Tag Archive for 'olimpiadi'

How to live the pre-olympic year

Less than a year until the upcoming 2024 Olympics and Paralympics in Paris, and I wonder what this year will be like for athletes, teams, and staff. The Olympic Games maintain their timeless allure that goes beyond the commercialization of sports. Many aspire to go there at least once in their sports careers, and the stress associated with this participation is intense for everyone. Of the Italian athletes participating in the Olympics, only about 15% will return with a medal.

However, this year should not be lived solely through stress, sacrifices, and fears but also with the enthusiasm of those who feel committed to achieving a great goal without being crushed by it. We aim high to achieve a result, whatever it may be for each individual, but we enjoy our daily lives.

We have now become aware that there is no distinction between the individual and the athlete; they are not two separate entities residing in the same body. There are no two different people, one of whom must sacrifice to satisfy the other. Research conducted among elite athletes consistently shows that their performance depends on their motivation, dedication to this profession which is sports, their coaches and the staff working with them, and their family and friends – in other words, their primary social environment.

Their performance largely depends on the effective integration of these elements. There will always be exceptions to this approach, but this does not represent the rule. Therefore, it is desirable that the culture of integration, which recognizes the value of the overall well-being of athletes and their lives, continues to spread.

What the champions think

In the game, is it better to think? Or does thinking slow down the action? In my experience many athletes do not have definite answers to these questions and do not know what is best to do. I don’t want to go into how they learned as younger ones, whether they essentially followed what was asked of them by the coach or whether they also developed independent thoughts. Although it is obvious that everyone is formed mentally in their early years of playing.

However, I am interested in talking about how a young, now sportingly competent person thinks during a game whether it is of a team sport or involves situational sports such as tennis, table tennis, fencing, and combat sports. Oppositional sports in which the goal is to dominate opponents. To achieve this goal, in competition, do you think?

If I compare the mindset of the world’s top athletes I have worked with (in 7 Olympics I have worked with athletes who have won 12 Olympic medals in shooting, fencing, windsurfing and wrestling and at the Commonwealth Games 2 medals with India) and that of world-class athletes, both men and women, but who are not among the top 10 in the world in their specialty I believe that the main difference is essentially about how they use their minds in competition. Always keep in mind that even top athletes are not always winners, they often lose, however more frequently than others they find themselves fighting for a medal.

Some examples of thoughts from top athletes:

Giovanni Pellielo - “The last of the selection series was the heaviest, I made zero on the penultimate target in the first platform, I finished with twenty-three and it was the series in which I suffered the most because you had to make the result in difficult conditions and with a very high emotional load as I was still the man who had won two medals at the Olympics. Let’s say that on that occasion all the ghosts came to mind: it was difficult to close that result but I closed it. Then I thought about the final referring to the baggage of four years of experience and I relived everything I had done in the last year at the level of preparation especially psychological so as to face the final as I wanted and desired.”

Francesco D’Aniello - “Stress builds up if you think about the result. In the Olympic final I knew everyone was watching me but I was channeling my mind on what it took to break the plates. My concentration was channeled into thinking only about what I needed to do to break the plates. I knew that the Chinese had caught up with me, a zero had not been given to him, and this factor could destroy me. So I said to myself, ‘If I make a zero this will eat me,’ when I realized I could no longer make a zero I focused only on my technical gesture.”

Manavjit Singh Sandhu - “Competing head-to-head with two Olympic champions in one day and getting the better of both was really special. However, I believe that in shooting you simply try to hit your target and the score speaks for itself. Psychologically, it can be intimidating to shoot against legends, but I didn’t let that bother me.”

It clearly emerges, that in moments of competitive pressure, after a mistake, when emotions might result in a mental block, these athletes encourage themselves and focus on what they have to do. If they think about the result, it is only for a few moments, because the mind goes immediately to the performance, to what to do. Like Roberta Vinci when in the match she won against Serena Williams she repeated to herself, “Run and throw it that way.” This is the self-control of champions that we need to train in young athletes.

Sofia Goggia at 9 years old wrote: “I want to win the gold in downhill”

It’s never too early to dream. When Sofia Goggia was 9 years old, she wrote: “I want to win the gold in downhill.”

She did it filling the questionnaire on Goal Setting from my book “Mental training.”

She wanted to be mentally ready and at long term very ready. She asked her coach to work at maximum with her.

