Tag Archive for 'emozioni'

How should a coach handle the emotions?

A question from a coach. To manage our emotions… What have I to do?
First recognize them, then work on them. Could it be useful to talk with other colleagues who can help me with an external, more objective view of my emotional reactions?

An action plan in 6 points:

  1. Comparison with colleagues on how to handle disappointment rather than enthusiasm is useful.
  2. It is decisive to accept what we feel at that moment, even if we don’t like it.
  3. Only assess our behavior in that situation and never extend it to our person in global terms.
  4. Reflecting on alternative ways of reacting to the event for which we are, for example, angry
  5. Decide how to behave the next time a similar situation arises
  6. The use of abdominal breathing, paying particular attention to lengthen the exhalation phase (counting up to 7), can be useful to regain self-control.

Mindfulness can reduce the burnout

Chunxiao Li et al., (2019).Mindfulness and Athlete Burnout: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 449.

This review aims to identify, appraise, and synthesize studies reporting the relationship between mindfulness and athlete burnout and the effects of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) on athlete burnout. few variables may account for the relationship between mindfulness and athlete burnout.

Gustafsson et al. (2015) found that mindfulness had an indirect effect on athlete burnout through negative/positive affect. As negative affect has been viewed as an indicator of burnout susceptibility (Lemyre et al. 2006), mindfulness is likely to prevent burnout through adjusting athletes’ affect. Zhang and colleagues (2016) proposed another possible mechanism. They claimed that athletes with high levels of mindfulness tend to have low levels of experiential avoidance (i.e., willingness to avoid negative experience because of the distress brought on by the experience, which may in turn minimize the maladaptive influences of stressors and other negative factors on burnout.

The emotion management during the Olympic Games

2018 Winter Olympics begin and many athletes to achieve their dream will find themselves in the position of having to provide the performance which is worth a life. The Olympic Games are the most important event for each athlete, it’s the competition that can change their sports career, much more than a world championship. it’s true for those who have already won and would like to repeat and for those athletes who are for the first time in the leading role. In fact, despite the doping scandals, winning a medal in the Olympics is still the dream of every athlete and for those who have a realistic chance of success is really all they don’t dared to think, for fear the desire  take place.

In these last days, the athletes have to handle their panic, they can swing by the peaks of confidence in their abilities, supported by the results obtained, with moments of sheer terror in which negative scenarios seem to take over. More rare that these emotions leaping those athletes who cannot aspire to the Olympic podium, who aspire to a good performance, which are already satisfied to compete during the world’s biggest sport event.

For others, those who compete for a medal, those at the top of the world ranking, the wait can be exhausting. They have to know how to handle this waiting phase, accepting this emotional background noise in all its shades, reducing the destructive emotions with constructive moods and thoughts. The race with themselves doesn’t begin just before the start moment, it has already begun in these days. Because the before determines the after, as you face the days immediately preceding determines how you will get to race day.

I often asked the athletes which the mental part of their warmup. For many consists to mentally repeat their performance or use key words, chosen by them, to reach a level of optimal emotional activation. This mental work determines a mixture of emotions, physical sensations and thoughts, used to be focused only on their performance. In this way, they lead themselves to the moments preceding the start, inside their mental bubble, totally caught up in what they’re doing; then they start and everything happens, or should happen, in a way apparently spontaneous.

Enthusiasm and concentration

The defeats and the tough times have many fathers, too often we see athletes on an athletic field rather than on a tennis court or pool not showing the enthusiasm of staying on the field despite the difficulties. This is one of the secrets of who claims him/herself the ultimate commitment. We must not let go to common errors just because the morale is dropping, we have to train ourself to maintain a high level of mental readiness. Be focused requires a great mental effort, but only if we are predisposed to do it we can know our limits.

The athletes must always remember that what happened first determines what will happen after. So that the emotional state at a given time will determine how will compete immediately after. We should not use as an alibi our mistakes or capabilities of the opponent, we must always be focused on skills and on what it needs to be done. This should be the mental approach to the race, after which each sport requires a specific approach for responding to the needs that requires.

