Tag Archive for 'ottimismo'

Never give up in face of the evidence

The world is full of examples that should serve to convince us that in any situation it is possible to find a solution to solve a problem or get out of a difficulty. How is it then that many people do not look for these solutions? They think instead that there are no solutions and that the examples given do not concern them but are more related to luck and chance or to the particular qualities of a person who, because of his individual characteristics, has found a solution that only he was able to implement. This is the interpretation often used to describe how a champion of sport came out of a situation judged impossible by others. The exceptional character of his/her condition, the talent, serves as justification for all those who think that, not being champions, they could never get out of that problem.

In my opinion, the problem refers to the way of thinking used by an individual. When something goes wrong, for example a bad grade at school, a badly lost race or an argument at work, what is my reaction? Do I think it is someone’s fault? Do I think I wasn’t able to do the job? Was I unlucky?

It’s important to know your own way of assessing performance.

We know that pessimists and when we are depressed, we tend to think in this way, which has the effect of devaluing personal skills and reduces the possibility of committing to finding solutions. Optimism characterised by a superficial approach to difficulties is also harmful and of little help. Thinking about succeeding is not in itself a help to the solution.

Instead, the optimism that goes hand in hand with commitment and an awareness of the difficulty of what you are about to face must be constantly trained and pursued. Only by combining these three aspects, maximum commitment, awareness of the difficulty and optimism, will it be possible to find the appropriate solution to our problem.

Manuel Bortuzzo show again his optimism after the tragedy

Manuel Bortuzzo, young talent of Italian swimming, injured on 3 February by a gunshot in the Axa district of Rome, tells how his life has changed. “How do I see myself in 10 years? I hope to stand up. To look forward you don’t have to look back, my life is always the same. There is a logistical problem but I am the same as always. I could beat my head and not be myself anymore”

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The winning athletes’ main competences

The psychological skills the athletes must show in competition and in training are often difficult to list, because the risk is to do a very long and too generic list. Nevertheless, today I would like to try to identify, from my point of view,  the skills that can represent milestones in the athletes’ sport careers.

  • Self-control – it means knowing what are the behaviors to put in place to address the competition requests. The self-control requires respect for opponents; at the same time the athletes must be the leader of themselves, to overcome the difficulties posed by the races and opponents with the aim of providing the best performance.
  • Readiness for action – the athletes are persons oriented to act and therefore they must be ready to kick a ball, pulling a shot, to run in a precise rhythm, to anticipate opponents, to start rather than conclude effectively a race and so on. Readiness goes with high levels of situational awareness: the athletes have to know what to do at any given time and do it at their best.
  • Toughness and resiliency – I did not completely understand the distinction between these two psychological concepts, but I believe the athletes should continue to do the best even when they are tired, when all seems lost, during the decisive moments, at the end of the race, when they feel confused but know they have prepared an action plan for those moments.
  • Attention – Robert Nideffer said the attention is the only important thing in the decisive moments. I agree and, that is the reason, I consider it as the ability allowing to lead the mental commitment. The athletes have to know what to look for, knowing when to use a broad attentional style oriented toward the environment rather than a narrow attentional style, more focused on very few external factors. Without proper attention they cannot understand what is going to happen and to move in advance.
  • Optimism – The explanation of the performance results is an important factor, because it determines the expectation in relation to the future competitions. Humans are often engaged to explain their positive and negative results. It is therefore essential, the athletes develop an optimistic perception of their performances, because if they explain the positive results in term of luck or lack of competent opponents is unlikely they improve and gain a winning mind.

Active life at World Master Games

We have to learn from Rune Haraldson (photo), Don Grenville and Michiko Hamuro respectively 95, 90 and 94 years old athletes at the World Masters Games in Turin to have an active lifestyle and not to be dominated by the idea to be old now for “these things “. We have to take their optimism and begin to believe that it is possible for us. There are sports for all ages, starting with the simple walk, and these athletes must help us as inspiration.

World Master Games è l'ora dei novantenni

Why are Kenyans the best long distance runners?

In recent years, the 25 fastest marathon runners were Kenyans, too many to wonder how this is possible and once again the debate is as always between genetics and environment.

Marathon runner and manager of a Kenyan athlete, Tom Payn attaches great importance to the mental component of the running and so responds to : “The main thing I learned from the Kenyans regards their mental attitude, the way they run, they are relaxed and even if they have a negative race immediately forget it, thinking I’ll win next time and beat the record. They are very confident and show an eternal optimism about the next race.” The same concept is something that is reported by Boniface Kiprop Kongin, the athlete he coaches, which says “to have success you have to be optimistic and patient.”

Interview and video on Guardian

Imagine to win

Imagine winning helps you win. This is not rhetoric, it is what the great champions say. Usain Bolt said: “In my head I never had any doubt that it would end like this.”  The same did  Jessica Rossi, shooting,  again the day before the race she trained imaging to win and to do the world record. It  has been repeatedly demonstrated by studies in psychology of performance that optimism is a cause of success. Being optimistic means to be convinced that with the right focus and determination to win,  it is there waiting for you. Mood that usually have not access those athletes who do not climb on the podium, because before and during the race they have not this feeling with their performance. This mood is certainly not the result of the hazard but it is possible to train it and who win the Olympics means that he/she has trained this skill more than others.

Si vince con l’ottimismo

Spesso mi sono chiesto perchè gli atleti di alto livello continuano a gareggiare pur sapendo che sono molte di più le gare in cui perderanno rispetto a quelle in cui saranno vincenti. Come superano questa frustrazione? La mia risposta è stata che questa convinzione si basa sull’idea che il futuro sarà migliore del passato e questo atteggiamento è noto come “il pregiudizio dell’ottimismo.” Per migliorare si può solo immaginare di poterlo fare e ciò conduce a ritenere che questo risultato possa essere raggiunto. Tale credenza in se stessi motiva l’atleta, come chiunque altro, a perseguire i suoi obiettivi. Inoltre questo modo di essere comporta una riduzione dello stress e questo aiuterà la persona a competere al suo meglio nei momenti di maggiore pressione agonistica. Quindi impegnamoci come i campioni a perseguire un approccio ottimistico alle difficoltà anche se ci potrebbe apparire un po’ irrealistico.