handle the compettive stress with her routine at the end of each point. “Learn from her,” I said to the girls and boys playing tennis, probably only Jonny Wilkinson, rugby, has a routine so well defined and effective way to stay cool under pressure. Young people had to take a cue from her, not by passively imitate a way of being but to understand that we must have an effective system to manage the anxiety, she was a model. Well now all this has disappeared, because this job to improve her ability to manage the stress was done by meldonium. And then I hear the talk of these days: “If you want to stay in the first hundreds you need an help”, “Look at so and so, they sometimes stop because someone have warned them that otherwise would have been accused of doping”. Writes Maurizio Crosetti on La Repubblica: “The superstar rigged almost always falls with a crash, like a redwood, but in that trunk failure was ancient and invisible, something very internal and dark.” Sports betrayed in its emotions, in being the realization of dreams, in that aesthetic beauty combined with the competitiveness that leads to deal with others, to fulfill the motto “every time the best wins.” Well, today we have discovered another top athlete who belongs instead to the category “mess”, Maria Sharapova as all the others who were caught in dope. We must accept that Sharapova is part of this category as many others who were inspired us loving their performances, were fake. We must however continue to be convinced that it is possible to reach the absolute level results even without the use of doping or drug abuse. Let us remember that the limits are often only mental. Before Reinhold Messner no one had ever gone on eight-thousand without oxygen because it was thought impossible. Before Roger Bannister everyone thought that it wa impossible to run the mile under 4 minutes, 60 years ago he did it. Sport is an experience in which the aim is to challenge the impossible, to overcome the supposed physical and mental barriers and realize perfromamces thought impossible. Prepare us for this, this sport is not for everyone, it is for anyone who wants to realize his/her dreams. We have to build a sports culture on these bases and train young people daily on these concepts. We seek “divergents people” as the saga of Veronica Roth, because they are the solution and defy the evil knowing they can do it. And this does not seem rhetorical, because it comes for all the day, when someone will propose not to play the fool and it’s time to do what they do all those who want to win and have money and contracts, otherwise you will remain a nobody. Beware, though, these characters are everywhere and can be your doctor or the parents themselves.

Russia repeats the State doping by German Democratic Republic

“Several classified documents saved after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1990 describe the promotion by the government of the use of drugs, notably androgenic steroids, in high-performance sports (doping). Top-secret doctoral theses, scientific reports, progress reports of grants, proceedings from symposia of experts, and reports of physicians and scientists who served as unofficial collaborators for the Ministry for State Security (“Stasi”) reveal that from 1966 on, hundreds of physicians and scientists, including top-ranking professors, performed doping research and administered prescription drugs as well as unapproved experimental drug preparations. Several thousand athletes were treated with androgens every year, including minors of each sex. Special emphasis was placed on administering androgens to women and adolescent girls because this practice proved to be particularly effective for sports performance. Damaging side effects were recorded, some of which required surgical or medical intervention. In addition, several prominent scientists and sports physicians of the GDR contributed to the development of methods of drug administration that would evade detection by international doping controls.”

(by Franke e Berendonk, 1997).

 

#HitIaaf

Robert Harting, discus thrower champion, and others athletes tell their bewilderment to the presumed silence of  the track and field international federation accused to have in fact covered up many stories of doping of the last years.

New doping scandal comes from Russia

In these last days we read about the concrete  hypothesis that doping was implemented in Russia in recent years and this brings to mind what happened in the 70s in German Democratic Republic which I quoted in my book “The lords of the pitfalls.”

“What happened in the GDR since the 70s is a typical form of implementation of a fraud, wih a socio-political significance, as determined by the top of the government and pursued in a rational and mass way for all athletes, to senior and young people who showed good ability to succeed. In the  following years this choice was rewarded with excellent sports results. in this case, the doping substances used by athletes, as well as false accounting cannot be defined in terms of negative deviance, which involves the rejection of the rules of the sporting world and the economic one. It’s a deviance that does not reject but adheres in a conformist way to the key values as are the success, victory, gain money, social status and popularity. The deception was pursued with a scientific process, as in East Germany in 1974 the politicians were faced with a dilemma that had to quickly resolve: to win they had to use androgenic hormones, but at the same time as most of the other nations the  GDR fighted officially against  the use of these practices. Therefore, a general strategy was developed, centrally organized to ensure the efficient development of doping and hormonal systems to hide it. Given the political importance of this choice, the decision was made by the Central Committee of the Socialist Party and the final decision, classified as Top Secret, was approved on October 23, 1974 by the Commission for the High-Performance Sport (Franke and Berenonk, 1997 ). This document of 1974 argued that the doping administration to males and females and in particular the administration of androgenic steroids, should be:

  • integral part of the process of training and preparation for major international competitions;
  • organized centrally, including regular assessments of the results and experiences made by the doctors of the sport;
  • further developed and optimized by the research carried out on doping in sport high-performance, with special emphasis on the development of new substances and best mode of administration;
  • taught to sports doctors and coaches through courses and special documents;
  • carried out in total secrecy and be classified as a state secret official (Franke and Berenonk, 1997). “

