Tag Archive for 'fiducia'

The athletes’ main psychological mistakes

The athletes’ main psychological mistakes:

  1. Think that feel healthy is enough to do the best.
  2. Visualize the race without providing for the possible difficulties that could be happened and not provide a way to solve them.
  3. Be too much/little activated, driven by the desire to win or the fear of not succeeding.
  4. Be so much worried about the race and not focused on the present but on what might happen of negative.
  5. Not thinking the difficulties during the race as a normal part of the performance but as personal incompetence.

Who is accountable of the long term athlete development?

Confidence is a relevant topic for the psychologists and very often the coaches use it to point out the errors of their athletes are caused by a deficiency in this psychological dimension. Sometimes this explanation is used to hide the coaches’ mistakes but other highlights limits in psychological development.

On this topic we can say a lot. One such example comes from the interationist approach to the study of personality, it explains the behaviors are derived from the relationship between the personality, the situational challenges, the specific skills and expectations of the social environment.

Since the question is so complicated, no one among athletes, coaches and staff, sports organizations and parents can shirk their responsibilities, which determine the athlete long term development.

How many address the issue of poor performances with this vision? How many clubs are organized to meet this need, taking into account these variables?

You’re a believable coach if …

Coaches, in the relationship with athletes, base their credibility on psychological dimensions where interpersonal communication plays a vital role and concern:

Stable aspects of the character – it refers to dimensions such as honesty and to show direct and clear communication with athletes without manipulating them. They are people proud to be part of that team.

Competence – They are individual professionally competent, geared to continuous improvement and innovators. They accept their limits and mistakes. They know that admit them is an index of strength and not weakness.

Commitment – these coaches  are heavily engaged in carrying out their activities. They possess and convey a positive vision of their team, and are intensely committed to achieving their goals. Sport and training inspire them and in these areas put their enthusiasm. They have a lot of energy; they are convinced and tenacious.

Caring – They are genuinely interested in their athletes, as individuals and as a group. To learn about them spending time with them and showing interest in the present as well as the future.

Consistency – They are individuals who act mostly consistent realizing their training philosophy, while adapting their behavior to the demands of the environment and unexpected situations. To this end they control their emotions so as to convey confidence to athletes. Are consistent in enforcing the rules and behavioral standards to which the team must adapt. Therefore, acting in an organized manner and highly responsible work.

Confident builder – They stimulate the confidence of their athletes. Try to speak at their best but they are also patients in helping them to develop and improve.

Being good communicators – The believable coaches are good communicators. Open, honest and straightforward when speaking to the individuals and the team. Continuously remind the athletes what they must do to be winners. These coaches require maximum involvement and take into account the information received from the athletes. They really listen and it is precisely for this reason they are aware of problems and conflicts, actively seeking to solve before they can further worsen.

(by Alberto Cei, revised from Janssen and Dale, 2002)

The team psychological skills

The team psychological skills I think most influence the play and the performance are the following.

Collaboration – Each player has the responsibility to actively contribute to the team cohesion. This attitude must be trained every day, it’s the structure that supports the team and it’s based of relationships among the players, the coach, the technical and health staff and the managers. It’sessential that everyone in the team has a well defined role and specific goals. Each player must accept his position and be committed and engaged. Who was not convinced must quickly clarify his position, otherwise he will not engage fully in the team.

Fighting spirit and toughness – In every game are positive and negative moments; the team as a whole has to find the positive in the difficulties and the team skill is to think that this is the time to demonstrate the ability to resist and then to behave in combative and tenacious way. Concentration and self-control in the field must serve to moderate the excesses of aggressive behavior that can result in impulsive and too fouled behaviors.

Concentration – it means to do the right thing at the right time. It concerns to follow the guidelines coming by the coach but also the management of the thoughts after a mistake, in times of increased pressure of the opponents, in the crucial moments of the match but also after scoring a goal we should not relax but stay focused.

Competitive stress management  - Emotions are difficult to manage effectively and this is why so often limit the performances. There are those felt by the young players, who have to learn to manage their role not only in the game but also in daily life and there are those of the more experienced players, who must also continue to maintain their  emotional commitment balanced. In connection with the game it’s necessary that everyone can find the optimal emotional condition to start the match well. The players should identify what are the emotions that allow them to play well and those which hinder them,working to consolidate what it’s good.

Self-Esteem – I often say to the athletes I work with that to be a champion it takes courage and humility. Courage to think that I can achieve great things with the team, so have confidence in me and at regards of the teammates, and then have the humility to commit myself every day to achieve this dream, step by step. To accomplish this task is not easy, because it’s easier to dream without engaging or to try to do the best but without an idea in the mind of what / how he’s doing. In a team confidence it’s not just a personal issue but it’s also a collective factor to build and to keep growing.

