Tag Archive for 'pensare'

Move and think

Why Your Brain Needs Exercise

The evolutionary history of humans explains why physical activity is important for brain health

David A. Reichlen and Gene E. Alexander, Scientific American, January 1, 2020

Brief synthesis

“Why does exercise affect the brain at all?

Physical activity improves the function of many organ systems in the body, but the effects are usually linked to better athletic performance.

Instead exercise seems to be as much a cognitive activity as a physical one. In fact, this link between physical activity and brain health may trace back millions of years to the origin of hallmark traits of humankind. If we can better understand why and how exercise engages the brain, perhaps we can leverage the relevant physiological pathways to design novel exercise routines that will boost people’s cognition as they age—work that we have begun to undertake.

… we demonstrated that people who spent more time engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity had larger hippocampal volumes.

Researchers have also documented clear links between aerobic exercise and benefits to other parts of the brain, including expansion of the prefrontal cortex, which sits just behind the forehead. Such augmentation of this region has been tied to sharper executive cognitive functions, which involve aspects of planning, decision-making and multitasking—abilities that, like memory, tend to decline with healthy aging and are further degraded in the presence of Alzheimer’s. Scientists suspect that increased connections between existing neurons, rather than the birth of new neurons, are responsible for the beneficial effects of exercise on the prefrontal cortex and other brain regions outside the hippocampus.

If we can augment the effects of exercise by including a cognitively demanding activity, then perhaps we can increase the efficacy of exercise regimens aimed at boosting cognition during aging and potentially even alter the course of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

They found an additive effect: exercise alone was good for the hippocampus, but combining physical activity with cognitive demands in a stimulating environment was even better, leading to even more new neurons. Using the brain during and after exercise seemed to trigger enhanced neuron survival.”

… we recently showed that collegiate cross-country runners who train extensively on outdoor trails have increased connectivity among brain regions associated with executive cognitive functions compared with healthy but more sedentary young adults. Future work will help us understand whether these benefits are also greater than those seen in runners who train in less complex settings—on a treadmill, for instance.

10 success rules by Bob Rotella

The things a golf player must do in a competitive round:

  1. Play to play great. Don’t play not to play poorly.
  2. Love the challenge of the day, whatever it may be.
  3. Get out of results and get into process.
  4. Know that nothing will bother or upset you in the golf course, and you will be in great state mind for every shot.
  5. Playing with a feeling that the outcome doesn’t matter is always preferable to caring too much.
  6. Believe fully in yourself so you can play freely.
  7. See where you want the ball to go before every shot.
  8. Be decisive, committed and clear.
  9. Be your own best friend.
  10. Love your wedge and your putter.
Immagine correlata

Federer: to win he said “don’t mess it up”

I often talk with young tennis players of the importance to lead themselves during the matches. Most of them uses too often complicated thoughts and want to show brilliant shots. In my opinion, this thoughts prevents being concrete and do simple things, waiting for the right moment to close the point.

Everyone talk about Federer exceptional tennis but rarely pointed out that the mental approach to the game comes before very other thing.

In this interview, instead, the same Federer remind us about the importance of the mental attitude. These sentences clearly highlight this approach, when he says that in the fourth set his mind was wandering too much and then he tells himself: “Don’t mess it up.”

So first of all, we need to support ourselves and then let’s focus on every point.

“The problem in the fourth set was that my mind was all over the place,” Federer told Australia’s Seven Network. “I was so close and I was telling myself, ‘Don’t mess it up,’ and then that’s exactly what I did. I got a bit lucky at the beginning of the fifth set. I personally don’t think I would have come back if he’d broken me first.”

Love the challenge and be tough

The most difficult skills to teach our sons

The three psychological skills to teach our sons starting from the infancy. Useful also for teachers and coaches.
  • Think before acting
  • Retain and manipulate information
  • Change the behaviors when situational and environmental changes happen

Coach to think: why not?

Why not train the young athlete to think. Is it expected that an athlete (as well as a child) reflects on what s/he is doing ? How many coaches ask at the end of an exercise:  ” What did you do? How could you have done better?” That these are precisely the questions or others it does not matter, what it’s important is to spend the time to ask and encourage a deeper awareness in relation to the technical execution . Another thought: do the coaches believe that talking with their athletes is helpful for learning? Or do they believe that it’s a waste of time? For the reason the athletes are still not sufficiently experts to understand and therefore is it better to follow the coach’s instructions and stop? How many times have you faced on this issue with other colleagues? Is it  important to train and develop the athletes’ awareness? My idea is that this is a topic which is discussed too little, because the  coaching science  is dominated by physiology , biomechanics and medicine, disciplines that do not question themselves on mental (cognitive and emotional) and of social factors of  motor learning. As long as there will not be a unitary conception of the individual, the coaches will continue to act largely ignoring the role of thought in sports teaching .

Napoli was not ready, but it didn’t know it

Be aware the team was going to enter the field with the wrong attitude; this is missed to Napoli against Arsenal. Hamsik summarizes the thinking of the team: “In matches like this one you cannot give 15′.” Then it becomes difficult to reassemble. They have been devastating, but we started very badly.” Right, but what they did in locker room to be in the mental condition necessary to be immediately competitive. Many times teams think to have the right attitude, but it’s not true and they do almost nothing to train themselves to recognize if their pregame mood  is useful to play well or it can be an obstacle. Think to be ready is not the same to feel ready, if you do not understand this difference, you cannot improve and you have to wait to play the first 5 minutes of the game to find out. There are techniques to get to know/put yourself in the best pregame condition, I guess Napoli did not know it.

Take a risk and you win

After the victory of Italy over France rugby, the Italian players have said that Brunel has taught them the meaning of sport, to enter  in the field with the desire to win and to achieve this we must dare. Means having the courage to dare to do something that is risky. I want to note that this approach is the basis not only of winning mentality but also motivation. For the reason that human beings are motivated by three needs: competence, socialization and excitement.

The latter, the excitement, is supported by the ability to perform activities perceived as exciting, to know how to take risks (calculated) is the way this need is accomplished. It’s a need that is already present in childhood and the box below shows the main reasons.

Knowing how to take risks

It’s related to be able to move thinking during the activities. For example, in football more and more coaches say that the young players rarely shoot at goal or do a dribbling. Pull the ball into the goal is a situation where it is possible to have wrong execution and to be accused for the other guys to want to play alone. The young player take this risk if he knows that the coach appreciates this kind of behavior, if  rewards the daring and not only the correct actions or those that have been previously prepared with the team. From the cognitive point of view, to be able to think  and take a risk during the game are two aspects which improve the development of motor intelligence, which is highly developed among athletes.

As we can see, we should not get in national team to dare, just create training situations in which young people should take initiatives to meet the needs of the exercise.