Tag Archive for 'self-control'

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.

The relevance of self-control over the mind in clay target shooting

At Commonwealth Games 2014 with Malta shooters, it begins tomorrow the double trap event and the day after trap. Difficult competitions in which you losefor 1 target on 150. Today there was the final of the skeet and, at the challenge for the first and second place, the Scottish athlete who competed in the house, was betrayed by his emotions. After a race in which he missed a very few targets, in the final he missed the last 5. Incredible! If he had as many missed in the first 125 that give access to the final he would never reached it. While in the final on 15 targets he lost 6 or 40% wrong. The clay target shooting requires a near-perfect control of the emotions and thoughts, if any useless idea or emotion enters uncontrolled in the mind of the shooter even for a few moments  the performance is probably compromised.

Maltese shooters at the end of the last training session before the competition.

Coach never has to lose self-control

  • The coach is the one who has to deal with the emotions of the team.
  • His/her mood exerts a significant influence on the players.
  • How to be a coach? Enthusiastic, energetic and determined.
  • The emotions that the players have during the match not determine the outcome, but how they feel during the race is responsible 20% of the final result. And it is the coach who determines the mood of the players at least at 50%.

That’s why the coaches should never lose self-control, and the leader of a group must always find another option to simply scream out his moods, whether of anger as those of Conte, Juventus coach and Rossi Sampdoria coach or resignation such as the new coach of Roma.