Figure Skating Improvement Plan to Avoid Frustration

How to Improve your Figure Skating Performance

Significant improvement is the reason figure skaters practice every day for hours to reach higher levels.

Making improvement requires that you remain focused and temper expectations…

Having high expectations that you should master new skills in a short amount of time will lead to disappointment. Motor learning is not that easy.

Making mistakes when performing new skills in competition can lead to resignation.

Trying to execute perfect jumps can be met with overwhelming frustration.

Comparing your routines to top skaters’ routines can hurt your confidence.

Significant improvement takes small steps, patience and perspective.

Expecting too much, too easily or too quickly is counter-productive to improvement.

Here are a few tips to improving athletic performance with less frustration:

  1. Be patient. Too often skaters abandon working on the skill if they don’t see progress after a few weeks of practice. Mastering skills requires patience and repetition in order to automate new skills. In addition, mastering skills requires mistakes. Mistakes are a step in the learning progression that move you closer to eventually nailing that skill in competition
  2. Manage high expectations. Shoot for improvement not perfection. Perfection creates stress, tension and an inability to focus on what is happening in the moment. If you stay focused on gradual progress, give yourself a break when you mess up and credit yourself for incremental improvement, you can build confidence and stay motivated in the process.
  3. Keep the focus on you. If you constantly compare yourself to other skaters, you will always feel second-best. Significant improvement is a matter of you being better today than you were yesterday.
  4. Have confidence in your abilities. Many skaters fail to improve because they don’t believe they have the ability to develop the skills in the first place. Confidence is more than just the belief about your ability to perform a skill in the present. Confidence is also your belief that you have what it takes, mentally and physically, to learn new skills.
  5. Adjust, not overhaul. Significant improvement doesn’t mean a complete overhaul on your technique. Small adjustments can lead to significant improvement.

If you can stay focused on these aspects, you will dramatically improve as a figure skater.

Significant improvement is exactly what 16 year-old Japanese figure skater Rika Kihira is seeking, even after a successful first season on the senior international circuit.

Kihira won six of her seven individual events at international meets and is looking to improve her routines by adding more technical and difficult jumps.

KIHIRA: “I want to be able to nail a quad jump before the start of next season. I need to build up not only my core strength but my lower body as well… I need to keep doing the things I’ve been doing and not change the way I skate. I want to take on new challenges, but I need to maintain stability. It’s no use if I change what I’ve been doing.”

Kihira has a sound approach towards improvement. Kihira’s approach is one in which she is focused on her specific plan to diligently and slowly build upon her present skills.

How to Improve your Skating Performance:

Frustration, impatience, and trying to be perfect are the challenges that impede learning.

If you want to improve with less frustration, follow a plan based on incremental improvement over a period time and, no matter what, stay committed.

Focus on ONE skill, ONE step at a time at ONE session at a time. New skills take weeks and month to develop.

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