Tag Archive for 'Vincere'

The teams lose because they are available to change

In Serie A, losing is an unforeseen option. After three matches, three coaches have already been fired. Others, from Allegri, to Sarri to the same Mourinho who lost only the last game after 6 wins are very worried.

On the one hand it is obviously correct, they are paid to make their teams win and the players themselves cost a madness, even the most scarce, so there can be no alibi behind which to hide.

This reasoning goes beyond the quality of the single players. Juventus only lines national players but has not yet won a match. Coaches play a fundamental psychological role, they are the true leaders of the team. Every new coach wants to introduce his own mentality to the team which manifests itself through a certain type of game.

There are players who do not fully adapt to this approach and Cristiano Ronaldo represents an extreme example, because he is the team’s game. He left Juventus and without manifesting any need to acclimatize to immediately continued (more than resumed) to score. Others obviously do not adapt because they do not show the necessary mental availability and therefore are not effective in the field.

Others have difficulty in following the mental scheme proposed by the coach. When I worked with Arrigo Sacchi, one of his questions was to tell him which players could process a lot of information and put it into action and which ones, instead, had to be given little information otherwise they would get confused. The coach-player does not always manage to find this synthesis.

On the field, there must always be at least one leader who leads the team in moments of difficulty. Often in this regard we have spoken of the Italian block of Milan champions and not only for its skill but for this union that was transmitted to the team.

There are many reasons why a team does not acquire the mentality and the game that the coach wants but it is from these details that success is born.

The chunking could explain the longevity in sports

When we review the results of international competitions of many sports we often observe the exceptional longevity and continued success of athletes who are no longer young for their sport and who continue to be serial winners. Novak Djokovic in tennis, Federica Pellegrini in swimming, Tom Brady in American football or Gigi Buffon in soccer are just some of the many champions who seem not to age. Their talent is beyond question as is their desire to continue to be winners.

How can we explain this ability?

One reason for the continued success of these athletes could be related to their enhanced ability to mentally integrate large amounts of information related to their performance: chunking. Chunking involves taking single units of information and grouping them into a smaller number of meaningful sets for the athlete.
In this way, the information thus grouped becomes easier to retain, recall, and implement in competition. Chunking is an important feature of performance. An example of chunking in team sports and in individual games with a prevalence of tactics is represented by the play schemes, if each of these were not stored in a specific file, this type of information could not be recalled by the player during a game in less than a second.

It is therefore realistic to hypothesize that these athletes have developed a chunking system so effective that it gives them a competitive advantage over athletes who are equally good but have less playing experience.

To reflect on winning

The only way to develop a winning mentality is to win. I’m not saying we have to start winning because we already win, but we have to win more and more (Julio Velasco).

The biggest difficulty I have had with my players in my career is translating to them in training the difficulty of competition. I ask them to do certain things in a certain way, not because I like it, but because otherwise they will find an opponent who will not let them do it. In basketball, things have to be done with a big guy like you pushing you when you touch the ball. Things have to be done with ten thousand people insulting you. Things have to be done with a referee that you might not see. And then you have to get used to these things in training, you can’t ask me for 10-15 games to understand what life is like (Ettore Messina).

It is a problem of self-need. I believe that I can be a coach if I struggle to stimulate self-desire. If as a coach I can convince 3 of my 10 players to be self-demanding with themselves and their teammates, I’ve won. I don’t coach anymore. I just watch, and the car goes on its own. Our struggle is not change of direction, schema 1 or schema 3. Our struggle is for our players to get to the point where, under great pressure, they pass the ball to each other (Ettore Messina).

“We have to stop considering cleverness a virtue and hustling an art: perfectionism has to beat our ingrained brashness … Motivation is like strength: it is never the same for anyone. But like strength, motivation can also be trained, and the most effective way to do this is not to rest too much on our laurels (Arrigo Sacchi).

Making a team win is not a matter of how great the player or players are. They all have to be willing to sacrifice and give something of themselves to become champions (Phil Jackson).

The spirit, the will to win, and the desire to excel are the things that last. These are far more important than the events that happen (John Wooden).

A champion is afraid to lose, everyone else is afraid to win (Billie Jean King)

For those in a hurry to win

“I trained 4 years to run 9 seconds. It’s funny how people who don’t see results in 2 months give up and leave. Sometimes failure is sought by oneself.” (Usain Bolt)

La foto ironica di Usain Bolt sull'importanza del distanziamento sociale  per il Covid-19


Winning is not everything

Beginning in the 2000s, the purpose of the work of Smith and Smoll, who introduced a system for evaluating coach behavior twenty years earlier, has turned to the study of systems for training youth coaches to be more aware of their own behaviors and to improve them.

