A secret behind the Frosinone Football Team

One thing has to be said about the players of Frosinone Football Team: they run till the last minute and they run happy.

Surely to arrive into the Premier League coming from a small center in Ciociaria, a wonderful region known outside of Italy for the famous movie with Sofia Loren, is not a small dream, and there is something else. It is a poetic message to the superpower of finance and TV rights that consider the arrival of small football teams known only among their communities to be a “disaster”.

I had the privilege to be able to “nibble” the sweetness of this ‘poem’ tasting the fruits as they were maturing. I have known Michele Pirelli, the sports doctor of the Frosinone Football Team for several years, as he was my doctor and every time that I visited him he kept me updated on what was happening with the team. Usually I went to talk about horses and dressage and I always found myself listening to edicts on the players’ diets based on their DNA and their personal tastes. I tried to change the subject to horse-riding yet each time I received advice on how to be ready to “appreciate the moment” mainly the sport moment: where every event is unique and each has to be finely appreciated in depth.

An oriental philosophist, Michele is a doctor who loves his job and karate. He chose Sports Medicine to better scientifically understand what the Japanese Philosophy could teach him about the relationship between the human body, the mind and the performance of athletes. Shin (mind), Ki (heart, energy) e Tai (body, technic).

After the recent promotion of Frosinone Football Team, I met with him and asked what were the secrets behind this success and about his role in the team. He answered Ichi-go Ichi-e (one chance in a lifetime), words that in Japan were used as subtitle of the movie Forrest Gump.

In martial arts this is used to exhort students to not be negligent, to not ‘change horses in mid-stream’ to ’never give up’ but to “try again”, learning from mistakes. Not only because in a fight for ‘life or death’, there is no other possibility than to “try again”, but also to be ready to enjoy every event because it is unique and special in life.

Michele brought this philosophy to sport medicine and with this oriental dedication and perfection he takes care of players: “each player is a complex machine, at the professional level and to obtain better performances you need to work on details and give attention to the mind, emotions and body. My first approach is to be the “social doctor”, the family doctor of the players so to never separate the different parts of a player, an holistic approach to the man in whom the player is only the visible expression”

In these words I felt I could be part of the dream of this group of players for whom Michele’s dedication, love and professionalism has contributed to the dream of Premier League.

Ichi-go Ichi-e Frosinone!