Tag Archive for 'mente'

Mind skills in gymnastic over 14

  • Routine: Total command of the routine, regardless of competitive environment and situation.
  • Recovery: Focus on recovery and regeneration strategies
  • Mental skills: Imagery, concentration, emotional control, positive self-talk and relaxation, self-regulation, adaptive perfectionism and self-confidence
  • Team: Team competitive events bring different pressures, and require development and management of team work skills
  • Media: Managing interviews and media events
  • Training: Managing distractions and interruptions in training, while maintaining peak performance over the long term
  • Coach: Takes a stronger role in decision-making, working in partnership with the coach
  • Ethics: relating to competition and social maturity
  • Life: Balance through outside interests and friends, education
(Source: Adapted from http://www.gymcan.org/uploads/gcg_ltad_en.pdf)

The mind in the ultramarathon: how to train it to overcome the crisis moments

As part of the events organized on the occasion of the 100 km of Passatore, Italy, Thursday, 21 May (h.20.30), at the Faenza Galleria Comunale  will host a meeting on nutrition and training. The meeting, organized in collaboration with Iuta (Ultramarathon Italian Association) provides interventions with Luca Speciani on “Diet and performance in sports, in competition and out: the paradigm shift power signal”, and Alberto Cei, on “the mind in the ultramarathon: how to train it to overcome the crisis moments.”

Who wants to meet me can do it during this evening.

The futsal’s characteristics

Futsal is a sport that while coming from the soccer, it has taken very different characteristics. Today the futsal is much more similar to a basketball game, not only for the number of players on the field but also for intensity, speed of play, the possibility of substitutions during the match. The mental coaching of a futsal team thus provides the focus on different aspects of those characteristic  for the soccer.  In oreder to plan a mental coaching program it’s important to know the differences from soccer. In my opinion these are the main differences:

  1. during a time players can alternate every 3/4 minutes
  2. in the last two minutes the team can make more goals and overturn the result
  3. the mistake of one player can be fatal and determine one goal
  4. it’s a game of high intensity, with continuous shots that reduce mental and physical energies of the players
  5. reaction times and decision making must be very fast
  6. each player must always be ready to defend and attack
  7. the expulsion of a player determines a significant advantage to the opposing team
  8. it’s required a constant and high level of coordination and cooperation
  9. the team have to play with high-intensity until the last second
  10. it requires a continuous emotional control over the harmful moods

Marathon psychology

It’s started the season of marathons, here are some tips to deal with this race in the best way.

Because of the physical effort and the length of the race, running a marathon is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges that a person may face in sport. In addition to undertake a grueling race from the physical point of view, the runners have to deal with the need to manage the thoughts that flow in the mind during the long journey and which may affect the muscle aches felt and the concerns about the risk of not get to the end and do not achieve their goals. Since the marathon requires specific mental skills, sports psychologists have devised a series of mental training techniques that can help athletes of various skill levels to make the experience more rewarding and overcome their limitations. From these techniques are drawn tips that every runner can apply to successfully in training and competitions.

Maintain high levels of motivation and commitment to the long training periods can be a very difficult task. This is why it’s useful to structure a workout plan with a certified coach. If it’s not possible the runner  books and talking with those who have more experience to establish personal goals, realistic and specific, as to run a certain number of miles a week or maintain a steady pace. It’s important that these goals are written in detail and some psychologists recommend placing them into slogans or psych-up sentences that are always visible at home so as to keep constant attention on them. Once defined, the goals have to be carried out with perseverance, because they help the athletes to increase the confidence and to establish more ambitious goals. However, it’s counterproductive to set goals too challenging or have too many, while it’s useful to maintain an calm attitude, waiting for the moment of the first success. During the training sessions, the runners can prepare temselves mentally, through routines to be included in the warm-up, making simulation exercises of the race, and developing a plan for mentallly dealing with the marathon. Simulate the race during some phases of training also means exercising to stay focused when the fatigue and  muscle will be perceived. For this reason, the sports psychologists have studied the runners’ cognitive strategies distinguishing associative by dissociative strategies. In the first condition the athletes focus on the sensations coming from their body and the runners are aware of the physical factors critical to that kind of performance. In the strategy of dissociation, however, the athletes’ thoughts are focused on anything, except on bodily sensations. Some research has shown a trend of more skilled runners to use an associative strategy, while a preference for dissociative strategy by mid-level runners. Other studies have emphasized the opportunity to use a more flexible during the marathon, and in particular to use that associative in the beginning and final phases of the race and the dissociative in the middle phase. Another technique suggested by sports psychologists is the voluntary use of mental images in which the athletes try to recreate the scenario of the race. They imagine to successfully address some stages of the path and overcome obstacles and difficulties encountered in the path  up (for such a climb, a moment of particular difficulty or adverse weather conditions) to the finish line. One of the most useful psychological techniques to be introduced in their training is the use of positive self-talk, consisting in the repetition of mentally positive keywords  that can help to stay focused on the task, avoiding instead of dwelling on dysfunctional thoughts like “No, I’ll never finish”,” I feel bad “,”I’m slow “,” My legs are so heavy.” The athletes have to choose phrases expressed positively, inducing confidence about their own ability (“I can do it” – “I’ll make it” – “Still one kilometer”) or single words that can represent somthing of positive (“Fluid ” – “Easy” –  ” Go! ” – ” Finish”). It’s important that the runners’ practice this technique during the  dworkout , chosing the words and phrases more useful for them.

