Tag Archive for 'Libri'

A winning combination: sports and reading

  • The Nobel Prize for Economics James Heckman has shown that children of unemployed in kindergarten possessed a vocabulary of 500 words, those of parents of low-skilled 700 words, while the sons of the graduates came to 1100 words. Unfortunately these differences persist even in later allowing to predict well in advance the career, income, family stability and health condition. Therefore it need educational investments such as to develop the cognitive and social skills in children from 0 to 5 years, and also in later life.
  • Novak Diokovic  wrote in his book: “Jelena made me listen to classical music and read poetry to calm down and learn to concentrate (Pushkin was his favorite poet). My parents, however, spurred me to learn languages, so I learned the ‘English, German and Italian. the tennis lessons and life lessons were one, and every day I could not wait to take the field with Jelena and learn more and more on sports, on myself and on world. “(p.5)

It is not hard to understand from these data and evidences what it should be done to educate young people and that sport would benefit from an education centered on the development of reading. I am convinced that the absence of sport culture found in many countries derives precisely from this kind of ignorance and of which many young people are paying for, ruining their lives well before adulthood. In Italy:

  • Women read more than men: in the year one book has been read by 51.9% of the female population compared to 39.7% of men. The difference in behavior between the sexes begins to manifest itself as early as the 11 years and tends to decrease after 75.
  • Having parents who read encourage to read: 77.4% of boys aged 6 to 14 years with both parents readers, compared with 39.7% of those whose parents do not read.
  • In Italy, even those who read, read little: 46% of readers read more than three books in 12 months, while the “strong readers”, with 12 or more books read at the same time, are only 14, 5% of the total.
  • One family of ten (10.2%) do not have any books at home, 63.6% have a maximum of 100.

Eliud Kipchoge challenge the human limits

Eliud KipchogeKenyan

  • 35 years, 1m67, 52 Kg
  • Marathon runner, 230km week
  • Married, 3 children
  • Olympic gold and world recordman on the marathon in 2h1m39s

Goal: Run the marathon in 1h59m in Vienna in the next few days

Mental Attitude (mindset)

  • Training, passion and self-discipline
  • He writes down everything he does in notebooks.
  • He writes down his feelings to remember them
  • Read Aristotle, Confucius and Paul Coelho
  • He runs with his mind relaxed
  • “Respect a law, that of never telling you lies”
  • “Only the disciplined are free, the others are slaves to moods and passions.”
  • “When I train, I try to feel my body and give more and more. I don’t believe in limits.
  • “You have to have a great conviction and a team that believes in you and supports you. Shoes are also important. And then you have to be stronger than any other runner in the past. Everything is possible”.
  • “Marathon is life. If you want to be happy you have to enjoy life and I enjoy running the marathon. That’s why I smile.

He leads a spartan life:

  • Always gets up at 5 a.m. in Kaptagat (Kenya)
  • The weekend returns to the family
  • He cleans his room and bathroom
  • He washes his knits and socks in a bowl that he then spreads like the others
  • In the afternoon, he drinks a cup of tea and eats a slice of bread.

(Source: Emanuela Audisio, Repubblica e correre.it)

Review: #100volteCONI


Mille cinguettii per 100 anni di CONI

Gianni Bondini

Absolutely Free Editore, 2014, 175p. 


The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) celebrated this year 100 years and Gianni Bondini wanted to retrace this period with a current style. “To flash” writes himself like Twitter but without respecting the rule of 140 characters, too few to make himself understood. But  the purpose was this: to attract young people, the people of social networks to our sport history. The first two chapters cover the 400 years prior to the CONI foundation and we discover, for example, that football in 1400 was a combat sport with two teams of 27 players and 6 referees for a game that could have a duration of a day. That the challenge of Barletta in 1503 can be considered as a team competition. Or that in 1423, Vittorino da Feltre organized a university campus where the rich young men studied and practiced sport, because “the mind develops in harmony with the body.” While in 1519, is published in Venice the “Encyclopedia of exercise” and the United States to cancel the traditional British rugby turns it in American football and cricket in baseball. But these are just some of the valuable information that we find in the 11 chapters, presented more in a few lines, never more than 10/12. Bondini produces a repetition knowledge probably known only  by sports historians and ignored by the multitude of  coaches and managers. Who knows for example that the newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport was published initially on Mondays and Fridays on green paper and yellow to stand out, while from January 2, 1899 comes in pink. Anyone complains today that athletes are often left alone, he’s right if you think with the mind of today, but we may find out that it was much worse before. At first Olympic Games in Athens , officially did not attend any Italian. It is not true. Carlo Airoldi came on foot from Milan, 1338 km, but he did not compete in the marathon because in a race won 2 Italian Lire and for this reason he could not be called as amateur. Of doping it was spoken in 1904 for the Games in Saint Louis, derived from the English word “dope,” which describes a stimulating drink for the horses. I could go on with many other news, the book is full of them, that we can read with great pleasure, because tweets are written with a great sense of humor. I want to conclude by saying that it’s a book of culture, it tells what was and what is now the sport organized by CONI. It ‘s a book stimulating curiosity and more knowledge as tweets do not allow in-depth and not surprisingly, the first  Twitter of the book is entitled: #Buy sports books. These are the words that Giulio Onesti said the March 8, 1948 offering of his own pocket  80,000 Lire to the National Sporting Library.

