Mental Preparation in Figure Skating
Every skater has heard the phrase, “Practice makes perfect.”
In reality, mostly all skaters have some degree of doubt regarding this mentality.
The ultimate truth of the matter is that “practice makes preparation.”
For example, if you practice landing a clean salchow jump 20 times in practice, 5 days a week, that is 100 practice jumps over the course of a week.
Don’t you think you would be better prepared to land that jump in competition than if you paid little attention towards developing that skill in your training?
Practice sets in motion a series of interconnected effects…
- Practice leads to preparation…
- Preparation leads to increased confidence…
- Increased confidence leads to less performance anxiety…
- Less anxiety leads to greater trust in your ability to perform skills in competition…
- Trust leads to the ability to immerse yourself in the moment…
- Performing in the moment leads to a willingness to go for the skills you have practiced.
All these characteristics (preparation, confidence, relaxation, trust in your abilities, immersion in the moment and risk taking) are the hallmarks of peak performance!
Does practice ensure that you will never fall?
Does practice ensure winning?
Does practice ensure flawless programs?
What practice does is it improves consistency and dramatically increases the likelihood of having top-level performances.
Preparation has greatly benefited figure skaters Jocelyn Haines and James Koszuta.
Haines and Kozuta have big dreams, competing in the Olympics, but Haines and Kozuta are focused on preparing their best one competition at a time.
Haines, 16, and Koszuta, 20, have quickly ascended in the sport of ice dancing earning first place in the novice level in 2017 and seventh place at the junior level last year.
As the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships approached, Haines and Koszuta remained focused on their success formula which all starts with preparation.
Haines emphasized that preparation needs to be comprehensive. There are a number of factors that improve your chances for success in the sport.
HAINES: “It’s not just strength, either. You have to be artistic and musical. It’s a lot of little things that add up that make a really good figure skater.”
Koszuta recognizes that preparation doesn’t squelch nerves or pressure, but preparation readies you to perform your best despite the nerves.
KOSZUTA: “There’s always a little bit of nerves on the line, but overall we’re ready.”
Haines further emphasized the pair’s commitment to preparation by adding, “We’ve been very well-trained.”
Again, preparation does not result in perfection.
Nor should you be shooting for “perfect practice.”
The goal of preparation is learning, applying feedback to further improve skills and providing enough repetition to feel confident in your ability to perform when you are on the big stage during competition.
Ask yourself before each practice, “What do I need to do today, to be better prepared for tomorrow?”
Those 1-2 things are your practice objectives for that day. Practice with a mission, don’t go through the motions.
Be sure to train your programs–not just skills–as you near competition. Focus on the performance/artistic mindset instead of drilling your skills.
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.
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“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.”
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~Pam, Skating Parent
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- 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
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“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!”