Focusing on a Clean Performance in Skating
What is the difference between a clean routine and a perfect routine in figure skating?
A clean program is a routine where your jumps are high, cover a lot of ground, fully rotated, tight aesthetically with pleasing air positions.
A perfect routine is one with absolutely no flaws. A routine that cannot be improved upon at all… A perfect just doesn’t exist!
The goal for your routine, a clean program or a perfect program, will affect your mindset.
When your aim is a clean routine, you focus on performing each element and each jump to the best of your abilities. You may feel jittery but you feel ready, confident and composed.
A shaky landing or a fall will still be disappointing but you are quickly able to move on to the next aspect of your program.
When you demand a perfect routine from yourself, you have no tolerance for mistakes. Setting your sights on perfection creates tremendous anxiety.
Instead of focusing on hitting your jumps, you will focus on NOT screwing up your jumps. The slightest flaw in your program will send you on a downward spiral of making more mistakes, overthinking elements in your program and under performing.
Patrick Chan, the three-time figure skating world champion and three-time Olympian, started off the 2018 Olympic Games with a shaky program.
Chan, admittedly, has under performed in each of his previous Olympics. Chan’s poor fortune has continued at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
Chan fell on his first jump, an attempted quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination. Chan had a shaky landing on his next jump, the triple lutz, then fell a second time after a triple axel.
Chan attributed his poor performance to a mixture of nerves and having to compete unusually early in the morning.
Maybe there was something greater at play for Chan… Maybe his biggest nemesis was perfection.
CHAN: “When I stepped on the ice in the last two Olympics, I felt defensive. I felt very fearful of making a mistake. The biggest moment in our lives, the biggest stage in our lives, we want to be perfect, right?”
Chan’s thinking is flawed…
Being fearful of making mistakes and skating defensively are directly caused by aiming for perfection. It is stressful, at any competition, to skate under the high expectations of perfection.
As if perfection wasn’t stressful enough, a competition of Olympic magnitude fans the fires of stress.
Performing to your ability, in the biggest moment of your life, on the biggest stage, requires you to perform freely and rely on your instincts and skate in the moment.
In order to skate a clean program, you must overcome the belief that you need to be perfect to achieve great results.
How to Focus on a Clean Program:
I tell my skating students to think about performing a good program that they have done in practice–not a perfect one. This can take off the pressure of doing your best program ever.
Think about a clean program you’ve done in practice, not your best, and performing functionally is much preferred to trying to be perfect.
You don’t have to have a perfect routine, you only need to trust your skills from practice.
Discover Mental Strategies For Peak Performance!
You (or your athlete) might be the most skilled figure skater and train harder or longer than anyone else, but if you can’t take your practice performance to competition, you simply will not reach your true potential in figure skating.
Learn the top 8 mental game lessons to improve focus, composure, and confidence!
Discover proven mental game secrets to unstoppable confidence in practice and competition.
Figure Skaters: Get the mental edge by learning how to take control of your confidence, mentally prepare for competition, and perform with composure under pressure.
Coaches: Boost your figure skater’s confidence using simple, proven mental strategies.
Parents: Help boost your athlete’s performance. Don’t let their mind hold them back any longer.
Mental Coaches: Learn a proven system for helping your athletes boost mental toughness.
What are mental coaching customers saying?
“I wanted to write you and tell you how thankful I am for all the help on my mental game you gave me. I took first place at states in my division and had no worries going into my final performance. You helped me change my mental game completely and it showed at my state competition. Thank you for everything.”
“It was amazing!!! Before the show, I really felt like I was becoming the part. I was oddly calm, which concerned me because I thought my nerves might kick in on stage! But, they didn’t! I stayed focused in each moment, and remained calm, and actually did the difficult tricks better than I ever have! My coaches were all so proud of me and the one who I know the best was marveling at my calm, poised manner throughout the ballet. They said it seemed like I was doing it for the 15th time, I looked so comfortable. This is the result of my work with you! You gave me the tools to tackle this huge mountain of a role, step by step! I am beyond happy!”
~Professional Ballerina, Student of Dr. Cohn in 2013
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“I just wanted to let you know that my son skated this weekend at our Regional’s Competition. He worked his mental game and everything you taught him. He skated two wonderful programs and scored a personal best. Thank you for your wonderful training. He had the right focus and had so much fun at this competition. As a parent is it so wonderful to see the difference from last year to this year.”
~Pam, Skating Parent
“Your work with my son Taylor has really helped him perform better under pressure. Your coaching is so good that I don’t want our competitors to find out about our secret weapon: Dr. Cohn!”
~Kevin Johnson, Taylor’s Father
Download our figure skating mental training audio program: 5 Tips to Help Perfectionist Figure Skaters
- The top challenges for perfectionist figure skaters
- Why perfectionist skaters under perform in competition
- 5 tips to help figure skaters manage perfectionism
Download our free figure skating mental training audio program: 5 Tips to Help Perfectionist Figure Skaters