March 8, 2021In Uncategorized17 Minutes


In a world that is moving ever faster, the ability to attract and concentrate attention has become the real strength of some and the dilemma of others.

My kids don’t pay attention when I talk!”

I have difficulty making people understand the task, they aren’t used to concentrating!

You will have said or heard it a million times. In fact, whatever your job or role, coach, teacher, office manager, manager, whatever person you are called to manage, you cannot underestimate the “power of communication”. Those who coach know how little time they have to get a message across, because the players are not interested in philosophy, but in activity.

How is the attentional process triggered?

Attention is like lighting a fire :  “First you need leaves, twigs, which are easily flammable. Then move on to larger pieces of wood, until you end up with a nice bonfire…. When the fire crackles, then you have to look for a way to fuel it.” It is necessary to attract short and unconscious attention, which runs out immediately if it is not nourished with long attention, which is long-lasting and resides in knowledge.

In 2016 an American journalist, Ben Parr, became popular with a text entitled “The science of attention”. In a simple and intuitive way, he gave examples of how there are only 7 rules to attract the attention of others. They can all be learned and applied in every field of life, including football training methodology. For example, the “reputation rule” makes those who use it more credible. “today we will try the trick that Cristiano Ronaldo learned, when he was your age”, & nbsp; has a value and a coefficient of people’s attention, higher than that of “today we will do the fake scissors”. We experience it every day, when the expert popularizer quotes the Greek philosopher or the scientist of the early 20th century; or the politician who justifies his measures, relying on this or that scientific and medical committee. Clearly in the long run, skills are needed to explain, demonstrate, apply, correct, increase intensity, otherwise a boomerang effect is created which causes credibility to collapse, even for a long time.  

But the initial flame that lights up is decisive.

It is not a hymn to appearing rather than being, but it is a study in the fact that, if attention is not attracted at the beginning, communication has a good chance of being interrupted or ineffective immediately.

We have always known that only 7% of our communication is verbal, while the remainder is paraverbal or non-verbal. Some studies and in some areas, these percentages have no value, but the statement that “it is impossible not to communicate!” is certainly true. Our every gesture, our every word, expression, comment, denotes who we are and what we are thinking, regardless of what we are saying. Here the modern coach will have to work a lot on himself, to acquire the “art of communication” which sometimes is also combined with the “art of silence” (Dinouart) and  “the art of humility”. (St. Augustine).

Communication becomes effective if it embodies empathy. It is a Greek word that translates as “to step into another’s shoes”. 

Who was the most “empathetic” coach in history?

Don Bosco, now San Giovanni Bosco, lived in the nineteenth century. A country priest who cared about boys. He lived in a devastated, poor Turin, where children were abandoned on the streets, exploited for menial, tiring and underpaid jobs. It was a fight for survival, so delinquency was the order of the day. Don Bosco went around the streets, horrified by what was visible to him, trying to do something to save those poor young lives. He was not interested in converting them. He just wanted to make them live with dignity, with legitimate activity and a perspective on the future. He then set up a space in the back of the church, where he taught them a job, entertained them with stories or games, and gave them something to eat. At that moment the oratory as we know it today was born. Upon his death, now famous throughout the world with his Salesian works, some journalists showed up at the church. They asked his “his” boys for information and incredibly every one of them claimed to be “his favorite”. Don Bosco had within himself a unique art, a precious stone of the great misters, which is empathy. He made everyone feel special, he paid attention to everyone but to a different extent, personalizing his emotional relationship with each one, so that each boy felt he was: “his favorite”.  

 If we had players, certain that each one of them, sincere and not artificial, was our favorite element, what could we do with them? what would be their level of attention towards us?

This is the key to solving the age-old problem: “I have a group of heterogeneous elements, some with little talent, others who will never play football (?!), how do I train them: all together or divided into groups ?”. Well in a world of 7 billion inhabitants, it is impossible to find two temperamentally and qualitatively identical, even looking for twins. Here the key is to treat everyone, for what they are, without trying to standardize the individual, but rather enhancing them.

In the post-pandemic, post-lockdown period, which in young people has been reduced to a sort of “house arrest”, the lack of relationships, of human contact in the presence, of empathy, the skill of the technicians, each for different groups of age. The challenge to rebuild what has been destroyed will be to soothe the wounds and dissolve the moral scars that have inevitably been created. Communication skills will be able to attract attention, stimulate execution, enhance success, at whatever level it is achieved.

How does the engagement process work?