The day of the competition to pay attention to a few simple rules it will reduce the amount of mental energy nerve valuable to better address the competitive engagement. For example, to prepare all the necessary material the night before, identify and prepare the remedies for the problems that might occur, get to the departure extensively on time, arrange in advance the return home after the race and, above all, think to live an enjoyable day.

It’s also useful to know the place and the event track, taking advantage of the material that comes before the race and imagining the path even if you do not know well.

The more experienced runners are able to recognize the feeling of “hit a wall” that they feel during the toughest moment of the race as a mental component and therefore they consider to have the power to break down this barrier. The important thing is to recognize the body signals of fatigue without trying to avoid them, accepting them and interpreting them as indicators of imminent crisis or inability to move on and do well. During these moments is easy to feel a state of panic, which further it will increase the feeling of fatigue and you face alive in the athletes’ minds the word “Stop!”. In these moments the self-talk experienced in training will be very useful replacing the dysfunctional thoughts. The athletes should focus on their stride, breath, light feet on the ground. Only after these check-in it can be useful to use a dissociative strategy leading the athletes to focus on the feeling they will prove after the finish, to think of the award they will receive or even content that have nothing to do with the marathon and which have the function to distract from the fatigue.

Even during the race, as in training, it’s important to divide the effort of placing sub-goals which, once achieved, will push to get to the end. For example, it’s useful to focus from time to time over the next five kilometers or the next half hour of the race, because mentally deal with the 42 km can be perceived as something difficult to achieve.

It’s not enough to know the path, it needs to walk on it

Sometimes athletes and teams commit a serious error, they trust too much of what they they know to do well but in therrace they do not do it because they are convinced that just because they have thought then happen. It’s the Roma case of this period who start the matches convinced to win but then it does not play because it had already won it in the locker room. Or those asthletes who say “every time I do well the warm-up then I play bad.” Warm-up prepares to play well, but then you have to do it in the game: they are two separate aspects.

Be a good, well-trained and mentally prepared athlete is useful but it’s equally important to know that you must show these skills on the field. Otherwise they are useless.

Stay young. What a stupid idea

Today staying young seems to be the desire of many people. Again, as happens in sports, the use of drugs seems to be the most effective way to satisfy this desire. How much it’s absolutely necessary to maintain a flexible mind, open to innovation and change-oriented is too little stressed.

The body must be solicited effectively but the same goes for the mind. Otherwise dominate only the appearance, “have the Mr. Universe body”, but the mind will be totally abandoned. We know that we have to be physically active, but do we also know that we have to be mentally active?

We need to develop a social culture integrating these aspects, which are absolutely the same thing in the biological reality of each individual. There is no body and mind, there is the individual composed of different systems interacting continuously to facilitate adaptation and change.

To win you have to adapt to race situations

I would like to reflect about one idea:

with the aim that the athletes can deal the competitions with a winning attitude, they  must know how to adapt the technique and tactics to situations of competition they face. This work of adapting themselves to the race is a mental activity, through the use of their cognitive, motivational, emotional and interpersonal processes. The athletes must therefore have developed over the years of training the ability to assess, decide and act in the best way at any time of the competition.


what part of the training of your athletes is dedicated to develop this kind of competence?

Juve-Toro: the relevance of the trivial mistakes that change the results

Juve-Toro, at the end the result came from two details occurred in the last minute of the match: Benassi, Torino player, losesa  contrast with Bonucci and Pirlo scores a goal. Today the journalist Gianni Mura wrote: “It was enough to throw it out, the ball. Instead it is Pirlo to throw it inside.”  The history follows simple but cruel rules. A trivial mistakes determines a unique situation, we are just few seconds from the end, and the champion takes full advantage. This is the soccer, the same incident had happened a few days before when Roma lost game against CSKA. The problem is not having lost a ball, but have lost it a few seconds from the end, when in fact the player have to hold it at any cost or send it out, just to prevent the re-start of the opponents, in particular against Juventus a team fighting for every ball until the last instant and with players who can change in an instant the result. Do not remember this from the young Benassi, and a total of the whole team, is a serious mental error, because of the effect it may determine. Each game is made up of moments like these, the players must learn to recognize them and act so as not to damage their own team or to use it to change the outcome.

Alex Del Piero: the smallest became the greatest

Alessandro Del Piero was interviewed by Federico Buffa for his 40 years.

He was asked what he thinks in the decisive moments and this is the answer: I trained a lot … Yes in that often I do not remember. When you’re more mentally free you can express yourself freely.

How do you want to be remembered: As a child he wanted to prove that the smallest could become the greatest and this is true even now.

Comments to our first free webinar

Two days ago, along with Emiliano Bernardi we held our first webinar, in Italian, dedicated to the coaching mental aspects. It was a different experience from the one-hour lecture to an audience physically present in a hall. Meanwhile, there is a real countdown to 10 minutes punctuated by slides that tell what to do and how much time is left at the beginning … and then it begins. The webinar management needs two persons because the speaker can not maintain contact with the participants, as is required and in this case was made by Emiliano. It ‘a new and effective way to talk about a subject, permitting to save time and money and allowing people from different Regions to attend the event but in the comfort of their home. The webinar also forces the speaker to maintain a fast pace in exposure and eliminate breaks and downtime, so you can convey more information than you would normally deliver when the action takes place in a hall. In the case of sports psychology the webinar could be used to create a community of people interested in this knowledge and professional area. The commentswe have received were positive and this webinar will be followed by others on the issues more relavant for the athletes, coaches and sports professionals.