Mental Skills to Manage Stress for Figure Skating

How to Get a Performance Enhancing Mindset

Are you stressed throughout the figure skating season? Do you wish you could find some way to relax and enjoy your sport more?

Training and competing can create a buildup of stress for a figure skater over the course of a season. Stress is a major stumbling block for skaters and a major reason for low scores in competition.

Have you had this experience? In your training sessions, you felt stressed learning a new skill and just couldn’t seem to get it right. Each mistake added greater pressure, creating doubts you would be able to perform the skill in competition.

On competition day, you became nervous and got an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. You then forgot an element of your routine and you were awarded low scores. This buildup of stress snowballed throughout the season and held you back from skating strong routines.

Stress crushes performance. If you learn mental strategies, you can enhance your performance and improve your wellbeing. 

Mindset Benefits:
* Reduces fear, worry and excessive nervousness. Your competitive mindset will be enhanced with less fear and worry.

* Improves focus. When you are not bombarded with mental distractions, you can focus 100 percent on the task at hand.

* Conserves energy. Anxiety burns energy. When you have greater energy stores, you will be able to put forth greater effort and generate more power.

* Improves sleep. A relaxed mind helps you fall asleep quicker and provides a more restful sleep.

* Contributes to free movements. When your body is relaxed, your movements will be smoother and more fluid.

* Learn skills quicker. When you have a clear mind, you can digest technical information faster.

Taking the time to learn mental skills is important for all skaters, at every level.

A few examples of mental strategies include:
* Visualization
* Deep breathing
* Meditation
* Progressive Relaxation
* Refocusing
* Affirmations
* Proper Breathing 

Figure skater Nathan Chen, a two-time World champion (2018, 2019) and a 2018 Olympic bronze medalist, recognizes the importance of the mental skill of relaxation.

As Chen prepares for a third consecutive world championship, Chen has added mindfulness to his training regimen.

CHEN: “The past year I spent a little bit more time learning mindfulness and other ways to improve my mental health; make sure that I’m as resilient and robust as I can be going into the following seasons. I think that’s definitely been something that I have found very useful. I think it generally gives me more peace and helps me relax and decompress at the end of each day.”

Enjoying your competitive experience is not possible when you are over-stressed throughout the season.

You don’t have to figure out relaxation on your own. Sport psychologists and Mental Game Coaches are trained to teach athletes specific relaxation techniques to improve performance on and off the ice.

Gaining control over your performance starts with learning effective stress reduction strategies. 

Managing your Stress throughout the Season:

Now that you know the importance of mental skills, it’s time to learn stress-reduction strategies to take your performance to the next level.

Experiment with different relaxation skills and select 2-3 methods that work best for you, such as breathing and focusing on one skill at a time.

It is important to be patient and practice these strategies daily. If you are having difficulty mastering mental skills, please contact us about our one on one mental training programs via Zoom or Facetime–from anywhere in the world.

Related Sports Psychology Articles

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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!

The Confident Figure Skater: Mental Game Strategies For Peak Performance

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.

The Confident Figure Skater: Mental Game Strategies For Peak Performance

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