Tag Archive for 'paralimpiadi'

What to do after the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Source: English Institute of Sport

For those who compete, coach or form the vital support teams around athletes, the Olympic and Paralympic journey is full of emotion, from elation to disappointment and everything in between. Each Games is unique and the postponement of Tokyo 2020, the on-going pandemic and the COVID safe measures at the Games, are just some of the additional factors that will contribute to the waves of emotion that all involved are likely to go through.

Experiencing a range of emotions before, during and after the Games is completely normal and in a bid to help athletes and support staff to positively process the emotional experience of the Tokyo 2020 Games, the English Institute of Sport (EIS) Psychology team will be working closely with sports on a post-Games period of Performance Decompression. This applies to those who have attended the Games, and those providing remote support whether technical or operational. We have all been in this together.

Head of Performance Psychology at the EIS Dr Kate Hays explained:“Utilising knowledge from research both in sport and the military, alongside extensive practical experience, we have evolved existing decompression processes. We have created this process to help all involved in the Games to transition from one cycle to the next in the most effective manner possible. This hopefully provides the opportunity to reflect on and recognize what has been experienced, gain a sense of closure, and facilitate a smoother transition to what comes next.

“During decompression, there will be time for congratulations on what has been achieved, contextualizing experiences and for the management of expectations concerning return to training or moving on to the next chapter.

“We will be working really closely with our Mental Health and Performance Lifestyle teams so that any stress experienced can be effectively acknowledged, monitored and appropriate referrals can be instigated.”

The four phases of the decompression process are as follows and the EIS Psychology Team will facilitate guidance around ‘Time Zero’ (stage 2) and training on ‘Process the Emotion’ (stage 3):

  • Hot debrief
  • Time Zero
  • Process the Emotion
  • Performance debrief

Time Zero focuses on restorative care to create balance in a soothing space where no focus is on achievement. This break involves:

  • Live in the moment – engage in the now
  • Ride the wave – know that it’s okay to feel a range of emotions
  • Connect with others – be with friends and family

The next stage is Process the Emotion, which focuses on making sense of the emotion that surrounds performance and is split into six phases. This stage will celebrate the positive and explore what was challenging. It will also highlight strengths and skills which can be utilised in the next steps.

Whilst this work was developed for sports and athletes who have been in Tokyo for the Olympics and Paralympics, the decompression process will also be rolled out to staff at the EIS.

Towards the end of 2020, the Psychology team launched Lockdown Debrief training within the EIS to help our people process the pandemic and the range of experiences we all went through.

As well as experiencing the debrief themselves, Line Managers were upskilled to deliver the training to ensure everyone at the EIS had the opportunity to participate in a Lockdown Debrief. This same approach will be utilised with ‘Processing the Emotion’ of the Games.

Rolling this decompression work out across the EIS will allow everyone to process the Olympic and Paralympic Games, something our staff have worked towards and contributed to during this unique cycle, whilst tying into our values of We Care and We Collaborate.

Paralimpic Games: Abbas Karimi unbelievable story

Abbas Karimi is one of six athletes on the refugee team present in Tokyo. Karimi is 24 years old, born without arms, Afghan and is a swimmer. In 2013, he escaped with his brother to Turkey via Iran. His dream was to become a Paralympic champion.

Through Facebook he managed to find a football coach in Oregon, Mike Ives, who helped him go to the United States with refugee status and live with him. He found a swim team and so he began to train. In 2017 he won silver at the Paralympic World Swimming Championships, in the 50m butterfly. Since then he has not stopped training and during the pandemic he moved to Florida to train in an outdoor pool with another coach from whom he also went to live.

Of him, his new coach says, “I could see him as a superhero, sort of a mix between Aquaman, Superman and Spider-Man, with all his abilities.”

One of his best friends suggested that when his thoughts remind him of what’s going on in Afghanistan, “You’ve been working hard for as long as I’ve known you, and there’s so much going on in Afghanistan, keep your mind clear and focused on your approach.”

His story is an unbelievable one, one of the many we encounter at the Paralympics.

Afghan-born swimmer wins silver at World Para Swimming Series - The Khaama  Press News Agency

The Paralympics story

This month should have seen the ending of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, as well as the beginning of the Paralympics.

