Tag Archive for 'pigrizia'

The training keys: commitment and persistence

In training intensity and persistence are the two aspects that most frequently determine the athletes’ mistakes. Many are satisfied to train good enough, without being aware that it is precisely this way of thinking is slowing down their improvement.

The performance quality cannot be manifested with a good enough commitment, this seems to me an aspect that young athletes often do not consider as decisive for their improvement. At the same time, coaches can also fall into this trap, when they do not consider commitment at the first place in their teaching strategies, because too focused on correcting the sport technique.

Robert Singer wrote that at the end every performance is determined by three factors, of which the last two are much less considered than the first:

  1. personal potential
  2. sincere commitment to practise, condition and improve oneself
  3. ability to do well under competitive stress

The latter two are in fact often explained in terms of natural skills or instinct and in this way they are less trained than the other skills. On the contrary, the experience of top athletes, by their own affirmation, has taught us that it takes years of intense and continuous dedication to achieve remarkable results.
The mantra of these top athletes is “try and try again”.

This does not happen because today’s young people are lazy! It happens because we think it’s just a matter of technical training and physical preparation and time. While the lack of improvement is interpreted in terms of a block that will go away at the first success, of parents putting pressure or lack of confidence.

It is infrequent to think that young athletes may be wrong because they do the exercises in training with the same mentality with which they do (or used to do) their homework. For them it is enough to do the exercise and they do not bother to prepare themselves to do it not only well but in the best way they are able. They just do it. For them this means being concentrated. By this I mean that they are not aware of how they have to prepare to do the best they can and they do not know what mental and motor skills they have to put in place to meet the demands of the task.

In general terms, they train without a personal purpose, rather with the only aim of meeting the needs of their coach. Without a personal goal, they will not be able to fully develop their skills as an athlete, but above all they will experience the misunderstanding that they are trying their hardest while it is not true.

How to win our laziness

19 years have passed from this interview on sedentary lifestyle but I would say the suggested tips to become more active are still valid.

The stereotypes of the coaches on youth

For the umpteenth time, few days ago during a coach course, several participants asked me why young people are no longer willing to make sacrifices and to commit or if staying continuously attached to the smartphone does not prevent them to have other interests. This question is increasingly common in recent years, now almost 10 years, and these coaches are not asking if their impression is true or false but deem right and want to know what they should do.

The question certainly does not lie in the use of new technologies, these do not represent a limit at the development of young people. They are for example:

  • be parked in front of the TV because it does not bother
  • be brought on the stroller, when it is better to walk, because so parents do not waste time
  • stay at home rather than to the gardens because then you take cold
  • stay every day hours listening boring teachers to talk

This type of education to be passive and sedentary leads to exaggerate in the use of new technologies at the expense of a more active life. The question is not in the use of smartphones, but in knowing what are the daily activities of young people. It’s the world of adults who should organize their lives so as to bring them up to the pleasure of being active, until they have reached the maturity to drive themselves alone.

Returning to the coaches who complain, it must also be said that the answer  usually expected is the confirmation to this belief but especially they want to hear that the only answer to give in these cases, it’s just a punishment. It seems to be back to 30 years ago when it was common to give punishment like: 20 pushups or four laps of the pitch. But why the sport organization do not invest more on adult education to which we entrust our children? Do not forget that the majority of sports clubs exist only because the parents provide their funding. And if they stopped paying them? But it never will happen, because it’s convenient for parents to park their children so that they stay involved in some activities, without worrying about the quality of the managers and coaches.

The mental laziness in football

The case of Mattia Destro, Roma player, who is going through a period of time in which he did not score a goal can be interpreted as an example of mental laziness that is present in the players, the coaches and managers. The general interpretation of this phenomenon is like, “it does not matter, it happen that attackers have a period in which not score a goal, it happened to Tom, the famous striker who then started to score.”  These are justifications that we find only in the  football. If my daughter was studying and then take the bad grades, I would not say for sure, “then go.” If a young in a company began to make mistakes you would not say for sure, “no matter it is just a temporary block”. In football, however this happens, you train and then you do not play well, but it does not matter sooner or later you will improve. In football, also there is no rush to recover because everyone expects that to happen at any moment. It’s dominant then the magical thinking, that every moment can be good to start scoring. It’s clear that with this mindset nobody will think that he could be helped by a program of mental training built just for him, because he does not need, but what counts is to cultivate the illusion that you enter in the field and score a goal, and so will everything passes. Nor should we forget that these players earn a lot of money for that in any case their life continues to be quiet for this reason. If you get bad grades in school or at work if you mess up you could lose the year or to be fired, and perhaps for this reason that these people are much more committed to practice what they need to do to improve.