Tag Archive for 'formazione'

Youth sport and the coach training

Il Seminario offrirà una panoramica delle più recenti ricerche nel campo dell’allenamento dei giovani atleti. In modo particolare verranno illustrati due modelli utilizzati per favorire un maggiore coinvolgimento ed assicurare il massimo impegno dei giovani nelle attività sportive: il Personal Assets Framework (PAF) e il Developmental Model of Sport Participation (DMSP).
Proprio quest’ultimo Modello, che mira allo sviluppo dei tre obiettivi tipici dei programmi per le attività giovanili, ossia Prestazione, Partecipazione e Sviluppo Personale, sarà protagonista del prossimo numero della Rivista della Scuola dello Sport con un approfondito Articolo.
Durante la giornata, si analizzeranno le tre componenti fondamentali di questi Modelli: le caratteristiche delle attività da svolgere, le competenze gli allenatori ed il contesto operativo.

Riguardo la formazione degli allenatori, verrà indicata come utile una prospettiva che metta al centro le relazioni interpersonali come strumento necessario per sostenere una partecipazione a lungo termine da parte degli allievi.

Il Relatore principale del Seminario è il Prof. Jean Cotè della Queen’s University di Kingston (Canada), il quale, per mezzo dello “Sport Psychology PLAYS Research Group”, da lui fondato e finanziato tra gli altri anche dalla English Football Association, svolge costante attività di ricerca sui fattori psicosociali che influenzano la performance e la partecipazione nell’attività sportiva, con particolare attenzione al contesto giovanile.
Il Docente rappresenta sicuramente un punto di riferimento in campo Internazionale per tutti gli studiosi ed i tecnici che si occupano di allenamento giovanile e della formazione degli allenatori.

Training Courses in Integrated Soccer

Teaching sport requires competence and professional responsibility. In particular, teaching team sport like soccer to children with intellectual and social disabilities requires a training that goes beyond that absolutely important obtained through university graduation. For these reasons the ASD Integrated Soccer Academy promotes two free training courses, financed by the Presidency of the Regional Council of Lazio, in collaboration with the Italian Paralympic Committee, the Italian Federation Paralympic Sports of the Relational Intellectual and AS Roma. These training courses aim to teach operators coming from different professional fields to work in integrated soccer programs for children (6-12 years) with intellectual and social disabilities. The training is based on the experience of the AS Roma and AS Integrated Soccer Academy  within the project “Soccer Together”: a model of integration through soccer, for children with intellectual disabilities. The course is divided into a general theoretical part and a practical part. The main teaching tool is the interaction of the participants through working groups and practical situations in class as on the pitch. The use of interactive class situations has the goal to develop a learning group participation. Training days are aimed, moreover, to provide the skills needed to support, help and guide children with disabilities, but also to properly handle any problems. The kick and the ball will be key tools to guide the child in learning sports, develop motor skill and the social and psychological aspects.  At the end of training the participants will have acquired the basic skills to train, manage and evaluate integrated soccer activities for children with intellectual and social disabilities. The course consists of 20 hours of lecture and 4 hours of practical training. The course is open to motor science graduates, psychologists and sport physicians.

For further information please contact:

ASD Accademia Calcio Integrato

e-mail: segreteria@accademiacalciointegrato.org


Online course: Futsal psychological aspects

 Online course presentation

Futsal psychological aspects  

 Emiliano Bernardi

Futsal was born in Uruguay in the 30′s and has rapidly expanded across Latin America and Europe especially in Spain and Italy, where the movement in the last 30 years has grown considerably.

Many of the greatest brazilians football champions began their career as futsal players: Pele, Zico, Socrates, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to name a few. Even the famous Cantera of Barcelona (the youth academy) habitually uses fields and rules of futsal to train its young athletes, with excellent results.

Futsal is ideal for a child: the reduced field, the short spaces, the speed, make it the fastest and most intense game, perfect for the technical and psychological growth.

