Third, rather trivial, tip:

Find a Way to Focus

Everyone can find their own personal way to keep focused through a day of competition; I listen to music and avoid interactions. During competitions I talk very little and I keep to myself listening to music, music that gives me special feelings, that is lively and, at the same time, reflects my state of mind on those particular occasions.

One of the songs I listen to most is Dancer by Killers. I do not know the English language well, but there are a few sentences that I catch that build my confidence: “I did my best”, which is what I always ask myself on important tests. The rythm is important as well: “Are we human or are we dancers?”, where you can substitute the word “dancer” with whatever you like. It reminds me of a quote from Totò (who was a very famous Italian actor, comedian, writer, poet, singer and lyricist): “Are We Men or Corporals?”. That sentence represents a personal question to myself “Am I ready?” and, above all. “Have I practiced enough?”

Another song that kept me company is The Sound Of Sunshine by Jovanotti (with Michael Franti), which is kind of funny since it is completely different style from the music I usually listen to. I like this song’s rythm, though, and some sentences helped me see things from the right point of view and decrease the pressure I feel before a competition.

I wake up in the morning and it's six o'clock
They say there may be rain but the sun is hot

There’s always a reason to smile and again…

Some days you lose you win... it’s funny
So I jump back into where I learned to swim

Those who know me are aware that I think one needs a good deal of luck to win a competition; there are days when luck is with us and days when it is not. What is certain is that our mental attitude can help and increase our share of luck.

So find a way to keep a strong focus and maintain it throughout the competition, that can last all day, in the case of a European Championship.

A fun story

I have a pleasant memory from the EIC in Andorra, in 2011: on Saturday’s individual competition the unbeatable Andy Watson defeated me. On Sunday I decided to walk to the Sports Hall for the teams’ competition, rather than taking the bus. On the half an hour walk I listened to Jovanotti’s Sunshine and, between the rythm and making the words “Some days you loose some days you win … it’s funny, I can’t swim but I take a dive” my own, I reached the right energy to face the team competition, which I always loved, and so I led Italy’s team to its third victory.

iaido e musica zanoni


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