In Part 1, For Best Results; Take Charge of Your Training, you learned that for effective training leading to maximum improvement in the minimum amount of time, you need to:
- Know your goals, and follow your plan.
- Take responsibility for your journey.
That in order to reach your dream, you need to have clear goals, and take charge of your figure skating journey. By sitting in the driver’s seat of your skating journey bus, you know that you are going in the right direction toward your ultimate goal.
In this segment, you will learn how to keep everyone important on your bus and on the right road to your goal:
- Get educated
- Communicate with your support team
- Take action, do the work
When you first start skating, you learned a lot from your coach about your sport beyond skills on the ice. You were a passenger on your skating bus journey, while your Coach and parents were the bus drivers.
Now you are older and have more experience in your sport. You have a better idea of what you want to accomplish and what you needed to do to reach your ultimate goal. It is time to start sharing the driver’s seat. Ask questions, participate more in the decision making and learn more about what you need to do to reach the goals you set for yourself.
Even if you have an exceptional coach, it is to your advantage to learn as much as you can about your sport. Start with asking your coach to direct you to where you can learn more information about the topic you are interested in.
Many Skating Organizations have magazines or digital mailing lists that you can sign up for. Visit your country’s organization or federation website and find out about issues that affect you.
- In the U.S.; United States Figure Skating (USFS).
- In Canada; Skate Canada (look for your region).
- The International Skating Union (ISU.org) will have information on world figure skating and rules for the Junior and Senior competitive levels.
You can find out how to get to the Senior Level from where you are now, upcoming events, athlete development, nutrition, fitness and sports parenting. All the rulebooks for tests and competition can be found here as well as how to get involved in your sport at the local level.
While I don’t recommend a parent or skater doing the coaches’ job, after all you pay them the big bucks for their knowledge and expertise, I do recommend knowing the information for your level at the minimum.
By knowing about what comes next, you can be prepared as you create your path to success with more clarity.
- Take seminars and workshops where available (run it by your coach first)
- Watch videos of great skaters
- Read sport specific/skating magazines
- Read autobiographies or interview of athletes
- Talk with other parents (remember to check out for yourself the information shared)
Communicate with your Support Team
Your coach is an expert. Use them as a resource. Tell them what your goal is and ask them for help building a plan. What would be the first thing to improve, then the next. Most coaches will be thrilled to help someone who is a self starter willing to work hard in a sport that they love too.
Your parents will support you and guide you. They might not know specifics about your sport, but they know about life and can give you the benefit of their knowledge.
Take Action, Do the Work, Stick to your Plan, Assess the Plan Periodically
It seems obvious, but all the goal setting and planning in the world get you anywhere if you don’t take action.
Every day you need to show up and do the work. Instead of just going through the motions. Pay attention to what you are doing and practice with the intention of improving.
If things don’t go the way you expect, you might be tempted to throw your hands up and scrap your goals.
Stop! You need to keep working your plan. When you have a well thought out plan based on accurate information from experts, you need to trust it.
Suspend judgement for a period of time while you work your plan.
A skater following her plan, who comes home every other day worrying that today’s triple lutz jumps were worse than the day before (and what’s wrong with me, I am not getting better), is not allowing time for the skill building process.
If she takes a closer look, maybe the “h” position of her leg (technique) is getting better, but that has temporarily thrown off her timing in another area. Once she gets used to the timing, the jump will improve.
The skater should suspend judgement for a few weeks, maybe a month depending on the length and difficulty of the goal. Then at the end of that period take an objective look at the jump to see what needs to be tweaked next.
Unless there is something very wrong with the plan in the first place, assessment and tweaking need to be used only after the athlete has had time to do the work.
Taking charge of your own goals puts you in the driver’s seat of your future:
Remember, just because you are the driver of your bus, you do not have to do it alone.
Swimmer Diana Nyad completed her record breaking swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida (over 110 miles) by herself (9/2013). But in her bus (boat?) was a team of 35 support crew to keep her safe during the grueling swim. No doubt she had many more on shore while she was preparing to reach her dream goal.
Athletes who get to the top do not get there on their own. There is always a busload of support behind them.
- Take your coaches, parents and support team with you on your journey.
- Listen and learn when they give you information.
- Ask questions.
- Communicate and share what you are doing.
- Ask for help.
- Seek out expert help to speed you on your way.
When you take charge of your training and sit in the driver’s seat, you will be able to see where you are going and when you need to adjust your course with little wasted time.
Read part 1: For Best Results; Take Charge of Your Training
If you are interested in learning how ICE Mental Game coaching can put you in the driver’s seat of your skating journey to excellence, contact us! We are here to help.
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