Tag Archive for 'errori'

Developing athletes and coaches with a growth-oriented mindset

In sports, it is necessary to learn to react immediately to mistakes, building a work culture that views failures as an integral and non-eliminable part of the improvement process. However, it is not easy for athletes and coaches to accept this assumption even though everyone knows that mistakes are a constant in every performance. In fact, there is no such thing as a perfect performance but only the one that is provided at a given time, an expression of personal or team limitations and how the typical as well as unforeseen obstacles present in every competition are dealt with. The relationship between performance, skill and error is investigated, in which the first factor depends on the interaction between the other two factors. To predict what the reaction to error or failure might be, it is important to know what an athlete’s motivation for skill is and what personal beliefs it is set on.

Does the athlete exhibit a growth-oriented approach to competition or has he or she developed a fixed conception of his or her sporting qualities? These two different approaches affect the reaction to an unsatisfactory performance in different ways. Those who exhibit a growth-oriented mindset are more likely to decide to try harder, spending more time and experimenting with new strategies. Athletes with a fixed conception of their mindset, on the other hand, will be more concerned about showing their shortcomings again and will engage less. Practical implications and how to orient athletes toward a growth-oriented mindset are discussed. In many cultures, there are sayings that remind us how important it is to learn how to react to negative situations and mistakes. For example, it is said, “When a door closes, a door opens,” while Americans like to repeat, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how quickly you get back up,” and the Japanese state, “Fall seven times, get up the eighth.” These statements highlight that in order to succeed, one must develop a full awareness of how frequent it is to make mistakes and how equally relevant it is to react constructively. There are no shortcuts, for mistakes cannot be eliminated; one must necessarily make mistakes, as during an obstacle course in which one is aware at all times that it is possible to make mistakes, to slow down, to make a great effort to overcome an obstacle even if one is well prepared and knows the path. Then if this is the way to go, one must prevent mistakes from becoming alibis used to confirm to oneself the impossibility of overcoming one’s current limitations, with the effect of leading to a reduction in commitment, since “There is nothing to do anyway,” or “Yes, there would be a lot to do, but I am not talented enough or I am unlucky.” It is therefore necessary to build, through daily activity, a work culture that considers error as an integral part of the improvement process.

On the other hand, sport is a context in which the presence of errors is a constant in every performance, very often even in winning ones. In  shooting, the world record, hitting 125 out of 125 has been achieved 13 times in the past 25 years. On every other occasion, shooters have always made mistakes. In the sports of body coordination in space, there are very few times when an athlete, male or female, has achieved the highest score. In basketball, Michael Jordan said, “In my life I have missed more than nine thousand shots, I have lost almost three hundred games, twenty-six times my teammates entrusted me with the decisive shot and I missed it. I failed many times. And that’s why in the end I won everything.”

Also in basketball, in the EuroLeague only 8.5 percent of players make 90 percent of free throws, 35 percent make 80 percent, 32 percent make 70 percent of attempts, and 24 percent make less than 70 percent (Cei, 2018).

In soccer, everyone misses penalties from Roberto Baggio in the ’94 World Cup final to those missed by Messi, Modric, and Ronaldo at the World Cup in Russia. Despite this data, many athletes do not accept the possibility of making mistakes, in fact sometimes they are even amazed by them, “Because everything was going so well” or “Because I felt so good that I thought I could never make a mistake,” while other times the difficulty in accepting them emerges when the athlete is in the opposite situation, whereby he or she thinks, “It couldn’t have gone worse, that mistake caught me suddenly and I didn’t know how to react, I got confused thinking about what to do differently and from there it was a downfall.”

Both of these situations, one positive and the second negative, reported by athletes quite frequently, highlight the difficulty in accepting the mistake and not having planned beforehand a way to deal with what could have negatively affected performance.

Be ready to cope with incertitude

Working with athletes I realize that often their main limitation is not knowing how to deal with uncertainties, indeed it is precisely these situations that highlight our vulnerability. So we suffer thinking that the world is there with us or even that we are insecure people who do not know how to find the right solutions.

Both cases reveal that we have put ourselves in a situation where we will continue to suffer what happens without finding any form of resilience.

