Setting the Right Goals for Skating

Setting the Right Goals for Skating

Reaching Skating Goals With “Big Picture Thinking”

What is “Big Picture Thinking”?. Big picture thinking is the ability to see athletic goals as a process.

Unfortunately, many skaters set goals and want to obtain immediate results.

Here is a trap that many skaters fall into…

Josh P., a 14 year-old skater, fell shy of his National goal the previous season.

After Josh had an end of the season meeting with his coach, he reset his National goal and set forth a plan for what he needed to do to accomplish his goal for the upcoming year.

Josh P. identified that he needed more height on his jumps as well as quick rotations.

Each week, Josh P. worked to improve his power and technical skills.

Josh felt he improved significantly and was confident heading into his first invitational.

Josh P. saw some improvement in the height of his jumps but he felt he failed due to a couple poor landings.

Josh P. was devastated after the competition because he didn’t nail all of his jumps in his routine.

Josh P. doubted if he would ever be able to make Nationals, which significantly affected his confidence and motivation.

Setting goals is a process…

Keeping in mind the “big picture” will allow you to monitor your progress and make any necessary changes in your training to keep you moving in the direction of your goals.

USA figure skater Jason Brown is focused on the big picture as he prepares for a run at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Brown, who was the 2015 U.S. Champion, failed to make the 2018 Olympic team but has been working with new coaches to strengthen his jumps and improve his routines.

Brown finished fourth at his first competition of the season, the 2018 Autumn Classic International.

At his first Grand Prix event this year, Brown placed 11th in the short program and 6th in the free skate to finish 6th overall at Skate Canada.

Even though it is difficult, Brown is being patient with the process and is focused on the big picture, his ultimate goal… competing at the 2022 Olympic Games.

BROWN: “I think that there’s an understanding that it is going to take time and you know you have to be patient, with new technique, a new team. Things are going to be uncomfortable… I tell myself a million times it is going to take time, but it is easier said than done because you get to competitions and you want to feel ready and perfect.”

“You are forced into competing at a time you are going through so much change. I fully understand that it could take a year to get really comfortable, but when you are at a competition, the athlete comes out and you want to be your best. But after the competition is when I’m able to step back and realize I’m going through a lot of change, and see that I learned x, y and z this week.”

“Big picture thinking,” like that of Brown, requires three things:

  1. Perspective – Knowing that accomplishing goals requires steps, both forward and backward.
  2. Patience – Nothing worthwhile was achieved overnight. If you want to accomplish big things, you need to keep plugging along.
  3. Process-focus – All progress is made in the present moment, so stay focused on what you need to do right now.

“Big picture thinking” is the element that helps elite skaters strive for more and achieve more throughout their athletic careers.

A Big Picture Mindset

To bring your “big picture” into light, you must achieve several sub-steps or short-term goals.

Just as it takes thousands of pixels to create an image on your computer, your “big picture” or athletic goal is also accomplished through a process of steps.

Create 2-3 short-term goals each week to help direct your focus and energies.

By creating several short-term goals, you will be better able to stay focused on the process and experience a sense of accomplishment as you progress towards your ultimate objective.

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