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Sport Psychology

The Emotion Management During The Olympic Games

Sport Psychology Posted on Sat, March 03, 2018 13:12:56

By Alberto Cei

The Olympic Games begin and many athletes to achieve their dream will find themselves in the position of having to provide the performance which is worth a life. The Olympic Games are the most important event for each athlete, it’s the competition that can change their sports career, much more than a world championship. it’s true for those who have already won and would like to repeat and for those athletes who are for the first time in the leading role. In fact, despite the doping scandals, winning a medal in the Olympics is still the dream of every athlete and for those who have a realistic chance of success is really all they don’t dared to think, for fear the desire take place.

In these last days, the athletes have to handle their panic, they can swing by the peaks of confidence in their abilities, supported by the results obtained, with moments of sheer terror in which negative scenarios seem to take over. More rare that these emotions leaping those athletes who cannot aspire to the Olympic podium, who aspire to a good performance, which are already satisfied to compete during the world’s biggest sport event.

For others, those who compete for a medal, those at the top of the world ranking, the wait can be exhausting. They have to know how to handle this waiting phase, accepting this emotional background noise in all its shades, reducing the destructive emotions with constructive moods and thoughts. The race with themselves doesn’t begin just before the start moment, it has already begun in these days. Because the before determines the after, as you face the days immediately preceding determines how you will get to race day.

I often asked the athletes which the mental part of their warmup. For many consists to mentally repeat their performance or use key words, chosen by them, to reach a level of optimal emotional activation. This mental work determines a mixture of emotions, physical sensations and thoughts, used to be focused only on their performance. In this way, they lead themselves to the moments preceding the start, inside their mental bubble, totally caught up in what they’re doing; then they start and everything happens, or should happen, in a way apparently spontaneous.

When the children should start playing football?

Sport Psychology Posted on Thu, February 08, 2018 10:29:46

By Giani Boldeanu

Every boy or girl who likes to play football is dreaming to become rich and famous one day like their favourite players.

Every parent of a child who is playing competitive football wants their child to become professional players and to win millions of pounds.All their life for a while is moving around football and big dreams.

Probably are you asking yourself when is the right time for your child to start playing football?

The best time for a child to start playing football is between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. The easiest and most convenient way to teach them skills in football is to play the game at home with your child. When they are young it is better to leave the child to learn to explore the game of football without much restriction to following any guidelines or rules. This is especially prevalent in children under the ages of 5 when it is most difficult to play football on a team and follow rules. Keep the rules to a minimum, let them enjoy and develop skills. At the same time is better to try other sports , that will help them to develop the new skill.

From 3 to 5 the kids are able to run , jump , throw a football ball or any other ball they start to learn and develop balance. Their vision at this age is still in development, you may observe that they can find difficult to follow the ball if is moving fast .

What kind of training they should receive at this age ?

The most important think you need to start playing soccer is a football ball. The football balls come different sizes .

If the ball is not the right size the kids will not be able to kick ,pass and dribbling properly because the size of their foot is too small for the size of the ball also the ball is to heavy and difficult to control .

For under 8 years old kids is recommended to use size 3 balls ,from 8 years old to 12 is recommended to use size 4 ,over 12 years old size 5 which is used in official soccer games all around the world .

It is better to use the appropriate size to help the kids to learn the skills and develop the game easy and efficient.

Usually, now they should learn the basics in my opinion. Teach them how to stop the ball with their feet by passing the ball slowly towards them, give them instruction each time you pass the ball also show them yourself from time to time how to do it.

Moving with the ball at their feet is another skill they have to develop at this age, show them yourself how to do it. They tend to take the ball in their hands, try to teach them to don’t play the ball with the hands, only with the feet. Ask them to use left leg and right leg alternatively in order to develop coordination and balance.

Changing direction with the ball first time slowly and you can increase the speed step by step.

When giving indications and explain moves try to be very short usually at this age the span attention is very short usually 10 seconds. The session time should be around 15 min. If they want to play more just let them do what they like with ball.

