Tag Archive for 'routine'

The routine relevance

The routine prevents a decrease in performance after a break [Warm-Up Decrement, WUD].

This decrement is particularly noticeable in sports where there are short breaks in play, at the end of which athletes must immediately deliver high-level performance.

Ttime-out in team sports:

  1. Often dictated not only by technical reasons, but by the reason to block a favorable phase of play of the opponents. These breaks determine a reduction in activation, which manifests itself through a temporary loss of that optimal internal condition that allows to provide an effective performance.
  2. The athlete before resuming the game must readjust his internal system and his attention to the demands of the performance so as to be ready to respond again.

The best warm-up is one that encompasses the critical elements of the performance to be performed.

Indicated in preparation for performing closed skills where a high degree of environmental stability is present and the athlete can carefully prepare to select the response and execute it.

It has been shown that experienced athletes, compared to subjects of lower levels, devote more time to the routine

Athletes who have participated in the Olympics:

  1. in wrestling, athletes who have won a medal systematically implement specific pre-race routines for the duration of the Olympic tournament, while those in the same U.S. team with inferior results used it much less continuously (they did not perform it before matches they considered easy or undemanding)
  2. in swimmers, their routines are divided into two parts, the first dedicated to the race plan and the second to its implementation.

Optimize your routine through the champs’ videos

Observation is an important ability to learn or improve our sports skills.

Today I want to propose to observe the routines before the beginning of an action of four champions. The routines serve to put us in the best condition to perform the next action. It is a way to empty our minds of what we have done up to that moment and to enter in a mental bubble, as Federica Pellegrini calls it, which allows us to be focused only on what we are going to do.

There’s not much more to say. Observe them, they are different, and then write down what your routine is.

In these days, at home, you can perform mental repetition exercises of your routine, dedicate 10 minutes every day to repeat your routine.


Cristiano Ronaldo e Jonny Wilkinson  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlBTed9vZLA

Yelena Isinbayeva  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N_Jduavgpw

Phil Mickelson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAY5tvlLIbQ

Maria Sharapova  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4hnxzmARxM


10 questions to understand the coaching effectiveness

10 questions for athletes and coaches. How much my coaching is oriented to teach:
  1. athlete controls the process of his/her performance (e.g. technique, timing, speed and accuracy) and much more less the result
  2. what happens before determines what happens immediately after (e.g. warm-up quality determina to be ready to start training)
  3. mistake is a coaching component, the improvement occurs through the prompt reaction at this situation
  4. high intensity and concentration must be showed during all the coaching time
  5. athlete must be mentally ready to do and not only to start one exercise just to do
  6. athlete must be aware of his/her thoughts, feelings and behaviors
  7. coaching is not a sequence of exercises but it is a sequence of situations to be solved in the best way
  8. coach/athlete dialogue is a fundamental aspect of the coach and athlete improvement
  9. before to start one exercise it’s necessary to be committed for some moments to visualize the task to do
  10. behavioral routine are essentials to execute difficult tasks and to cope with competitive situations

How an habit is established

Any behaviour that can be reduced to a routine is one less behaviour that we must spend time and energy consciously thinking about and deciding upon. Habits therefore free up time and energy for other matters. As Charles Duhigg puts it in his book “The power of habit”, “this effort-saving instinct is a huge advantage… [for] an efficient brain… allows us to stop thinking constantly about basic behaviours, such as walking and choosing what to eat, so we can devote mental energy to inventing spears, irrigation systems, and, eventually, airplanes and video games”. Duhigg then moves into the area of how they are formed and how our brains fall into habits and draws on the research from disciplines such as – advertising, sports, addiction, religion and others. According to Duhigg, it comes down to a simple,three-part loop: cue, routine and reward.

In the author’s own words: “first, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical, mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future”. If everything lines up, the brain ‘remembers’ the loop, and is predisposed to using the same routine when the same cue comes up again in the future.

The more often the brain uses the loop to good effect the deeper the behaviour becomes ingrained— to the point where the behaviour itself becomes more and more automatic. Eventually, the cue ends up being so bound up with the reward that the cue itself will trigger a craving for the reward: “the cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges”. Habits could be brought about by a craving for positive emotions, or accomplishment or relationships.

The questions left out of the mind

Some specific issues about the mental training of the athletes:

Some believe to have a routine useful to start the competitions, but very often it’s only behavioral to warm-up the body and for the mind at max they listen music.

Usually the athletes don’t know that relaxation is useful not only for controlling the anxiety but also to recover from fatigue, to spleep relaxed, to reduce the tension of every day, to be calm most of the time and in a hurry, to control the jet lag.

Have I the feeling or mood to start well my next session? Or do I start just to start? These two questions are not so common in the athletes’ mind.




The pre-match routine in judo

Jimmy Pedro (former world judo champion): “Before you step onto the mat you have to be able to relax even before you compete. Many people get very anxious and nervous and jittery so already their heart is beating very fast. The anxiety causes you to be tired. Maybe five minutes before you actually fight you need to sit down, relax, control your breathing before you get onto the mat.”

Individual optimal mental states before the match:

  1. Positive expectations.
  2. Feel you can overwhelm your opponent.
  3. Confidence to do your best.
  4. Feel that you are ready to fight.
  5. Think that your opponent will never be at ease with you
  6. Think that you can throw the opponent.
  7. Increase your confidence visualizing your strong judo actions.
  8. Stay focus to start at maximum intensity.
  9. Have the belief to be totally involved in the match.

Why pre-event are useful

The pre-event routine as well as those made before a shot (the service in court rather than a shot in golf or a penalty among others) are useful because they consist of a concrete plan to deal with that performance in the best way. On one side it consits in a mental path guiding the athlete in doing only what it’s necessary and avoiding unnecessary actions if not harmful. It can be said that puts the athlete in a mental and physical condition of readiness. On the other side, the athlete feels responsible for its implementation and, therefore, is brought to run it in order to avoid feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Today in support of this interpretation, there are not only more research in sports psychology started by Yuri Hanin thirty years ago, on the importance of knowing how to put in your pre-race optimal condition through a specific plan of action, but New York Times published a summary of the research on this topic in the health field, which highlights the need to have a plan of action, to make use of real incentives and rely on the support of the group. They are simple rules to be implemented by any person, and most importantly, they help to take decisions and to keep them also if difficult to sustain.