Months of physical and relational inactivity have given even more space to technology and keyboard sports. Not everyone knows that the main basis of video games is the stimulus to increase the administration of dopamine. The reward of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter released by the brain during pleasant situations, creating a kind of addiction, is the reason why the structure of video games is very well calibrated. The first levels are relatively simple and intuitive, to stimulate a significant release of dopamine, thus creating the need for completion. Then the levels increase in difficulty and the concept of mystery is introduced. Another great “weapon” to capture attention, mystery serves to create that irresistible pathos, which makes us truly glued to the screen. Those who create video games know this, and clearly apply it in a more or less massive way. It is a very strong communication technique, to attract the attention of those in front of you. In sport, in football, post-pandemic we will have a great advantage: the kids will have a great desire to return to the open air, to find their teammates and coaches. The problem could be, if we subject them to a series of excessive difficulties, levels that are too difficult to overcome, a lower production of dopamine than they would have, staying at home in front of a console. This is why the coach’s communication skills will be able to make the difference in the certain number of dropouts from sporting activity, which all psychologists predict, after this educational catastrophe linked to Covid-19. 

How to allow high dopamine production? how can we motivate them even when faced with some difficulties caused by fatigue, to which they are no longer accustomed?

Three years ago, after a lot of research and some courses followed, I codified 18 fundamental rules, so that training, preparation for the competition, and exercise proposals always reach the minds and hearts of the kids, making the activity engaging, but also very practical. The result was a publication, “the 18 rules for practical and engaging training”, which was at the top of the sector’s sales rankings for a long time. He has received several compliments from those who, by trying the specified techniques and applying them on the field, have drawn significant and evident benefits from them, immediately after a few training sessions.

Alongside the 18 rules, some practical proposals have been developed on how to apply them in communicative terms, but also with practical exercises: a game for little ones, a simple position game and a complex position game to be applied for all categories. All multiplied 18 times, thus being able to use them “just in time”.

Where can you learn communication techniques?

Dynamics of communication, marketing, team building and leadership techniques that take inspiration from scientific studies on the brain, on attentional dynamics, on neuroscience studies, on empathy and on emotions applied to football, but also to all other sports, make it a one-of-a-kind book. 

 The 18 rules provide excellent ideas in managing and communicating with employees, collaborators, colleaguesghe and children, as well as your players.

There are myriads of paper publications, ebooks, videos, tutorials, specialized sites, consultants who have produced tons of proposals aimed at technical, tactical and physical developments. Lots of proposals on modules and systems, inactive balls, training methods (coerver, tips, ssd, position games, rondos, etc.). 

Do you remember that commercial that stuck in your head for days and today, years later, so much so that you only need to hear the beginning to reconnect everything?

The last decade, perhaps something more, has highlighted a change in trend in mass communication and therefore in the process of capturing attention. The advertising of the past, remember, talked about “get 3, pay 2”, “which one would you choose between this product and that”, etc. This is what is called rational marketing. Today, we see on TV commercials which are short films, glossy with soft music and colours, which recall happy, family, welcoming, peaceful times, etc. The commercials are so well constructed that after 30 seconds, we still haven’t understood which product they are talking about (rule of mystery), but we are fascinated by them. On the other hand, we are projected emotionally, into an engaging, pleasant environment, almost an intoxication that disorientates us. We convince ourselves, on a subliminal level, that that product is ideal for us, that it can solve our problems. Inevitably, at the entrance to a shopping centre, our gaze falls on THAT product, so artfully packaged, that it makes the TV jingle resonate in our brains. And at that point we buy THAT! Then the emotional sphere drops, once we get home we rationalize, understanding if we have done things correctly. The emotional sphere and the art of recalling it represents the present and future of communication, teaching and education. The teacher who has the most attention is the one who best animates the class, who makes them travel with their imagination, without disdaining teaching, and who will have the most attracted and involved students, those who will remember her for their entire lives. He has absolute mastery of the subject, but in presenting it, he almost doesn’t notice what he is transmitting, so closely is the logical thread connected. The knowledge that captures us most, at all levels, are those in which the storytelling is engaging, touching all 7 basic emotions.

What will communication be like in the near future?  

It is the great challenge that awaits us: as always, great preparation of the specific subject (technical, tactical and physical) is needed, but above all great sensitivity in the relational, emotional and communicative ones.

Because we all teach every day and we all learn every day: you just need to always be connected with your interlocutors!

A course that covers these topics and can be applied immediately in the field?

 Would you be interested in an effective communication course? The topic, as you will have understood, is vast and very engaging. With TACTICALPEDIA we are studying an ad hoc path, which will be able to specifically analyze the 18 rules and their practical applications. Many examples of how to apply them and also a small communication laboratory, which will enable participants to truly enter the world of effective sports communication. Examples and ideas for all ages, in particular those of those enrolled in the course, who will be an active part. I look forward to seeing many of you!

March 8, 2021In Uncategorized17 Minutes