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Every figure skater wants an advantage in competitions.
Have you ever wondered…
- How do elite figure skaters prepare for competitions?
- How can I manage the stress of competitions?
- What can I do to stand out from the rest?
Elite figure skaters have provided a road map to success. These elite skaters have battled some of the same issues that are in front of you: mistakes on the ice, difficulty learning new skills and anxiety in competition.
The key to win those internal battles is to increase your level of mental toughness.
Mental strength gives you:
- The ability to focus on your routine after a slight bobble.
- The courage to get up after falling and finish your routine strong.
- The confidence to manage your anxiety just before stepping onto the ice.
- The push to practice harder when learning new skills instead of becoming frustrated.
By replicating the mindset of the world’s best figure skaters, you can achieve greater success in the sport.
Former US figure skater Parker Pennington once observed that the top figure skaters prepared as much mentally as they did physically for competitions.
It was at that moment that Pennington decided to add mental training to his daily training regimen despite being an accomplished nationally-ranked skater.
PENNINGTON: “The best athletes in any sport don’t become the best because they are the best physical specimens. They are the best because they are the most prepared, both physically and mentally.”
Pennington enlisted the help of sport psychologist Dr. Jack J. Lesyk to improve his mental preparation prior to the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Lesyk understands that figure skating is a challenging sport and believes the difference between a good skater and a great skater can lie in a skater’s mental toughness.
LESYK: “Figure skating is very mentally demanding and the judges critique every element of the performance to the tips of the skater’s toes. Perfectionism, stress and performing alone on the ice are all factors that can negatively impact a skater’s performance.”
If you want to achieve more in figure skating, it is critical for you to work hard and develop the necessary physical and mental toughness to succeed on the ice.
Try these tips to develop world-class mental toughness:
Work to develop your mental toughness like you do with your physical skills. Find a mental training coach and commit to develop the skills necessary to produce consistently better performances. There are no quick fixes or shortcuts when it comes to success… it requires work.
Be patient with changes. Select 1-2 mental skills to improve, for example, managing anxiety and confidence. You can’t over-haul your entire mental game at once. By focusing on 1-2 aspects of your mental game, you can turn those areas into assets.
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