Tag Archive for 'esperto'

How to become expert

To the many young psychologists who want to enter working in sport, I would like to suggest that, regardless of their past and future educational backgrounds, they begin by asking themselves the following questions : “Who are the expert people?” and “How do you become an expert in a specific field?”

These are relevant questions when one wants to work in the field of performance psychology. Speaking of sports we should ask ourselves, when an athlete become an expert and the same goes for the coach. The same reasoning applies to the psychologist: how and when I will become an expert sports psychologist. What should one do to become one?

These are reflections that require a complex explanation and those who are at the beginning of a career probably do not have a precise and clear answer to provide. I don’t want to provide one either, although I do have a very precise one in my mind.

The young professional must discover it for himself/herself, even through the choices he/she makes. Certainly today there is much to read about this concept of the expert, and it would be nice to delve into the theoretical aspect of the matter as well.

What is certain is that one must, however, give oneself an answer and undertake a path to realize one’s goal of competence, which is the basis of the expertise that He/she will be achieved.

Let’s reflect.

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.

Italian psychologist ignore the topic of the performance psychology

At a conference dedicated to the sport psychology and organized by the register of psychologists in Veneto which was attended by about 200 psychologists, today I gave a talk on the performance psychology applied to sport. I realized once again that the performance psychology is a subject little known by Italian psychologists.  This is probably due to the lack of this type of teaching at the university, all centered on understanding the different forms of distress and psychopathology rather than providing cognitive tools to know how to become experts in something.  The paths to become expert athletes or coaches are disregarded. This training deficiency determines  a vision of the human being in which the psychological difficulties that the individuals experience in their professional path are often interpreted in terms of psychopathology, not understanding instead that these difficulties are stimulated by the complexity of the performances to be provided. In football missing a penalty is not an extraordinary event but it could be if  the team lose an important game and the player who makes this mistake can live with this extreme discomfort this mistake, not because he/she has a psychopathology but for the consequences of the action. Psychologists ignore these implications and hide themselves behind words to their reassuring such as performance anxiety. They do not possess the theoretical tools to understand this phenomenon and they ignore how to deal with it, without going to the categories of psychopathology. It takes years to introduce the changes necessary to modify this way of thinking, because at this point the young psychologists can apply these knowledgel in the area of expert performance.