The main psychological aspects involved in futsal:

In order to make a professional quality intervention is important to know what are the main psychological aspects that are inherently part of the sport: first of all it is important to emphasize that this is an “open skill” discipline with so many variables and choice, is a high intensity game in which the continuous shooting quickly reduce the mental and physical energies of the players, the reaction time and decision making must be very fast and also the physical contact can be due to impulsive and uncontrolled reactions. Another important aspect to be considered is that the mistake of a player can be letal for the result result.

In a sport where you play in small spaces and with four outfield players, if one of them makes a mistake can put opponents in good condition to shoot a goal.

In futsal it is required a continuous and high level of cohesion, given the limited number of players on excellent cooperation, especially in times of greater competitive stress, so the emotional control of the players must be total.

The psychologist who works in futsal:

The figure of the psychologist is growing very quickly in this sport and many of the top world’s top clubs have this figure in their organization. The steady growth of the youth sector and the widespread expansion of futsal academy in Italy are pushing more and more the demand for experts in sports psychology with experience in this discipline.

The consultant program could be about these topics:

  1.  The coach and his staff, through the use of psychological tools as individual and group interviews, tests and questionnaires as the CBAS (Coaching Behavior Assessment System, Smith, Small and Hunt, 1976) or 5C Program (Harwood and Pain, 2004) or the use of tools such as the Leadership Scale for Sport (Chelladurai, Saleh, 1980).
  2.  Mental training for athletes, through the activation and relaxation techniques such as Jacobson training, pre-performance routine, managing emotions with tools such as L ‘IZOF (Hanin, 1980), the ideomotor training, the imagery , the attention training with tests such as the TAIS (Nideffer, 1976).
  3.  The training and upgrading of managers in the areas of leadership and effective communication.
  4. The youth area in particular the relationship with the parents of young athletes and the role of coach as educator.
  5.  Social projects and integration for people with disabilities both physical and psychological, in risk areas and collaborative projects with schools.

Who does not know this sport may think it’s just like football in  eleven but with a smaller number of players, actually many great coaches use training methods based on Futsal field size when they want to develop athletes in their specific technical skills or training the intensity of play and cohesion of their group.

Just the size of the field, the actual playing time, the number of players on the field makes the sport more similar to other disciplines such as handball or basketball and the kind of daily workout develops technical skills such as to make one of the most exciting sports and pleasant which also attend only as public.

Further information:


Italian Football Association open its doors to the sport psychologists

Waiting that the role of sport psychologist is required again among the requested criteria to become in Italy Elite Football School, the youth and school department of the Italian Football Association has nevertheless made a significant step forward in the recognition of this professional. It has decided and informed the football schools that the choice of the psychologist to use in the clubs will take place only among those who attended a master’s degree in sport psychology. Therefore, from next year it will not be enough to be graduated in psychology  but it will need to have a title proving to have this specific training in sport psychology. The recognition of the specificity of this professional field is important because as with the doctor there are specific skills that the psychologists ignore and instead are needed to work with the young children and adolescents and there are clinical or psychotherapeutic skills to be used by the psychologists must be adequate to the sport context in which they will work.

Coach psychological training

I’ve never organized training courses in the field of sport dedicated to improving the psychological skills of the coaches. Instead it’s  a bit of time I thought about it, because the psychological role played by coaches is of the great importance at all levels, from beginners to top athletes, from personal trainers to children coaches, from team sports to individual ones. Now that the competence profile of the coach cannot longer be based as it was in the past on an industrious “do your best” it’s necessary that technical knowledge is accompanied by a knowledge on how to manage individuals and groups. So here I gladly accepted the idea of the Center for Sport Psychology of Macerata to organize in Roma four days of sport psychology devoted to practical issues having as goal to increase the professional skills of sports coaches.