Doping or commitment

I often wonder who has the sense to keep talking about excellence in sport when continually discover how doping has got into this world and how the ethics in many athletes confuse with the code of silence. The ethics in these cases is to protect another athlete who dopa, according to a pathological definition of morality, according to which you must protect your environment regardless of the actions are illegal and immoral. The main reason given to justify this approach to doping consists in thinking that it’s not possible to excel without this help. Taking this point of view, those who oppose, condemning this kind of sports culture, he is considered a moralist who wants to impose  anachronistic rules, since all dope. Domina Embé philosophy: “Have you seen that that athlete took doping”, “Embé that will never be, so they do it all, if you want to win there is no alternative.” This philosophy is characterized by two main ideas: “So much the worse, the better” and “They’re all thieves.” When this view is widespread among adults, many have begun to take drugs to participate in Master events; there are cases in which parents have asked the doctor a “little help” for their son, increasingly gyms have become places of sales of illegal products and there are doctors and physiotherapists who have undertaken this type of advice to increase their earnings. It’s instead starting from the wide distribution of this bleak conception of sports culture that we must respond and continue to talk about excellence. Regards the absolute level of sports performance, depending only on the commitment and dedication of the athlete, prepared by teachers and programs as value. We must not give in to the philosophy dell’Embè because this devastates our young people and their teachers. The doping in sport and any illegal action must be fought by spreading the culture of commitment and the right to dream that it is possible to achieve any result. We have to legally pursue who uses doping but at the same time we need to change this culture of sport deadly. Children and young people are our future and they have to learn that they can have success thanks to their efforts. We must do more and better because the coaches are not only professionally competent but totally involved in a  work ethic vision of their work.

Book review: A Guide to Third Generation Coaching

A Guide to Third Generation Coaching

Reinhard Stelter

Dordrecht: Springer Science, 2014, p.254

http://www.springer.com/new+%26+forthcoming+titles+(default)/book/978-94-007-7185-7

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.

Zanardi’s inspirational thoughts

Alex Zanardi is a great champion in sport and in life and yesterday I heard him speaking in front of an audience of young people. I was touched by two ideas, simple but very evocative.

The first – “We need to synchronize the brain on the desires of the heart” , good idea to explain that we must cultivate our passions rather than suffer the impositions of the environment in which we live. But also puts in evidence that our mind has to play the role of programmer needed to move from simple daydreaming to put ourself in a position to achieve our desire. In this way  wishes and reality intertwine, avoiding being crushed by everyday things because they lived as a practical expression of our passion.

The second – An amateur cyclist who meet on the road during a training tells him that he certainly would doped if someone had told him that doing so he would have won the Tour de France and asking for his consent Zanardi replied instead: ” Are you crazy?”  He then goes on to say that sport is an opportunity and, for this reason, if  we are in a position to win or at least do the best “when does it happen again to you in life to try it alone? And what do you do?  With doping you lose this opportunity.”

These are thoughts good for our heart and mind.

Italians, we are victim by ourselves also in sport

We are a people accustomed to blaming others and in sport too we show this mentality. Parents beat the referees, most of us think Juventus steals the games as usual, athletes who use doping  justified themselves by saying that it was a lightness and mainly …  we have not hope.

Karin’s joy to live

There are sports events, matches, changing the perception of athletes by those who follow the sport as a spectator enthusiast. It’s ‘ the case of the match played yesterday between two tennis players Maria Sharapova and the Italian Karin Knapp, a game lasting 3.30 hours to + 40 degrees and that Knapp has only lost at the third set by two points: 10-8.  A game played by Knapp until the last shot with the extreme determination. They left a positive mark and demonstrate the level of competitiveness reached by this girl, 40 in the world ranking. Mark not only for how she played yesterday, but because only three years she resumed playing after a break of two years due to heart problems, with two heart surgeries and two on the right knee. It would have been easier to stop playing tennis, but Karin is back and she did well.

These are the stories that are good for sport world, reminding us of how sport can also be a way to redeem an athlete from serious health problems . It’s a story similar to that of Jack Sintini, setter of the volleyball Italian champions team. The same for Alex Zanardi the driver  become the strongest handbiker in the world. Too often we forget to remember these positive lives and we focus only the problems generated by doping. These are the examples that young male and female athletes must bring in their mind and soul, those of who was stronger than the incidents occurred. The parent who wrote to me the other day, how to motivate his son while others use doping  has to suggest the boy to appreciate these lives, understanding what they can teach.  In this way we enrich our motivation with ideas and beliefs supporting us in times of difficulty we will encounter. The same is true for young people who get angry every time  they make mistakes: try to think of how many errors they had to accept these ,champions when they resumed activity after illness or accident, if they had lost time to complain would never have got to where they are now.