Training is also often one of the causes of this way of thinking. A lot of time is spent on improving technique and very little time on teaching how to be determined. We think a lot about knowing how to do the right thing but little about developing the determination that then manifests itself through technique.

The result is that many do the right things at the wrong time while others do them in a way that is not very determined. The result does not change and is negative.

Soccer referee and psychology

We know that the stress of refereeing is negatively correlated with the referee’s concentration, self-confidence and overall well-being. This should not surprise us since this occurs in relation to any professionally performed activity.

We also know that just as athletes need psychological skills to perform successfully so do referees. Officials must be able to focus their attention, remain cool under pressure, deal with mistakes and adverse situations effectively and set realistic goals.

If these concepts are shared I wonder then, in the case of soccer referees, what is being done by the Italian refereeing organization to provide that stress preparation, especially after serious mistakes, to its members. Usually the referee is kept at rest for a few shifts. What purpose does this serve? And most importantly, how is it helped to overcome this kind of stress? Is time the only medicine? And with whom does the Italian designator consult, with other referees? And why not with a psychologist?

Questions that will not receive an answer. The Italian refereeing organization in the last 21 years has not produced a research on the psychological aspects of this activity. Otherwise, on google scholar under referee psychology there are at least one hundred researches on referees published in international journals.

The mistakes

The difficulty of athletes, but not only of them, to accept mistakes and to practice the saying “you only learn from your mistakes” in everyday life, highlights how much our culture teaches young people that mistakes should be avoided and that they are a demonstration of personal incapacity. With this approach, mistakes are something to be avoided and ashamed of, and when possible, hidden.

More rarely is it taught that making mistakes is part of the game of our lives, like rain and shine. The error should teach us to adapt to events, which in this case are represented by the performance of athletes. The error is the limit with which we are confronted in everyday life and indicates what the next goal of improvement will be.

Without mistakes there is no learning, we would not know in which direction to direct our energies and our intelligence. So let’s thank our mistakes that are our guide towards becoming better.

Confucio and the mistakes

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Confucius, who according to tradition was born on September 28, 551 BC. He was one of the masters of Chinese thought but also of the development of human thought based on an ethical conception that emphasizes the need to build harmony between individuals, developing cooperation between human beings and the variations of nature.

Regarding the issue of error management in sports (and not only), Confucius said: “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.”.

Let’s reflect.

The mistake management: why is it so difficult

In many cultures there are sayings that remind us how important it is to learn to react to negative situations and mistakes. They say, for example, “When a door closes, a big door opens,” while US people like to repeat, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how quickly you get back up,” and the Japanese say, “Fall seven times, get back up the eighth.” These statements highlight that in order to be successful, one must develop a full awareness of how common it is to make mistakes and how equally relevant it is to react constructively.

There are no shortcuts, because mistakes cannot be eliminated; you have to make mistakes, like during an obstacle course in which you are aware at all times that you can make mistakes, slow down, make a great effort to overcome an obstacle even if you are well prepared and know the path. So, if this is the way to go, it is necessary to prevent mistakes from becoming an alibi used to confirm to oneself the impossibility of overcoming one’s current limits, with the effect of determining a reduction in commitment, since “There’s nothing to do anyway” or “Yes, there is a lot to do, but I’m not talented enough or I’m unlucky”. It is therefore necessary to build, through daily activity, a work culture that considers error as an integral part of the improvement process.

On the other hand, sport is a context in which the presence of errors is a constant in every performance, very often even in winning ones. In skeet shooting, the world record, hitting 125 over 125 has been achieved 12 times in the last 25 years. On every other occasion, shooters have always made mistakes. In the sports of body coordination in space, there are very few times when an athlete, male or female, has achieved the highest score.

In basketball, Michael Jordan said, “In my life I have missed over nine thousand shots, I have lost almost three hundred games, twenty-six times my teammates have entrusted me with the decisive shot and I have missed. I failed many times. And that’s why in the end I won everything.” Also in basketball, in the EuroLeague only 8.5% of players made 90% of their free throws, 35% made 80%, 32% made 70% of their attempts, and 24% made less than 70% (Cei 2018). In soccer, everyone misses penalties from Roberto Baggio in the ’94 World Cup final to those misses by Messi, Modric and Ronaldo at the World Cup in Russia.

