On Thursday May 25, in Lausanne (Switzerland), the ” La tête du sportif ” forum took place, dedicated to the health and mental preparation of athletes. The event is organized by Le Réseau Santé & Sport, an association of doctors in French-speaking Switzerland founded over 20 years ago with the support of IBSA, now a Platinum Sponsor.
The Sailing into the Future project was presented at this forum. Together, during a day devoted to the mental and physical health of athletes which saw the participation of over 80 professionals from the sector, including sports doctors, physiotherapists and opinion leaders.
The event provided the opportunity for an interesting debate on the role of the mind in the pursuit of optimum performance, and in managing the stress and trauma to which athletes may be subjected along the way. To round off the day, Alberto Bona – skipper of the Class40 IBSA – shared his experience of preparing for long periods of single-handed sailing in extreme conditions.
Alberto explained how mental preparation is a key element in training for a regatta, and goes hand in hand with physical preparation: “Mental preparation is an area I’ve devoted a lot of time to as a professional athlete, sometimes being accompanied, particularly this year, by different professionals who are able to support me in this process”, he explained. Alberto. It’s important to know that pressure and stress, in major projects like ours or in high-level competitions, can become a real obstacle and prevent you from giving the best of yourself. So it’s essential to work on several levels, so that you can train and navigate without being overwhelmed by your surroundings.”
Working on concentration and stress management and how improve awarenessAll this helps the athlete to perform more efficiently, while saving time and energy, two fundamental factors when it comes to tackling long, difficult events such as those to which Alberto is accustomed.
When we talk about mental strength,” continues Bona, “we usually think of the head, but I believe that the energy and motivation needed to achieve sporting performance lie more in our unconscious, our irrational side, our stomach, where the forces we need and with which we feed our spirit are really to be found. That’s why I wanted to learn how to channel these energies: to succeed in always making the most of all my strength, both physical and mental.”
The event also featured a talk by Fabio Bernardi, Senior Marketing & Sales Manager at IBSA Swiss, on the genesis of the “Sailing into the Future. Together” project, which perfectly reflects the company’s values. It was a large-scale event, presenting the project to a highly specialized audience.