On August 26, when the Paralympics would have been on, streaming service Netflix will premiere the documentary Rising Phoenix, all about the history of the movement and the incredible stories of the athletes featured, including Ellie Cole, Jonnie Peacock and Tatyana McFadden.

Rising Phoenix | Official Trailer | Netflix - YouTube


Sport changes the individual and community perception about disability

“Sport has the ability to change the perception

of the community about people with a disability

and, more importantly,

how people with a disability think and feel about themselves.”

Richard Nicholson, nine-time Paralimpic gold medallist

Risultati immagini per Richard Nicholson

Recruitment: Performance psychologist for GB paralimpic swimming team

After sailing in Great Britain it’s time for Paralympic swimming  to recruit one performance psychologist for the next 4 years, interesting compensation and permanent job.

… And then we wonder why  GB sport has become so successful, even investing on psychologists.

Welcome back champions!

The Paralympic Games are the ultimate expression of competitive sport for persons with disabilities, with a media very significant level of visibility. The stories of these athletes are, unfortunately, almost told only this time, and the same is true for their performances, which often are truly outstanding in quality and intensity of effort. Athletes’ photos and videos show this very well and it is impossible not to be involved.

They are people who in the De André’s words march “in obstinate and contrary direction” compared to the culture of sedentary lifestyle, based on the conception the physical and psychological limits are only editable through medical , surgical and therapeutic interventions. Paralympic athletes, however, show that there is always a way to get out of a limiting condition, as Bebe Vio, gold in fencing, says speaking of her return to sport: “I always knew that I could go back to doing fencing. When asked the doctors, I can say, they spit in my eyes. When I asked those of prostheses, they laughed. But I immediately realized that I would be able to return.” The same applies for Alex Zanardi when dissatisfied of the prostheses on the market, he designed by himself a couple of new artificial legs, with the purpose of returning to racing.

Welcome back champions. Here there is much to do to spread the idea that sport is a dress that everyone can cut to his/her measure. Usually sports who win medals at the Olympics, in the following year, enjoy an increase in their membership. It occurred in skiing when Alberto Tomba won, with Luna Rossa in sailing or swimming in the era of Rosolino and mates. I’m not so optimistic for the sport for the disabled, in Italy there are few clubs who deal with it and most of the young people with disabilities of school age are sedentary. The successes of these Paralympics could however favor  the changes, especially among children and adolescents, because despite all its negativity (doping, excessive emphasis only on competitive results) sport continues to be one of the pillars in the search for freedom and autonomy that always draws the human being.

Federico Morlacchi, a fighter fish

Federico Morlacchi who won a gold and a silver (for the moment) to the Rio Paralympics is one of the “Fish Fighters“. It’s a docu film about a swimmer group, Paralympic swimming champions, and their preparation in Milan ahead of the Paralympic Games in Rio, with the AcquaRio project, multidisciplinary team involving coaches, dieticians, psychologists, trainers. The “Fish Fighters’ are Federico Morlacchi, Arjola Trimi, Alessia Berra, Arianna Talamona, Giulia Ghiretti, Fabrizio Sottile, Francesca Secci, Simone Barlaam e Giuseppe Romele. Young people with different stories and disability that in this year of workouts have become a team.

Risultati immagini per pesci combattenti morlacchi


We’re The Superhumans | Rio Paralympics 2016

Unbelievable video to celebrate the young Superhumans of Paralimpics

Christian Haettich, the one leg cyclist against any limit

Fifteen years ago, Haettich had been preparing to enter the Sydney Paralympics road race, but at the last minute, and to great disappointment, he learned that his category was not to be included. How does he feel about that now? “When I started on the Haute Route I asked Rémi not to put me in a disabled or wheelchair category, but to ride a bike as a normal. Doing the Haute Route like this is far more rewarding than to compete in a paralympic event. My handicap gives me focus, drive, determination. A reason to do this. It has been tough, but it’s been great to just evolve as a rider to enjoy so many majestic panoramas.”

Christian Haettich, from Alsace in north-eastern, France, lost most of his left leg and part of his left arm due to a road accident in 1976, when he was 15. He was hit head-on by a car while riding a moped. The amputations understandably made his life extremely difficult. He made it through dark times, got married, had children, yet it wasn’t until 1995 when he spotted a cyclist who also had one leg making his way up a col that his life changed again. (From The Guardian).

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