Figure Skating Practice Part 2: Mind over Matter
By mastering the mental aspects of figure skating, you will advance to new skills quicker and more confidently.
How to practice being mentally strong
Successfull figure skating begins with strong a mind. The mental aspect of an athlete is half the battle of becoming successful; self-motivated, discipline, positive attitude are the three mental aspects that help you find success in your figure skating. Focusing and grasping these three mental aspects when training, will help you to succeed in figure skating. Figure skating is a demanding sport; emotionally, physically and socially. You spend hours on the ice every day, having to make sacrifices to allow more time to train, the physical ware you put your body through everyday. Having your mental mind set all aligned, will set you apart from your competition.
Mind over matter comes from within, are you self-motivated, discipline and have the right attitude to achieve your goals as a figure skater. Many figure skaters set goals that they aren’t able to achieve because they don’t have the right mind set to achieve these goals. Having the right mind-set allows you to succeed and reach your goals at any level of figure skating.
Self-motivation – on & off the ice
When becoming a figure skater you set goals whether you are aware of them or not. You have developed in your mind some things you hope to accomplish. Maybe you want to advance to the higher levels or compete at a regional or national event. Maybe you dream is to land an Axle, or double Axle. On a sports team, you have teammates holding you accountable and pushing you to your full potential. But in figure skating it is a one person team, you have to hold yourself accountable and push yourself to your full potential. This is where self-motivation is key to become successful in your figure skating. You don’t have a lot of outside factors motivating you, so when fighting to reach your goals, self-motivated is very important as a figure skater.
Some days you wont want to be at the rink for multiple hours after you have spent seven hours at school all day. But thats when you have to motivate your self to want to reach your goals at practice to want to go 100% on the ice and leave it all out on the ice to achieve your goals.
Self-motivation is not from external stimuli, its the internal stimuli. Your self-motivation is a direct result of your thoughts and emotions. When your emotions and thoughts are aligned to achieve your goals, you are unstoppable. Unstoppable self-confidence lifts you when external factors are getting you down. It allows you to block out the noise and continue striving for your goals.
Self-motivation comes from within, sometimes you go out on the ice and don’t always have a coach by your side. Thats when self-motivation comes in hand, you think about what you want to accomplish right at the moment that helps you strive towards your end goal.
Self-Discipline – not always people’s favorite word
Staying discipline teaches you the value of hard work. Working towards a figure skating goal, requires a tremendous amount of discipline to reach those goals. No matter what figure skating level you are at, you always have to stay discipline, you are continuously working on a goal to achieve.
Discipline is an essential foundation for any sport. Discipline helps build an athlete’s character to help set their minds to follow through and achieve goals. Your perseverance with your actions, behavior, and thoughts lead to success and allow you to achieve your goals on the ice. Discipline is key to developing and becoming successful in any sport. Its the ability to continue and not give up when failures acquire, staying self-disciplined with your actions, behavior and thoughts will allow you to overcome obstacles you face.
Learning discipline on the ice also transfers to off the ice, making sacrifices to become successful in your figure skating journey. As an athlete you have to make a lot of sacrifices; social life, television, unhealthy foods/activities. It will be difficult at first but understanding how staying discipline will benefit you and you will see your figure skating improve everytime you are on the ice.
Being an athlete you learn many life lessons that you can apply through out life. One of those life lessons is discipline. Discipline teaches you the value of hard work, being able to achieve anything in life will require hard work. Getting good grades, getting into colleges, getting your dream job, all require you to set short and long term goals and be discipline to achieve these goals.
Keeping a positive attitude – no matter what happens!
Maintaining a positive attitude through the ups and downs of your figure skating journey, is an important aspect of to remember. Positive attitude allows you to overcome self doubts, instilling confidence in your self and becoming consistent in your skating. Many athletes are unaware of how negative or positive thoughts influence their performance. But maintaning a postive and realistic atttude, will pave teh way to reaching your skating goals.
Every figure skater at some point in there career face self doubt, maybe you didn’t do as well as as expected in a competition or you didn’t master a skill when you expected too. Acknowledging self doubt is one of the most important steps when going through a tough time. After acknowledging any self doubt you need to take action – how are you going to get back on track? The most important factor when faced with self doubt is staying positive. Negative thoughts or attitudes can increase stress and anxiety, eventually resulting in poor performance. When you have self doubt it is easy to continue in a negative spiral but persevering and staying positive will allow you to continue to succeed.
Figure skating practice is more than skating, it is practicing developing positive, healthy thoughts and attitudes.
Instilling confidence within your self is all about attitude, if you don’t have a positive attitude about your figure skating abilities, you will not have confidence within your self. Positive thinking and self confidence go hand in hand. Having confidence within your skating abilities dictates how successful you will perform. Keeping a positive attitude allows you to bounce back from negative experiences such as failures, errors or injuries much quicker. Allowing your confidence and positive attitude take control of a negative situation.
The consistency of your skating is correlated with your positive attitude. Skating consistently everyday isn’t received, its a mindset, it develops by maintain the same positive attitude over time. Consistent performance starts with consistency in your mental preparation, preparing with a positive attitude of knowing you can execute the performance. Your positive attitude of mental preparation and positive mind set lead to consistent skating on the ice.