Figure skating requires great discipline and focus from the skater to get the performance right. To help you to stay calm and focused, it is a good idea to develop a fixed routine or set of rituals before you perform. Sticking to this in preparation for an event helps you to avoid disturbances and bring you peace and confidence. Such a routine include getting your regular amount of rest before you compete; determining what you eat and when; and taking the time you come for a competition, how long it takes you to get changed, the amount of time you spend on warm-up, and the time you spend on your mental preparation. Choose the time when you say goodbye to your friends and family, also from this point, onward concentrate on you and what you want to achieve. Following the same routine, each time helps you to obtain control of yourself.
Sports are often won or lost in mind. Among top-class athletes, who have great ability and technique, it is usually the person with the best mental preparation who goes on to win. Just as importantly, such preparation also reduces the number of injuries.
The reason for this is simple. Injuries often occur when competitors are not sufficiently focused or lack confidence in what they are doing. It can lead to poor technique, which for skaters can mean falls or tumbles under the stress of competition. Proper mental preparation improves your performance and reduces the possibility of injuries by ensuring that you are focused and that your technique is correct. And just as it is essential for competitions, it is fundamental for training, too.
MENTAL PREPARATION TECHNIQUES
One of the essential psychological techniques is to use what is often called “imagery.” You, the athlete, make a mental picture of what you are going to do during your performance. nothing is either good or bad, but that “thinking makes it so.” In the same way, if your mind is telling you that you are going to do poorly in a sport, the chances are that you indeed do poorly. On the other hand, Figure skater Beatrice Liang, seen here at the State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championship, shows the mental concentration essential for all successful skaters.
Swiss skating pair Daniel and Elaine Hugentobler, who are brother and sister, complete a freestyle dance routine on the ice in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
If your mind convinced you are going to do well, you become a much better success. Hence it is important that before an ice skating event and yet before training you imagine yourself doing your routines well. Here are some tips:
• Imagine you are on the ice rink or at the race. You are aware of the noise, crowds, other competitors, but are shutting all that out to concentrate on your performance.
• Imagine yourself going for an entire race or round, not just part of it. Visualize yourself doing every jump, turn, start, or bend, depending of course on what kind of ice skating event you are involved in.
• Inform yourself that each part of your performance will be excellent. Imagine yourself performing each technique correctly, with precision, with power, and with perfect timing.
• If you are preparing for a race, imagine yourself heading for the line, perhaps coming from behind or possibly leading from the front—but, in each case, getting to the line first.
• If you have had an injury—in a leg or foot, for example—imagine yourself putting the strain on that leg or foot during the event and then finding that it’s okay.
• Inform yourself that you will perform each part of your exercise great, that you are relaxed and focused—and that you are going to do well.
If you can manage this, the winning should take care of itself! What’s more, you will find that your confidence and self-awareness is increased, as well as your focus, it helps you to avoid many of the injuries associated with your movements.
While using these simple mental techniques, it is essential to acknowledge other styles of helping yourself to perform and prevent injuries. You may have a coach, and a real one will be able to help you in every move. The coach will evaluate your technique and way, work on your speed and power, and inform you on small changes in moves or tactics that can help improve your performance. A good coach is a valuable source of feedback on what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. it needs an outsider to recognize your weaknesses and help you to correct them perfectly.
A coach should also help you improve your confidence. To do it, you need to be mutual trust between you and your coach. Trust and assurance is a two-way thing. You need to listen and respect your coach’s opinions in the same direction that your coach will listen to your advice and remarks. It can take a short time to build up this connection, so work at it and make sure you meet your side of the deal. A different crucial factor is honesty with yourself. You do not regularly love what your coach is telling because no one enjoys criticism, although you have to ask yourself if the criticism is right. Deep down, if you may know it is correct, if then, there is no point in complaining about it! The thing an athlete can never allow himself to do is to lie.
It is also imperative that modern skaters read books or watch instruction videos and DVDs. Ice skating books may not be as valuable as having a coach, and they cannot explain to you if skaters surely learn a lot from single practice, it is the advice of a hands-on coach that can make all the difference to your movements.
The small track speed skater needs to be energetic as well as speedy. Competitors were facing each other, not on the clock, so timing your finish is essential. Some athletes favour to lead from the front and set a quick pace, believing that their power and health will affect down the rest of the ice skaters. A different tactic is to hold back just behind the front ice skaters, saving energy, and next to race for the line. Another tactic is to interchange between short sprints and hanging back, in the belief that this will interrupt a competitor’s strategy.
During all events, you should be inside the head two or three places with just four or five laps to go. Catching or passing, which requires exceptional expedition, balance, and agility, becomes harder as the race moves to its climax. You are permitted to push your competitors! The ice skater has the right to usage. Therefore it is the player who must avoid anybody’s touch. Purposely pushing, pressing, or colliding with an opponent will lead to disqualification.
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