Each meeting one is organized on a main theme. The first “I coach” will address the issues of interpersonal communication and emotional intelligence. How many problems arise because we do not feel understood, during this day we will talk about this and how to improve ourselves. The second day will focus on “Team”, be able to set team and individual goals, understand why some are joined together while others hate each others, and yet is it true that it is easier to lead a group of boys rather than a group of girls ? Can male coaches understand their female players? These are just some of the questions that this second meeting will provide guidance and practical solutions. The third day is dedicated to the “Training mental aspects” and it will be dealt with the psychological aspects of physical preparation. Are the routines  just a ritual or play a more complex function? Is it correct ask for more attention or is a phrase that means nothing? Is the imagery useful  only during competition or its practice is also useful in training? Can we talk about mental preparation for an exercise or not? The fourth day is instead focused on “Working in the youth program.” We will speak of course of the parents: are they a resource or just a problem? And then if the kids do not think like adults , because do we continue to train them as if they were ? And many other topics , including: which are the characteristics of the coach of the youth activity?

With this brief summary, I wanted to point out that the issues will be addressed by the professional side, because our aim is to provide an opportunity for critic reflection on their skills and an opportunity for professional improvement . These are our goals and what we will ask the participants is to be ready to interact in an active approach so as to make these days really special for all of us.

Training in sport psychology

I often get emails from young Italian psychologists who want to work in sports, asking what might be the best training  for them. The master in Rome where I was involved in its management is not currently active and I do not know if there will be further editions. There are other master in which I teach but I do not frankly say how good they are because I do not know what is the proposal of training and the time spent by those who directed him in leading this type of training . Even though I do not want to frustrate the expectations of these young gentlemen in not giving them an answer . So here are some pointers .

The sport psychology is a very diverse discipline that may involve interventions in sport performance but also interventions in sport for all and the promotion of the movement as a form of welfare , also applies to all age groups from elementary school children up to senior citizens. In general, the degree in psychology does not know what the psychology of sport , whether it was an athlete at an amateur level or high-level can refer to his direct experience or knows what what the media transmit , but do not have a knowledge of matter.

First activity to be carried out for those interested is to read up not reading popular books but textbooks sports psychology , it is in Italian but absolutely must read in English to know what his colleagues are studying in other countries. Human Kinetics is the leading publishing house to which to refer .

Second activity is to be carried out to study motor learning that is the basis of all forms of learning that it is to learn the basic movements ( walking, running, jumping, throwing ) or specific sports movements . This type of knowledge is not part of the curriculum of psychologists, while it is important to be able to understand how cognitive- emotional aspects involved in the various stages of learning.

The acquisition of this knowledge does not transform into sports psychologists but allows us to understand what this discipline and this matter really interests us or if we were dazzled by the imagination of famous athletes follow and do to some extent their lives.

In essence, read and then read again in order to build a solid theoretical foundation . At this point it is useful observation of coaches to work, if you have this opportunity ; make to understand how they behave and interact with each other and students.

Finally , go to the website of Division 47 of the American Psychological Association will find the groups to which you can subscribe and begin to exchange information and maybe ask where to go for work placements or study in Europe or North America.

These are some tips that I hope will be useful to you .

Main issue of coaches with their athletes are always the same

The problems faced by coaches around the world are the same. Another aspect, compared to twenty years ago, the coaches are more competent from psychological point of view; it’s therefore a major challenge for psychologists to be able to represent an added value for them. It is  now the more urgent that psychologists who wish to orient themselves professionally in sports are really qualified. On the other hand no one is going to a cardiologist when he needs an orthopedic surgeon, or a rocket scientist when he needs a civil engineer. The same must be true of the different specialties of psychology, otherwise if all just because are graduates may intervene in any situation without knowing the traits, needs and so on, maybe then it’s good to choose a motivator with a degree in political science to work with a team.