Their approach is based on four principles that all coaches should adhere to:

  • Winning is not everything, nor it is the only thing - Young athletes will drop out of the sport if they believe that winning is the only goal to be fulfilled. There are other equally important goals that sports allow them to achieve that must be understood by athletes.
  • Failing is not synonymous with losing - It is important that athletes do not associate that failing and losing mean the same thing.
  • Being successful is not a synonym for winning - Success or failure is not dependent on the outcome of a race. Winning and losing are about the outcome of a competition but do not refer to success and failure.
  • Athletes must learn that success is linked to commitment - They must be taught that they will never be a loser if they try their hardest.

Starting from these principles, they have identified and implemented a training system that has produced extremely effective results.

Learning from the biggest mistakes

Psychological themes of this week:

The Juventus case - two goals conceded as soon as the game started, and especially at the beginning of each half. Why weren’t they ready? How could Bentancur have been so distracted? What is the mental approach to important games? You can make a mistake at the beginning of the first half, but how can you also make a mistake at the beginning of the second half?

Italian women’s skiing disaster at the World Championships - Too much nervousness from the athletes? How did the coaching staff prepared to handle these legitimate expectations of victory? There is a syndrome created by Sofia Goggia injury? How do you make a mistake on the third stick: too much impulsiveness at the start?

These are cases to be studied in depth, certainly not to find fault but to identify through the knowledge of the reasons that created these problems, how to avoid them in the future.

In soccer players’ talent is not enough to win

In soccer, as in all team sports, it is good to remember that in order to win, “The champion team beats a team of champions”, indicating that even the ideal team composed of only champions must still integrate the skills of each one despite possessing a priori a better quality potential at the individual level.

So how often does the favored team win?

A statistician Chris Anderson together with a behavioral economist David Sally have studied this phenomenon [2013] and found that in the European soccer championships this happens in just over 50% of the games, the percentage rises to about two-thirds of the time in German handball, USA basketball and football while in baseball it is about 60% of the matches. To understand team performance we must reduce the focus on the intrinsic value of the teams highlighted mainly by the level of individual talent and put more interest in the study of the skills needed to work together.

What to do to increase the likelihood of winning?

An important key parameter for distinguishing winning teams from others relates to the positive/negative connotation and frequency of dialogue between players on the field. It has been shown that the three positive effects most cited by players are:

  • Increase in player coordination that stimulates mental repetition of critical situations.
  • Improvement of their concentration and the refining of the precision of their movements.
  • Increase in their ability to make correct decisions accurately and in the shortest possible time [Farina and Cei, 2019].

If all is subjective, we lost the values

Interview at Giuseppe De Rita on Repubblica.it

So what? Where do these violent and widespread behaviors come from? They are the result of a collective culture, to which the bourgeoisie is certainly no stranger, which enhances the competitive part of each of us. They are the children of a great wave of subjectivism that, if it is not governed by ethics, comes to produce this reality. We have taught our children that it is necessary to emerge, to excel, there are those who can do it by going to train at Bocconi, doing internships in companies of name. And who, instead, tries to emerge in his community with what he has: martial arts, muscles, the big voice, what it takes to overcome others. Nothing new: those who have less culture express themselves in this way, they rely on physicality to appear, to emerge”.

In short, a desolating anthropological desert.Subjectivity is the real evil of these last 50 years. If everything becomes subjective, subjective is also ethics and the search for freedom from everything and at all costs. This is how it is among young people who fight or rape to emerge as in the world of economics: if we recognize that personal subjectivity wins over everything, then it is easy to understand how to get to Colleferro”.

Sarri’s thoughts right after winning Serie A

“This group has been winning for years, with different coaches, so the credit is yours, assisted by the club. Like all children when I grew up, I dreamed of winning the championship. I didn’t win it when I grew up, I won it when I was old, but I won it.” Sarri said at a press conference.

In these few words there is everything: the realization of the child’s dream and the recognition of the value of the organization.

How many coaches, if any, have this awareness? And they want to show it and share it in public?

Juventus is victim o itself

Juventus with AC Milan had the opportunity to close the championship. They didn’t succeed, even though they were 2-0 up.               They lost 4-2.

Juventus damage themselves, even if the opponents try their best to get a success. They are so strong and cynical that they don’t give importance to these results given advantage in the standings. I don’t think so.

The question in my opinion is simple: 8 consecutive championships won in a row determine beliefs, expectations and motivations.The culture of this team, leads it to be convinced that at the end the championship will be won and, therefore, to take these risks for a tendency of the players and the coach not to give relevance for the future. Obviously the players live their emotions and today they cannot be satisfied.

In my opinion they have to change this way of living the championship. Sarri says they played very well for 60 minutes, but if you turn off, the others take advantage of it and put you under.

Sarri says they played very well for 60 minutes, but if you turn off, the others take advantage of it and put you under. Between excellent and poor they have to find a solution, otherwise they will always take the field with this approach that in every single match can cause continuous problems.

Expectations to win the game anyway, even with these mental blocks, are a performance killer, because you think you will win without doing what it takes to win.