If they don’t want to perform the tasks you require them to do don’t quit try again in some minutes, hours later or next day.

If they can’t perform the task you want properly, just let them to get used with the ball, in the end, they will learn how.

Another way to teach them how to do the moves if you can’t perform them yourself is to search on YouTube some videos with kids of his or her age performing the tasks and to watch together. The kids tend to imitate the behaviour of other kids. Try to look for games ideas on internet, don’t forget that the learning should be fun, if they don’t enjoy they can start to dislike playing with the football ball.

If you want professional coaching you have to look for some football schools, clubs or football academies that are organising training sessions for under 5 years old.

At the football schools, clubs, academies or summer camps the kids will develop skills in a fun enjoinment way , together with other kids.

The football schools are using a different approach to get the children involved through games and stories to make the learning process easy and less boring. Always when you go to park with your kids take a soccer ball with you, keep it in the car. You can play soccer with your kids all time of the year even on snow will make the game more enjoyable. You can play in your back garden with your friends, at the picnic and park, you and your kids will have a lot of fun. You can also buy a training football kit for kids with cones and pop-up goalpost, inflated goalposts.The kit is small size and will be easy to carry in your car or when going to parks. As goalposts, you can use 2 t-shirts, plastic bottles, like cones or goalposts you can use empty yoghurts containers.

Overrating and young football talents

Sport Psychology Posted on Thu, February 08, 2018 10:20:09

By Giani Boldeanu

The newspapers, radio, and TV make young talented players superstars overnight by overrating and comparing them with well-known players that have a similar playing style or position in the field. How many times you saw at the start of a new season, clubs presenting the new transferred young players with phrases like “ the next Cristiano Ronaldo, Rooney, Messi etc, and after the first part of the season, you don’t hear anything about them, they are not even in the reserve squad.

How is this happening?

The mass media makes money based on what kind of subject they approach. The sports journalists need subjects in special during the week when are fewer competitions, also during the season’s brakes, they need interesting subjects every day, they will follow every new talent in order to have subjects for the next edition of their newspaper. The football fans are always hungry for news regarding young stars that are raised or are transferred to the clubs. Is this good or bad for the young football stars?

The good part

The player will start to feel motivated. His confidence will grow. He will feel praised by the club, fans, and media. He will be selected to represent his country in international competitions. He will be in the first eleven of his club. His wage will go up some time from some thousands to million pounds in a very short time.

His lifestyle will change 360% in most of the cases. He will buy expensive cars, clothes, houses and other expensive goods to show their financial wealth. His market value will increase and other clubs will be interested in him. He will sign endorsement contracts that will bring more money to his account and his club accounts and the benefits list can continue.Other parts that will benefit from his fame will be his football agent that has an important role in his career.

The bad part

From the moment he will be seen like a new club star, the journalist and fans will start to follow him nonstop. His privacy will be affected. His private life and public life will be under the eyes of journalist and fans. The fans, journalist the club owners and officials will expect from him to improve and any mistake will be penalized. Big wages come with big expectations also.

Clubs transfer related competition is another factor that can affect the career of a young footballer. The top clubs tend to buy young talents only to don’t be taken by a rival club. The young players are bough even if they are not needed and loaned to another club or kept on the second team for 4 or 5 years. Most of them will have millions of Euros in their accounts but their football career will stop probably at that level. Most of them will be luxury reserves for most of their career.

The player is overrated intentionally by the club with the help of the journalists, sometimes called to write about new talents in order to increase their market price, fan base and to increase the clubs selling of promotional goods like t-shirts, books, calendars, match tickets etc. In most of the cases, everything is happening so quickly and the young football stars can’t manage well the status of VIP.

Why is this happening?