Valentino Rossi fell into Marquez’s trap

Around Valentino Rossi in the last week it has been created the opportunity for the perfect storm which triggered in the race, having its epilogue with the fall of Marquez. It was predictable? Yes, it was. It was avoidable? Maybe. The contenders are a group of young adults, professionals, who have turned their love for motors and the speed in work and they c to those ompete to establish who he’s the fasstest and the best in the world, together with their teams of technicians, managers , companies, working to put them in the best position to fulfill these dreams of glory. These are young talents willing to take any risk in order to win and the curves are the place of the duel. Valentino Rossi is the pack leader of this group of young opponents, others want to take his place, and for a while they succeeded, then he came back and now tbefore the last race he is leading the championship. Only one of the best he can challenge him, not Lorenzo who competes to win the championship, would be too risky, it’s the Marquez job ,who is angry with him because he has taken away in the race for the win and so they clash at Sepang at the rate of fifteen passes, only nine in a lap. Difficult to react calmly to these Marquez provocations without any reason and Rossi fell into the trap of accepting this challenge, that it could end only if the other fell down and this is what happened. Mike Webb, the race director said that from the images “it was not possible to determine whether or not Rossi has hit Marquez with a kick” and that Marquez has certainly provoked Rossi albeit within the limits of the rules. The fact is that Marquez wanted to show that if he can stop Rossi and then to assert its leadership on the circuit; “A prank” except that in this way he was altering the  race and the world outcome, that in any case he saw him defeated. Previously he had done nothing to prevent being overtaken by Lorenzo, the main rival of Rossi for the world title. Marquez had nothing to lose by doing the bully against Rossi, the worst in the duel would fall and it would be passed to the victim and Rossi like the champion  that can no longer win without committing misconduct. Nothing to do with the reason, it was a clash of emotions at high speed. Valentino Rossi still had everything to lose in accepting this duel, if it was falling over, if he committed misconduct as well, if he was behind and waited patiently had a chance to cool the challenge and continue the fight for the final success. This reasoning is very difficult to do so while dueling with your opponent. It can be previously programmed. If I know Marquez wants to pay me, I have to prepare a plan of the type: “And if that happens … what I decide to do?” This is what I expect from a champion like Valentino Rossi, the planning of mental adverse situation that today, given the context highly emotional that it’s determined, may occur. In this case, he might ask (or those of his team could advise him): “If I feel provoked what is reasonable to do?” Everyone is free to make their own choices, the important thing is not to fall into the trap built by opponents and be able to say at the end of the race to have competed exactly as it was been planned. Unfortunately this did not happen and now Valentino Rossi will have to decide what to do, personally I hope that he races.

(On http://www.huffingtonpost.it/../../alberto-cei/caro-valentino-eri-mentalmente-impreparato-alla-trappola-di-marquez_b_8388120.html)

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.

Why is self-control so difficult during the competition?

The self-control of the sports performance is a very difficult task even for the expert athletes.

But who can be defined as an expert? Who is able to effectively manage a sequence of increasing challenges in specific situations.

Self-control is based on the development of the  self-regulation skills in three distinct areas:

  • behavioral self-regulation – the athletes act observing them-selves and strategically adjust their behaviors.It happens when an athlete misses a shot and decide what to do to correctl it in the next action,
  • environmental self-regulation – the athletes adapt them-selves to environmental conditions or outcomes. In shooting sports the athlete can change the lens color  as a function of the light conditions or may take more time before the execution.
  • covert self-regulation – the athletea are aware of their cognitive and emotional processes and decide whether to persevere in those conditions or changing them. During the performance or training thoughts and emotions prepare the athlete to speak at his/her best or they can be a source of problems to solve.

The expert athlete must be accurate and consistent in performing these activities of self-regulation by monitoring in the same time the results of the performances, so as to be aware of what are the best conditions to compete effectively and increase self-confidence.
The mental coaching is the means by which to train these 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)

Coach the youth’s emotions

After the Champions League defeat Simeone, the coach of Atletico Madrid,  said that: ” you can win by losing if you play at your best.” It’s a key concept for the development of an athlete and it should be taught until the first day that a child starts one sport. On the contrary, we see young people who just made ​​a mistake they get angry with themselves or get depressed. We know that this happens for the conjunction of different reasons: the parents are distracted and do not give much weight to these behaviors, the coaches are more focused on teaching the technique rather than emotionally to train athletes and the young people themselves also are not good at expressing their emotions and to take care of themselves in a positive way. And so, I look every day tennis players slamming their racket to the ground after a little mistake, alternating moods of depression and anger against them or in other sports in which after one mistake they made ​​a repeat others, because they are dominated by frustration. To change this way of life setbacks and mistakes parents and coaches must be more aware of their role as emotional-coaches and the need to work with their children and athletes to change these behaviors. We must not impose our solutions of adults to their problems. We must instead listen empathetically without to judge, so as to feel supported and respected in their moods. Only after this stage we should start talking about what could be done differently, giving time to express their ideas and for us to express our own. Acting in this way takes time and often it’s this reason that adults do not follow this path. But we must be aware that if we often act in this manner, the young people will begin to think that their reactions are not interesting  for their parents and coaches, and worse they will still continue to behave in a negative way. If we want our children develop the ability to effectively manage their daily stresses,  we have to spend the time to teach them how to behave, feel and think in those moments.

The emotions might be teaching opportunities

Sport is an activity that tests the skills of young people in managing their emotions. In sports, you win and lose, you make mistakes easily and frequently, and for these reasons it is a situation that calls constantly even self-confidence. It is therefore important for every coach to learn to recognize the emotions of the athletes as a teaching opportunity. The errors they commit as well as new learning and the performances are the optimal situations to train them to handle the disappointment and anger rather than joy. The coach might be aware of the emotions of their athletes, understand the educational opportunities they represent, listen boys and girls with an empathic style, helping them to understand and explain what it happens and seek solutions possible setting the limits within which to find them.

Coaches who act in this way they get from their athletes better results than those who behave differently .