Mental Toughness for Figure Skaters

Just before you go into a competition
do you tend to doubt your skills and feel like you don’t have any energy or
spunk? Hi, I’m Dr. Patrick Cohn, in this video I’m going to answer a question from a
skater about how she goes in and out her skills and feels this lack of energy
before she competes. You’re watching sessions with Doc. So here’s the question
that I received from Vicky. She said, “Right before a big competition or skating
test I doubt my skills and imagine the worst possible outcome will happen. I
have a hard time monitoring my self-talk and trusting my skills. Sometimes I get
into a drowsy almost like tired state that is hard to break out of. Thus, I
don’t have the energy and spunk. Why am I not more mentally tough leading up to my
skating competitions or tests?” Well Vicky good question and I think these
two are related I believe that you have some type of anxiety or worry about not
doing well but typically it’s not just about not doing well it’s about the
aftermath of that. In other words, let’s say you go in there and you don’t pass
that skating test or you fall on your jumps in the big competition. Then what’s
so awful about that? What is that ultimately going to mean to you are you
going to disappoint people are you gonna be disappointed you put in all this time
and effort you feel like maybe you’re wasting your time with all the practice
so there’s something going on there about the aftermath and that’s why when
you get into competition you feel tired and drowsy and don’t have the energy
because you’re stressing yourself out before you get there. Now i talked about
this in a previous video but it’s worth mentioning again and that is what you
want to do leading up to a competition is ask yourself one question, “What do I
have to do to prepare my skills this week?” So I forbid you from thinking about the
competition until the morning of or maybe one hour at least when you take your
warm-up skate, that’s when you can start thinking about the competition that way
you’re not gonna stress yourself out worrying about the competition, worrying
about what could go wrong, worrying about who you’re gonna disappoint. So only
focus on one thing – how am I going to get better every day and trust my skills
before I get to competition day. So your not even going to think about competition day your
just going to think about your program, improving your program, becoming a
performer, getting into your role in your music, and your timing down all those things
are going to be really really important for you. Now the morning of all I want
you to think about are the reasons why you belong the reasons why you’re good
skater. That’s much different than doubting your skills. So I want you to go
to the competition and already have something written out and it answers the question why do I
deserve to be confident in my abilities? Well I have the best fitness, I have solid jumps, I have good spins, I have
good hand-eye coordination, I practice everyday, whatever it may be that
makes you feel confident and also I want you to do is review those in your mind
over and over again that one hour to two hours prior to competition. Now one last
thing, make sure you get your energy up, make sure you do ride your bike do some
jumping jacks something before you go out on the ice for your program get the
heart rate back up so you can feel like you have some energy and spunk going. Don’t sit around waiting for other
competitors. Keep your intensity up, keep your energy level up and that will help
you when you get in the program. Thanks for the question and
I hope that helps you with your mental toughness before you go out in
competitions. Hey, if you want more videos and you’re not a subscriber yet to mindset
for sports please subscribe to my videos using this button up here in the upper
right-hand side in addition there is another video over here queued up for
you on this series on mental toughness in sports, go check that one out. Your watching sessions with doc ,we’ll see
you next week!

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