The Rio Olympics begin: It fulfills the athletes’ dream

The Rio Olympics are about to begin. The scourge of doping, which humiliates the sport, is strong and it does not seem to recede despite the disqualifications and the results of the report by Richard McLaren. Despite this, for most of the athletes, the Olympics are an extraordinary event (Italians will present 308). We know the cost and the risks  the Olympics impose to those who organized but the myth endures today as it once was. This is the world’s most important sport event, it happens once every four years, for most of the disciplines is necessary to be qualified and in some there is only one athlete per country. It is also a strong link with our past origins, where they join the search for beauty, performance, competitiveness, peace and hero. Who wins a medal at the Olympics goes right to the history of world sport, for this is the race of life. In fact, there are athletes who have not recovered from a defeat at the Olympics, others who have lived the next four years waiting for that day, in which they demonstrated to the world their true value. This is why many dope, because they want to maximize the probability of winning, until to pass the boundary of what is permissible and legal. Winning the Olympics is the fulfillment of a dream, which has had thought dozens of times before. We have not to believe to  the athletes when they say: “I did not really think about it, my goal was to do my best.” They thought all right, but they have been so good to dismiss this idea and to focus only on what it took to deliver an outstanding performance. In fact, the victory of a medal at the Olympics only comes from an outstanding performance, excellence in this case is not necessarily in the world record or in unrepeatable quality actions. It comes from having held off the internal pain of the idea of ​​defeat. The athletes in this condition, to deal with this idea, does not exaggerate in the desire to want to do well at all costs, stiffening the body and mind and deteriorating performance, but they do not throw into the fray without even thinking, showing to be impulsive. Instead, they accept the idea of ​​defeat and do exactly what they are prepared to do, in all those long hours of training, neither more nor less, that is, does what he is capable of. Reaching this state of mind is not easy and is the result of a mental work  on themselves. This is the challenge that awaits those who will compete in Rio.

Free service to know the mental coaching

We are at the beginning of the Pre-Olympic year. In fact the Olympic Games begin in Rio on August 6, 2016 and the Paralympic on September 7, 2016. For most of the athletes will start a decisive period for their sporting careers: they must train and compete to qualify for the most world important sport event. Each of them will live this time in a personal way. There are those who have not participated in the Olympics that they hope to achieve this goal, and next to them there are the more experienced athletes who have already had this experience but who want to be there and be competitive again. Even the psychological preparation is now an integral part of the programs of many athletes and teams. These programs are not only popular in Europe, North America and Australia but also in many Asian countries. So much so that it was just published a book  entitled “Secrets of Asian Sport Psychology” which contains 22 experiences conducted in many nations of this continent.

Below there are the major psychological skills of Olympic medalists:

  • High motivation and commitment
  • Toughness
  • High level of confidence under pressure
  • Identification of objectives
  • Emotion self-regulation in the decisive moments
  • Having well-organized routine during competition
  • Knowing cope with distractions and unexpected events
  • Focus
  • Visualization

In the world, this approach is not diffuse every where as it should be and for this reason many athletes do not reach the level they aspire also if they are technically and physically well prepared, because they do not spend resources in the mental coaching or because they rely on low-skilled professionals with no experience in international competitions.
In addition there is not an organization recognized to ask questions on this issue or to request a contact with a counselor for information on what is a program of mental coaching.
My company, CEI Consulting, wants instead to offer this FREE SERVICE to athletes, coaches and sport managers who want to know more about this aspect of sports training and competition.

To undertake a process of mental training necessary to know what to expect from it. In particular athletes and coaches will find specific answers in relation to:

  • Timing of implementation of the program
  • Skills that will be developed and optimized
  • Utilities for the athlete and the coach
  • And his mode of training periodization
  • Frequency of participation of mental coach to practices and competitions
  • Psychological evaluation of past races

Finally, the proposed system is absolutely new in collaboration with Enhanced Performance System of San Diego related to:

  • Analysis and workout style attentional staff (team) compared with the demands attentive and speed / accuracy of the sport practiced
  • Comparison between attentional and interpersonal style and that of the coach of the athlete (strengths of the report and likely points of friction)
  • Identification of the level of Killer Instinct athlete, decisive in times of increased competitive pressure
  • Feature Comparison attentive athlete with those of athletes from many nations who hold a world record

Those interested in knowing more in relation to mental coaching applied to their sport do not hesitate to contact us on: info@ceiconsulting.it


How much a medal really is worth

Shooting mental coach

I’m often asked how long I work with the shooting. In response, I want to show this photo of the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, we find: Albano Pera (silver double trap and current coach of the Italian trap team ) and Ennio Falco (skeet gold) and Andrea Benelli (bronze skeet and current coach Italian skeet team).


The heretic sport

The heretic sport regards the kind of performances that we will never see at the Olympics but that require a similar skill level and dedication. Watch this video.

Giovanni Pellielo: A legend of the olympic sports

Today in Granada Giovanni Pellielo won for the seventh time the right to participate in the Olympics. He finished 3rd at the Trap World Championships with an exciting track. In the qualification rounds, he scored 124 out of 125, finishing first with two other shooters. In the semi-finals took 14 out of 15 clay targets He had unbalance with another shooter, he immediately make a mistake and he competedi n a race against another shooter for the third place. Again 15 targets, he hit all the targets, while his opponent misses 3. With this result he also won the Olympic Quota to Rio at the first opportunity. If, as is likely, he will go to Rio it will be his seventh Olympics, where he won 3 medals so far. He’s the most successful athlete in the history of shooting, having also won 4 world and dozens of international competitions. He’s 44 years old.

Tom Daley could not be happier

British Olympic diver Tom Daley has revealed he’s in a relationship with another man in an emotional YouTube video. Daley, 19, says in the video, “Come spring this year, my life changed massively when I met someone and it made me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great. And that someone is a guy.”