For Federer impossible is nothing

This means to believe that impossible is possible.

The 3 keys of success

Research conducted by McKinsey&Company on the success factors of women holding management positions showed that at the basis of their success there are features such as resilience, toughness and confidence. It’s not surprising because these are the basic characteristics of those who succeed in any field, including sport. Based on these features you can build great careers in business as in sport or art. Without the road will be short.

Many women’s programs focus on convening, creating, and broadening networks. While these are important investments, they are insufficient. Companies should also instill the capabilities women need to thrive. Some of the most important are resilience, grit, and confidence.

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties—a form of toughness. Grit is resolve, courage, and strength of character. Confidence is a level of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of your own abilities or qualities. In business settings, resilience allows us to get up after making a mistake or encountering a challenge, grit allows us to push through walls and rise above challenges, and confidence helps transform challenging experiences into greater self-assurance, not self-doubt.

In our 2012 interviews with 250 high-ranking women executives, we found that they thought the top attributes of their own success were resilience and grit, which ranked higher than more obvious factors, such as a results orientation.”

The soccer words: umility, confidence and motivation

“We have not fallen into the shoes of the match. Draw useful at least to bring us back down to earth” (Allegri, coach Juventus).

“Before we did fear, we were more confident” (Florenzi, Roma footballer)

“The confidence of Mancini is critical to my teammates and me. Every day he gives me motivation and enthusiasm” (Guarin, Inter footballer).

Humility, confidence and motivation are the key concepts expressed in these sentences. Beyond the players’ technique and talent if in a team are lacking these mental qualities everything else is worth less than nothing.

Hard work must become a way of life

Some athletes have responded to the blog I wrote about the need to be the best fan of ourselves, saying that it’s really hard to do it, because the mistakes as are the negative performances too harshly test this belief. I agree and in fact I consider the self-confidence as the culmination of a process of psychological maturation and certainly not the starting point. This does not mean that we have not to do everything must be done to become self-confident, without which we cannot sustain the commitment needed in sport, school or job. Who wants to excel must be prepared to strongly support the commitment through any kind of difficulty. In this sense, we can say that the hard engagement must become a lifestyle, not something to show only when all goes well. In fact, we should know that we must be prepared to spend more hours than that in the beginning we had planned.

How it’s difficult to support ourselves

But how hard it’s to be the best fan of  ourselves! An athlete should show this belief toward him/herself and instead it’s one of the hardest things to do. A few examples:

  • A girl says to me “I did four races this year and none went well … then I’ll stop I cannot continue to do well only in training.”
  • A boy says to me “I was competing well then I thought that I could not continue in this way and so I made some mistakes and I did not get into the final.”
  • Another boy at the world championships before the final “This time I have to take a medal.” It came in fourth.
  • A girl “this time I lose bad, I did not believe in myself.”

Each of them has been working as a professional athlete, it’s their main activity, it’s that one in which they want to have success in life. On these occasions they have not proved to be the best fans of themselves. Competitive sport requires a high level of self-confidence and recklessness to know that the next time will be better than this one. This awareness comes from the engagement in training, to know that it is true that 1, 2, 3 0 multiple times I will lose, but it does not matter because continuing in this way the results will come. The important thing is to continue to sustain ourselves, especially when things go wrong. In summary sit needs:

  • Total commitment in training
  • Total support in the race regardless of the results
  • Confident expectation of good results

In shooting sports the athlete’s mood determines the performance

The last two Sundays I have been with shooters, 16/19 years old, and I realized again how important it’s for them even in training to be supported by a calm and peaceful mood. Trap shooting is a sport that requires before shooting a condition of total concentration followed soon after by a period of relaxation and waiting for about 40 seconds before the next shot. This psychological situation is repeated 25 times, which is the number of shots for each round. The confidence to perform effectively the shot and as a result to hit the target, is based on a mental state of calm that when it fails opens the door for a thousand doubts that hinder the performance. To these young athletes is then required to be 25 times in this state of mind, and especially after having made ​​a mistake it’s not easy to push away the critical thoughts that appear and getting focused on the next shot. Perform this task, to quickly find serenity after an error is an exercise that educates their mind to react more positively otherwise there would be a very real possibility of committing right after another. Thing that can happen on the other hand, as it is impossible not to make mistakes. So this exercise, to relax and focus, must be performed each time, knowing that in any case some plate will not be equally hit, who is more constant in this exercise will improve more quickly than others. In this way the shooters train them to maintain a calm and peaceful mood with the awareness that it’s the basis of the confidence of knowing how to hit the next target.