Tag Archive for 'errori'

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. 


Clicca qui per iscriverti 

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).


Three golfers’ mental mistakes

Three typical golfers’ mistakes
  1. The ability of golfers to direct their attention to the shot to be executed is often taken for granted. The fitter you are, the easier it is to fall in this trap..
  2. The fact of being physically fit, of performing routine gestures mechanically does not mean being focused, the mind must always be activated, obviously in the right way.
  3. Focusing or recovering a correct attention focus after making a mistake is difficult even for experienced players, how long do they train to do it quickly?


We learn only through our mistakes

Jason Brown (@FundyTD) | Twitter

The training keys: commitment and persistence

In training intensity and persistence are the two aspects that most frequently determine the athletes’ mistakes. Many are satisfied to train good enough, without being aware that it is precisely this way of thinking is slowing down their improvement.

The performance quality cannot be manifested with a good enough commitment, this seems to me an aspect that young athletes often do not consider as decisive for their improvement. At the same time, coaches can also fall into this trap, when they do not consider commitment at the first place in their teaching strategies, because too focused on correcting the sport technique.

Robert Singer wrote that at the end every performance is determined by three factors, of which the last two are much less considered than the first:

  1. personal potential
  2. sincere commitment to practise, condition and improve oneself
  3. ability to do well under competitive stress

The latter two are in fact often explained in terms of natural skills or instinct and in this way they are less trained than the other skills. On the contrary, the experience of top athletes, by their own affirmation, has taught us that it takes years of intense and continuous dedication to achieve remarkable results.
The mantra of these top athletes is “try and try again”.

This does not happen because today’s young people are lazy! It happens because we think it’s just a matter of technical training and physical preparation and time. While the lack of improvement is interpreted in terms of a block that will go away at the first success, of parents putting pressure or lack of confidence.

It is infrequent to think that young athletes may be wrong because they do the exercises in training with the same mentality with which they do (or used to do) their homework. For them it is enough to do the exercise and they do not bother to prepare themselves to do it not only well but in the best way they are able. They just do it. For them this means being concentrated. By this I mean that they are not aware of how they have to prepare to do the best they can and they do not know what mental and motor skills they have to put in place to meet the demands of the task.

In general terms, they train without a personal purpose, rather with the only aim of meeting the needs of their coach. Without a personal goal, they will not be able to fully develop their skills as an athlete, but above all they will experience the misunderstanding that they are trying their hardest while it is not true.

How to go from a mistake to the right action

One of the reasons why we often continue to persevere with habits and behaviours that we consider to be wrong is because we are afraid of the risks we might run if we decide to change, first of all making another mistake despite the fact that we are changing.

It is certainly easier and less demanding to let ourselves be dominated by the desire to complain telling the classic phrase: “I knew it would end this way”. We continue to defend ourselves by saying that we don’t know what to do, that it’s someone else’s fault, or the bad luck that comes our way, or the fact that there is no other solution.

These are common thoughts in which it is easy to fall into and which serve to mask our deepest fears. When the athletes make the same mistake again and again I often tell to do something different, without being worried about the result, in the worst case they will make another mistake but at least it will be different. To justify this lack of initiative we hide in saying “what if it doesn’t go well?” More rarely we think if it doesn’t go well I will try to do something else until I’ll do right.

This happens because we are emotionally afraid of change and the more we feel the need for it, the more we tend to hide behind reasoning instead of acting differently.

It is important to learn to dialogue with ourselves, accepting mistakes. I propose to write a reflection on “what are mistakes for me and how do I react to them? Think about what you do in different situations in your sport:

  • in competition and in training
  • when you’re ahead or behind
  • with what words you accompany what you do right and wrong
  • when you’re happy in training and racing

Write and then read again and decide how you would like to react and which behaviors and parts you would like to eliminate, and then start training.

How to manage the momentum according Maria Sharapova e Serena Williams

Some rules to achieve the excellence from two top tennis players.

Maria Sharapova

When you are in a competitive situation and you’re down, what do you do or say to yourself?
“I take my time in between in my service games. I walk to the baseline. I move my strings around. I do a little pep talk, and it’s very automatic. I think it’s more of putting my eyes onto my strings and having this repetition that it doesn’t matter if I won the point or lost the point. I’m on this this river that is going to get to where it’s going no matter what rock is in the way, no matter what storm is on the way. The water is, ultimately, going to go down the river. It’s a safe place for me because in tennis momentum changes so much, just like in life. One second, everything is positive, and you get bad news. You go from a great day to wow. I see those strings, and I see my fingers playing with those strings, and I think of being level headed and being not overly excited, not down. But being in this medium frame of mind.”

Serena Williams

My game is my mental toughness - “Just not only to be able to play, to win, but to be able to come back when I’m down. Both on the court and after tough losses, just to continue to come back and continue to fight, it’s something that takes a lot of tenacity.”

Practice under pressure -  Williams believes tennis is “70 percent mental,”, for this reason she tries to replicate match situations during the sessions. For instance: down 15 to 30 on her second serve. Competitive simulation is a  very efficient coaching method. P

Stay in the moment - many tennis players choke under pressure and tend to unravel when they are behind. It’s important stay there, using our mental strength to win. You reach this goal living the moment: “Even if you’re going through something in life, you can’t rush through it instantly. Take it one moment at a time. It’s the same on a tennis court. You have to take it one point at a time.” Live the here and now.

Forget the mistakes - “Another thing that makes me play poorly is if I’m thinking too much about my last match. I might have won it, but not happy with how I won it,” says Williams. “If you get really upset at mistakes, the best advice I’ve ever been given is to forget about it. You can’t rewind time, you can’t take back that mistake, but you can make it better and not do it in the future.”



Personal trainer’s mistakes

As a personal trainer, which of these mistakes do you make most often?

Narcissist - He pleased to talk to the client, he uses the charm he feels gifted to bewitch. He puts a lot of emphasis on speaking and choosing words, often difficult or for experts.

Aggressive -  She expresses herself by assuming that she is right and it is obvious the customer must become a member, because the proposed method is infallible. Speak in sentences and exclamation points

Funny - He is more at ease if he establishes from the beginning a friendly relationship with the customer, uses jokes to arouse hilarity, wants to be sure about the success of the customer by making the proposal elementary

Scientist - She wants to convince with objective data of the results. Not interested in understanding the client’s motives and goals. She is self-confident and proves it with documented arguments

Guru – He believes this system as the Fitness Revolution of which he is the master who introduces the student to a new dimension of life