Just remember how your first day was or month when you started the secondary school, how long took you to accommodate with the school life, started a new job, when you got married or when you left your parents house to live on your own. The footballers are not superhumans. They will face the same problems like anyone else but the difference is that their mistakes or achievements will be public; Everyone will be able to see and comment about. Going from living with your parents’ money as an academy player to hundreds of thousands a week is a very dangerous change. They will not be focused on improving their performance because of their self-believes. They will start to think that are already very good and is nothing to improve. It is difficult to become a top footballer but also you have to be able to stay at the top.

After each game depends on the results the football fans and journalist will make public their opinions in newspapers, TV, radio and on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. He will be praised by the fans and journalist if he will play better if not they will criticise him, he can go from fame to shame in a very short time.

The stress will start to appear. The stress is good if it is in the right amount and not for a long period of time. The stress helps all of as to survive, be motivated, focus and win the game with life. The level of stress that can be handled by a player it ranges from one individual to another.The young players are not used with high levels of stress like the old and experienced players. The overeating now starts to pay back its bills. They came to the first team with a good level of motivation and hunger to play and prove that they deserve to be there. After a period of intense stress, they can’t face the pressure and they start to fail. From playing in a small club to playing in a top club can be very difficult time.

The team manager will offer the several chances to prove they deserve a place in the first team. In some cases when the club officials decided that a young talent has not the right skills and mentality to be a future asset for the club they will try to sell the player until is not too late, in order to recover the money invested in the player. The manager it is forced by the club to find a way to promote this kind of young players and to play them in a way to show their skills and abilities in order to be sold in the next transfer window.

The depression starts to show signs, the young player is not motivated, he can’t focus, and he starts to isolate himself. Stress also can cause injuries that will increase the level of stress more. He will start to focus on things that will stop the depression quick like alcohol, heavy smoking, nightlife and sometimes drugs. This is not the solutions to treat depression. In this kind of situation counselling it is very important but in most of the cases, this will be avoided by players and clubs.

If the player is still living with his family or in a relationship, he will get help and support from the family that will spot probably the depression or changes in lifestyle and behaviour and will convince the young player to sick help and advice from professionals. In some cases, the player can hide very well the depression signs until is too late to intervene. Sometimes the players will start to develop addictions, became bankrupt and even convicted for unsocial behaviour.

Probably you will think that the club psychologist, team manager, coaches or player welfare officer should be able to spot the signs of depression and help the player. Yes, this is the way that it should be only if the player is happy to admit that he has problems and needs help. Here is a big problem. If you are a football player and you go to see a psychologist not necessary because you are depressed sometimes because you want to improve your performance it is seen as a real problem.

If a player is admitting that he suffers from depressions or any other mental issues will cause a rupture between club and player, the player will have no future in that club anymore. The player will be seen as a club asset, he will become a liability.He will be removed from the first team and put on the transfer list asap, the club will try everything to recover their investment in the player. The fans will not be happy to find out that their favourite hero is suffering from depression; In the eyes of the fans, the footballer’s world is a tuff world with very strong characters. The club image can be affected also if its players are suffering from depression. Depression is very contagious in special in team sports and the club will remove the player from the team in order to keep the team safe and motivated.
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Is your child ready to play competitive football?

Sport Psychology Posted on Thu, February 08, 2018 10:15:23

By Giani Boldeanu

How to know if your child has the skills and qualities to become a professional player? First, you have to observe if your child number one interest is football. Discuss with your child very often to find out what he likes to do if she or he enjoys playing, training and learning about football.

Do they play football in their free time with their friends or on their own?
Are they eager to win when they are playing with their team?

Are they bored with the drills and techniques performed at the recreational teams?

Do they play better than their teammates?

Do you want them to become professional football, players?

Do you have the time and money to support them?

Do they like to watch football?

If the answers to all these questions are positive that means your child is ready for competitive football.

Younger kids can develop and perform the basic football skills very quick and easy without too much effort and training, this can give you the idea that your child has the skills to become a professional player.

