“Wellness Psychology” according to Leonardo Milani, Mental Trainer of the Frecce Tricolori
Introducing Leonardo Milani
Psychologist and trainer of well-being psychology, the cognitive study he founded at the end of Eighties.
In the Nineties, he started the collaboration with the Military Aeronautic Forces as trainer of Interior Leadership at the Airforce School. In 2002 he became Mental Trainer of the Italian Acrobatic Patrol, the Frecce Tricolori , after he had experimented acrobatic flight on the vehicles of the Patrol, with the aim of developing techniques for the management of energies and operative stress. The Ministry of Defence (Inspectorate of Flight Safety) charged him with training in the field of accidents prevention through mental performance optimization techniques. In this field, he published a essay on the subject: “Accidents prevention, psychophysical performances optimization techniques”. He was Professor of “Organizational Psychology” in the Aeronautic Science Degree Courses at the University of Florence.
As an expert, he collaborates with highly important tv and radio broadcast programmes on Rai Television, such as “Tg Due Salute”, “Medicina33”; and for services on personal enhancement the meson Rai Sport, Skysport and Radiouno. He collaborates with numerous magazines with services and interviews on the theme of well-being. He also cooperates in the training of national and international athletes, particularly footballers and racing pilots.
Information about yourself allowing us a better knowledge of your person.
I started working on the psychology and psychiatry themes in relation to high performances in 1977. I do not practice as a clinical psychologist and I have been a trainer in the mental dynamic field through techniques and instruments applicable in personal development. With the aim to transmit them to others through my lessons, I self-experimented those techniques of when I ran the flat 100 meters in the time of 10’41”, while training in the Carabinieri track-and-field sports group.
I am married and have two daughters. My wife works as emotional coach and has been a great support for my profession.
You created the definition “well-being psychology”, can you explain its meaning to us?
I elaborated and patented the method of well-being psychology in 1989. It particularly focuses on well-being techniques, a method derived from cognitive-experimental psychology, but deepening a valid development and enhancement in both self-perception and emotions. I published the book “La psicologia del benessere” (“Well-being Psychology”) in 2004, as the sole publication of the method I have taught in my courses with many collaborators.
Which are the proper mental attitudes to understand and enhance our relationship with others?
There are two, in particular:
Listening to, understand and not answering (quote from Alberto Bordina, my collaborator)
Accepting opinions and, most of all, the one different from ours, without judgement and absolute convictions.
Which are the winning mental attitudes to enhance a sport performance?
You should have talent and technical knowledge, but you should also have a realistic positive mental attitude in a condition of relaxation and equilibrium. The techniques we have created for this purpose work on one’s self perception. In fact, negative thoughts are an individual’s worst enemy: our limits are not represented by what we know or do not know, but by what we think it is the truth.
Do you think a Mental Trainer should be prepared before his training sessions?
Certainly yes, I do! You have always to study scientific updates and evaluate every single case because every person is unique. Generalizations are not applicable to everyone of us.
Which are the differences and analogies in the training of a football player or a Frecce Tricolori pilot or a Formula One pilot?
A pilot needs clarity of mind and perfection in all his operations and in driving, in addition to his great efforts. The substantial difference is: he pays with his life his errors. A footballer can certainly be more relaxed!
Which values are transmitted in the training of personalities representative and exemplary for millions of people?
We try to communicate the sense of honesty and duty because a famous and renowned person should be an example for everyone. This fact does not always happen and often the enormous profits cancel values (a recent case is the one of Donnarumma and AC Milan). In my experience, nobody – even when reputed too rich – without values can really be happy; apart from the fact that economical resources are important! Frecce Tricolori pilots are different. They earn standard salaries, but they have an extraordinary sense of duty and patriotism. Passion and excellence are the engines of their motivations.
Can Frecce Tricolori pilots feel their role as representative of Italian excellence?
Definitely. They are aware of their institutional role and their behaviour as representatives is one we rarely can see, not even in the Hall of Parliament. Excellence becomes a frame of mind that calls to act as good as we can, starting from the very first time. Notwithstanding this and all the social recognition, every pilot selected to become member of this team has a tangible personal and professional deference.
In your opinion, why is such an event as Valore Tricolore, celebrating the Italian identity in its various features, so important?
Listening to the voice of national pride and renovating those values often hidden inside ourselves is extremely necessary.
If a person can enhance its social and sports performances by working on the mind / body relationship, how can a society be enhanced in its evolution towards a deeper awareness?
When a person is enhanced and can see the world around with self-consciousness, a sense of own realization and awareness of own identity, with relevant reasons, deepens. This awareness helps us to feel self-gratitude and also gratitude towards people who helped us in our growth. It also increases the tolerance perception and facilitates a better relationship with the others, whatever they are, members of our family or colleagues. Anger, anxiety or resentment kill feelings and create false priorities and organism diseases.
A positive effect is created also in people around us, when we give ourselves to others in a peaceful way.