How to Refocus After Mistakes in Your Program
Mistakes do not have to lead to more mistakes in figure skating.
How many times have you fallen during a program, only to lose focus and make another mistake soon after?
How many times have you had several jumps that you landed short?
How many times has a mistake led to another mistake a few seconds later or in your next program?
Why do mistakes often lead to more mistakes within the same program?
It all comes down to dwelling on what you did instead of focusing on finishing your program strong.
For some skaters, they get mentally trapped in what has already happened.
In other words, these skaters focus on the mistake itself or worry about not skating up to expectations.
These skaters start to question themselves and their ability to finish with a clean routine.
They judge their performance as not up to par and this prevents skaters from immersing themselves in the present moment.
Judging your skills, especially previous mistakes, interfere with skaters’ ability to skate freely and trust their training and abilities.
Mistakes are really just a blip on the screen.
Mistakes do not CAUSE more mistakes. Over thinking and dwelling on mistakes cause more mistakes.
The key is to focus on the net skill in your program–not the past skills.
It can be difficult but you can learn to do this.
Focusing is not giving yourself specific instructions while you go through their routine.
Again, this thinking should be reserved for practice time.
Peak performance comes about when you are immersed in the moment.
Skating freely is the ability to do what you have trained your body and mind to do without analyzing, judging and thinking as you skate.
Your mind may drift at some point but the key is to refocus or re-engage in the moment.
You might use a simple phrase or cue to help you get back into the moment, such as, “Next skill now.”
And you are not the only one that needs to compartmentalize mistakes…
19 year-old American Nathan Chen experienced some tough breaks at the 2018 Grand Prix finals.
Chen was first after the short program, but a mistake on his quad toe loop-triple toe loop combo cost him some points.
Chen, who was the reigning world champion, understood it was necessary for him to re-focus on what was in front of him, the free skate.
CHEN: “The free [skate] is the most important thing now. What I did in the past just stays in the past. I can’t change what I did. So I just have to use what I did and evolve it into the long program.”
Take Chen’s advice when you are in a similar situation.
The most important thing is what you need to do right now.
If you can keep the past in the past, you will be able to skate freely even after making mistakes.
How to Refocus Quickly After a Mistake:
Use a key word to refocus on the next skill after a mistake.
Keep in mind: Just the fact that you recognize you make a mistake says you’re thinking about the last element.
Repeat a simple phrase, such as, “Let it go,” or, “Focus on the next,” can help you “reset” your mind, move past a mistake, and finish your program strong!
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.”
“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
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
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?
“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
“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!”