If your child wants to become a professional football player and she/he shows a lot of interest in this sport. The clubs are scouting for players now from 5 years old. At this age is very difficult or impossible to say that you can spot a future professional player. Even at 12 /13 years old is still difficult to predict.The pathway to the professional football is long and difficult as you will find out later.

To support your child in becoming a professional player is not easy. You have to be their motivator. The pathway to success is not easy and you have to help them to be motivated and offer them a positive environment. You have to start to learn about the football game and its industry. You should attend the training sessions and games. Watch and learn everything in order to be able to understand the coaches and referees decisions and everything that is going in your child football life. By learning as much as it possible you can talk with your child after the games and training sessions about coaches’ feedback and referees decisions, you can share opinions about the games. Learning about the football game will allow you to assess your child’s progress also will give a boost of confidence by understanding what is going on.

You have to support and share their goal of becoming a professional football player. Your child football career should be your number one priority and you should offer them unconditional support. Their desire to succeed should be your desire also.

Attitude is everything in becoming a top football player

Sport Psychology Posted on Mon, February 05, 2018 21:42:40

By Giani Boldeanu

Several football players enquired what they have to do in order to become great players .
There are few things that make players successful; these things are not genetic and everyone can learn them and require no talent. In this article I will write about one of the qualities: Attitude .

What is attitude? Your disposition or state of mind , what you feel and think about something .
Attitude plays a very important part in our lives. Attitude can change our lives and behavior in a few seconds- your attitude can change the outcome of your actions. Attitude is infectious and can affect people around you in a good or bad way .

Hence, you have the option to be happy, positive and optimistic or you can be pessimistic and negative .
In every football team there are players who create a good atmosphere around themselves, bringing all players together in difficult moments. These players have the power to change the results through their positive attitude , most of the time they are the team captains. A positive attitude will give you rewards in all aspects of life: sport career, personal and public life, finance and health .

Talent without good/positive attitude will not make you a top player . Most of the coaches prefer players with a positive attitude and less talent. Why? Because very talented players have in most cases also a bad attitude and a difficult personality , are difficult to be trained and controlled and struggle to integrate and accommodate in new teams. Bad attitude of on player can destroy entire team.

You will probably of some players with bad attitude that became top players such as: Mario Balotelli , Suarez but there are also very talented players who vanished suddenly because of their attitude .

If you are a very talented player and you are not in the first team or you have been unsuccessful in trials probably your attitude is not the right one. Try to check your attitude and change.

Bad attitude means :
-verbal and physical aggression against team mates, opponents , coaches, managers, referees and fans .
– to blame your team for your mistakes and failures .
-negative thinking about your yourself and your team ;
– selfish attitude towards your team ;
– negative thinking ;
– negative believes ;
– loser attitude ;
– anxiety;
– disrespectful behavior with the team mates and coaches .
– frustration;
– disappointment;
And the list can continue …

Football is a team game and some players think that they are better than their team mates but the reality is different, without the team they will not be able to use their skills and achieve results. The players with good attitude are helping the team the ones with bad attitude will destroy the team.
Why do we have a bad attitude?

Comparing yourself or the way you play with others makes you fill the best or the worst in both cases will bring you a bad attitude. Why? Because it will give you a feeling of inferiority or superiority regarding your team mates. You should not compare yourself with others because every individual is different we can’t be all the same.

Unrealistic expectations from yourself and your teammates. Always try to keep your goals realistic. You can’t expect to win every game or every competition, someone should lose .

When the result do not end as you expected avoid a bad attitude. Instead, try to think in a positive way and get over quick towards the next game.

Unsolved conflicts with the team mates and coaches can have a bad impact on yourself , the team and club. Try to resolve your conflicts as quick is possible and in a nice manner, apologise even that it was not your fault.

Closing the conflict will give you peace of mind and will help you to have a positive attitude.Try to get over the conflict and forget about.

In conclusion, attitude is not something we are born with , it is not genetic. Our attitude is shaped by our life experiences, mentality, culture and self believes . The good thing is that we can change our attitude and became successful in all aspects of life.