Despite these data, many athletes do not accept the possibility of making mistakes, sometimes they are even surprised: “Because everything was going so well” or “Because I felt so good that I thought I could never make a mistake” while other times the difficulty in accepting them emerges when the athlete is in the opposite situation, so he thinks: “It could not have been worse, that mistake caught me suddenly and I did not know how to react, I got confused thinking about what to do differently and from there it was a ruin”. Both these situations, one positive and the second negative, reported by the athletes quite frequently, highlight the difficulty in accepting the error and not having previously planned a way to deal with what could have negatively affected the performance.

Mistakes: how to manage them

Mistakes are the main content of whatsapps that athletes send. Competitive performance revolves around this issue: how to make fewer mistakes?

It’s a hot topic in sports where, in theory, the perfection of the gesture is sought, from shooting sports to artistic gymnastics and diving to jumps and throws in athletics. However, the same is also true for opposition sports such as tennis or fencing where you win by a few extra points, sometimes just 1 or 2. What about sports where you score a lot of points such as volleyball and basketball but also soccer, where a goal is a rare occurrence, therefore, 1 in 90 minutes may be enough.

Mistakes are made and cannot be avoided but can be fatal.

Sports performance is given by what the athlete/team has done positively minus the mistakes.

How come athletes and coaches don’t put their souls in peace, starting from the knowledge that they will make mistakes?

We’ll talk about this during a free webinar dedicated to error management on Wednesday, September 29 from 7-8:30 p.m.

The mistake management

 

“Ogni atleta commette errori. Ci si allena duramente per ridurli ma ancora troppo spesso gli atleti dopo un insuccesso guardano da un’altra parte per proteggere la fiducia in se stessi e così rinunciano a imparare. Continuano così a perseverare in abitudini e comportamenti sbagliati a causa della paura dei rischi in cui si potrebbe incorrere decidendo di cambiare. E’ certamente meno impegnativo lasciarsi dominare dalla voglia di lamentarsi: “Lo sapevo che sarebbe andata a finire in questo modo”, dando la colpa all’avversario che era troppo forte o alla sfortuna che si è accanita contro di noi. 

 

Obiettivo di questo webinar è di fornire indicazioni concrete su come orientare il ragionamento e le azioni degli atleti e degli allenatori verso l’idea che l’unico modo per migliorare è di accettare gli errori, che vanno compiuti per migliorare e avere successo. 

 

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Be able to cope with small problems

In competition, you have to deal with small problems before they get too big and complicated.
Three examples.

  1. A guy in table tennis is up 5-2 during the first set, loses some points and goes 5-8 and then loses the set. The same in the next set is winning 9-6 loses a point and finds himself 9-10 to his opponent.
  2. In tennis a girl is not able to answer to the serve of the opponent and so she loses 15 points repeating always the same error (ball to the net). Then she decides at least to throw it into the opponent’s court, she succeeds and after a while she responds effectively to the same serve that had put her in trouble.
  3. In trap shooting a guy starts to slow down his action but catches the clay pigeon with the second shot, continues in this way in the next clay pigeon and the third clay pigeon does not hit him because he has slowed down too much.

Three different difficulties in three different sports but the same mind mistake. Instead of responding immediately to the error they suffered the mistake, without changing immediately and so a small obstacle became much more serious. They possess the skills necessary to correct themselves but did not do so immediately.

So their goal for improvement in future races is to respond immediately to a small mistake before it becomes too big.

The 3 pillars of my job

These the 3 pillars of my work.

  1. “What any person in the world can learn, almost all persons can learn if provided with appropriate prior and current conditions of learning” (Bloom, 1985).
  2. Performance is not a theoretical construct but a measurement: each observed score (Performance) on a measurement is equal to the true score (Skills) corrected for the error (deviation of the observed score from the true score or deviation of Performance from Skills). Performance = Skill + Error (Aoyagi, Cohen, Poczwardowski, Metzler and Statler, 2018).
  3. You must accept the error, rather than consider it as something to avoid, because it will always be present in every performance. You must learn to reduce its frequency and severity, to maintain the effectiveness of the performance at the highest level of personal competence. It is necessary to allow mistakes to be made, in order to obtain the information that will be useful to improve/upgrade skills, increasing the probability of providing performance in the future more and more corresponding to the level of skill acquired (Dweck, 2006).