Book review: 7 Things We Don’t Know!

7 Things We Don’t Know!

Coaching Challenges in Sport Psychology and Skill Acquisistion

 Jean Fournier and Damian Farrow

 Mindeval Canada Inc, 2013


The link to read the first chapter is here: www.mindeval.com/en/

 7 Things We Don’t Know! is a book designed for progressive coaches who are motivated to consider and potentially adjust their current coaching or training programs so that they are getting the most out of contemporary Sport Psychology and Skill Acquisition research. I believe it will also relevant for the sport psychologists because the authors talk about coaching problem, imagery, cognitive processes like anticipation and attention from a perspective different from usual. In this way, many practitioners could start to think in a different way your daily job with athletes and coaches.

Second, what makes this book different from many other texts on Sport Psychology and Skill Acquisition is that the content is presented in the most applicable manner to coaches and athletes. It is written with a short and concise style, and numerous practical examples are provided to illustrate how the theories could be applied to practice.

The imagery is discussed in light of its practical application, it’s well explained the use of this skill must match well with the athletes’ needs, integrating this mental activity in the coaching sessions.  The second chapter is devoted to the use of mindfulness in mental coaching. Jean Fournier propose a mindfulness program based on his experiences in different sports and the pages on this topic illustrate his approach based on four steps: presentation of the method and assessment, mindfulness training, acceptance training and attention training. The third regards the thinking. He try to clarify: what does focus mean? The readers will find suggestions  to find the relevant focus point in different sports and different situations, to improve the focus in training and to apply all these things during the competitions. The following chapter is about  the use of the routines, it’s explained why they are useful in sports but there is a new aspect introduced in this presentation, regarding the use of mindfulness in the routine planned by the athletes. The next four chapters are written by the other author, Damian Farrow. His first chapter talks about the relevance of variability during training and the need to organize the drills in a way very near to the competition rules and development. It’s a chapter that I suppose very useful for the coaches, who must always to cope with the dilemma about necessity to integrate the repetitions and athletes’ motivation and about the relation between the standard repetitions and drills more similar to the game characteristics. In these pages Farrow provides information confirming the concept that the athletes learn to anticipate instead to be born with this gift and he talks about a number of training approaches to improve this skill.  Goal of the following chapter is to encourage coaches to use implicit coaching style instead to use only an explicit style. Farrow remember that probably the best implicit information an athlete can receive is the Nike motto: “Just do it.” The last chapter regards another relevant question: have the athletes need of a coach feedback provided in a real time? Today coaches with the help of the new technologies have the opportunity to provide information in real time with great precision. The problem they have to cope with regards their competences to use the correct timing without the risk to overload the athletes’ mind. Farrow talks about the definition of the bandwidth of correctness for a movement. Established this range of correctness the coaches will know exactly when to provide a corrective feedback.

Final comment: read this book with the spirit to find some new ideas for our work  and to change something in our approach with the athletes.

Evoluzione psicologia dello sport

La notevole evoluzione che sta avendo la psicologia dello sport la si può notare anche dai titoli dei libri che vengono pubblicati in lingua inglese. Alcuni esempi: Essential readings in sport and exercise psychology, Social psychology in sport, Xritical essays in applied sport psychology psychology, Psychobiology of physical activity, Inside sport psychology, Motivating people to be physically active, Deviance and social control in sport, Sport psychology in practice, Founations of sport and exercise psychology, Self- efficacy in sport, Attention and motor skill learning, Adavnces in sport psychology, Doing sport psychology. Sono tutti pubblicati dallo stesso editore e non sono certamente tutti. Quanti ne avete letti…