Dear colleagues train yourselves in sport psychology otherwise left

I check every day how necessary is that the psychologists who intend to work in sport are competent in sport psychology. Means have good knowledge in this field, have the skills required to make a significant contribution to the sport environment and finally know the sport. Considerations that are obvious for an American, a German or a Norwegian, but not at all for an Italian psychologist. This represents a major limitation to the development of this profession in our country. This is because psychologists know nothing about the  psychology (not just sports ), they do not know the rules of motor learning that are the basis of training, they do not know the needs of sports organizations, they do not know what it means to deal with very intense competitive situations  when the athletes are called to give their best. In relation to stress management they have not developed a specific professional sensitivity to understand and support the athletes. These skills can not be invented, you can only learn from experts psychologists who carry out this work for years. Unfortunately, federations and sports clubs too often rely on untrained and young psychologists or psychotherapists, certainly good at treating psychopathology, but without the minimum knowledge of this world and they usually treat athletes as patients. Every week I meet coaches and athletes who tell me their negative experiences with psychologists . My advice to colleagues, please choice other job or otherwise follow a good training in sport psychology.

European paths for sport women managers

For the first time in Italy it will be organized a free course concerning “The value of the difference in the management of sport” of 224 hours, including classroom training and internships, reserved for 18 participants  organized in Rome by ‘Tor Vergata University in collaboration with Federculture and Sportlink.
The course aims to prepare future leaders and women leaders, through the transfer of knowledge and skills to enable the participants to enter the world of  sport work with managerial responsibility in various areas of planning, organization, management and evaluation of services and facilities for physical activities and sports, from the recreational to professional. The course will address complex issues, such as strategic management, marketing and communication aspects, the notions of law, contract law and taxation, principles of management control, in addition to the optimization of planning and operating costs, by acting on the principles of energy saving and increasing revenue sources. At the same time, the course aims to create a professional and innovative, transferring specific skills in project management of sporting events in support of local authorities, especially of medium and small cities which do not have on their staff  specific competences in the organization of sport events, in all their phases.

For furher information: impresasport.wordpress.com


Mondiale e allenamento mentale

Ho ricevuto questo contributo sulle ragioni della sconfitta del Brasile che condivido con piacere.

I have been working in the field of sport psychology for 38 years in Canada, Australia, and now in Brazil, and I believe that I know why Brazil lost to Holandia in Copa 2010: Coaching experience and styles, empathy with the players, and the mood states of Dunga and the Brazilian players in the second half of today’s game.
Obvious comparisons can be made between the two new South American national coaches: Dunga and Maradona. Neither has any coaching experience, academic training in physical education, nor in the coaching sciences, which are most common in all of North America and Western Europe.

They obviously have no technical training in football and have to rely upon, their playing experiences, and assistant coaches who have such a background.

From my perspective from working with Canadian National teams, the best results occur with teams when the coach is academically trained and has learned positive perspectives, has concern and love and respect for his players, is permitted to introduce young players early on at the international levels of competition, and likes to be laughing, hugging, and congratulating them, all factors which have contributed to Maradona’s success. I have written this before the Argentina-Germany game, but after Brazil’s loss to Holandia.

What was most obvious to me occurred before the first half break, during which Brazil’s brilliant play lead to a a 1-0 lead. However, during the game and most of of the half-time video clips, there were scenes of Dunga ranting and raving, throwing his arms into the air and hitting the banco, even though they were still winning against a tough opponent!

In the sport psychology literature, there are individuals who demonstrate “Type A behaviors”, which are characterized by: “A strong sense of urgency, an excess of competitive drive, and an easily aroused sense of hostility”-and this was when they were winning!

My best guess is that coach Dunga brought this sense of urgency, competitive drive and hostility into the dressing room and communicated it to his players at half-time. This may have resulted in the upsetting of the positive team “mood”, possibly broke the teams’s positive spirit and skill levels, through his negative psychological state of mind during the positive first half. This was perhaps through criticism, sarcasm, and inappropriate feedback to these multi-millionaires representing their country.

There is an old expression in English: “If you can’t perform, then teach”. In Dunga’s case, it might be more appropriate to state: “If you can’t teach (or coach), step out of the way for someone who can”. As a Brazilian resident, my heart is with the antiquated organization in decision-making, governance and control for both coaches and players, but my money is on Maradona’s, equally antiquated, but positive style in humanized coaching and team development.

John H. Salmela, Ph.D.
University of Ottawa, Canada