The Top 10 Mental Mistakes Skaters Make – Mistake #2



During competition it is easy to get caught up in thinking about your points and the score or how much you want to win. Being competitive is great, but when you are skating this focus can hurt your performance.

This happens frequently when you need to earn a particular point total to be considered for an international, or you want to get a certain short program score to land in the top 5 or top 10 to be in the preferred flight for the long program.

What these thoughts do is put your focus on the future outcomes, the “what ifs”, and things out of your control.

Because your score and placement are decided by someone else, namely the judges, the outcome of the competition is not completely within your control.

So, if the judging is not going your way, or the other factors such as the ice, the temperature of the arena, time of day competing etc, are not what you like or are used to, this focus can cause unnecessary frustration and nerves.

By focusing on the future you have lost focus on what you need to do in the present in order to win or to earn a personal best score and your performance level will go down.



In order to perform at your best you need to focus on the PROCESS.This means focusing on how to perform each of your elements well and to your ability, the way you have trained them.

For example, making sure you are well warmed up, you have visualized program on the new rink with feelings of energy and confidence as you see yourself performing your elements smoothly and easily, focus on each element in your program enjoying the process with your “key” words that keep random thoughts from distracting you.  If you need help with developing your competition visualization plan and key words contact me atchristine@figureskatingtraining.com

As discussed in the previous post you also want to keep your focus on the present and on each element or section of the program in that moment.

Don’t get ahead of yourself or lose perspective on the situation. We can not predict the future, trying to do so will only buildanxiety and nerves and take the focus off what is important in the moment.

Remember our thoughts create emotions which produce feelings causing a certain action, either useful for optimum performance or non-useful action which can cause freezing up, tightness of the muscles or that foggy brain that can all cause mistakes.



My quick exercise here for you is, to develop focus points on how to perform well. Think about when you are skating yourbest, what specific skills do you do well. These can be technical, physical or mental and will probably be part of your game plan. They need to be specific and in your control. The example below includes 4 focus points a skater could use for the same purpose. Use these when you recognize that you are distracted by the outcome to get you refocused on how to skate well.

Example focus points:

  • Keep the flow and speed in the program – push!
  • Attack the jump, press into the edge on take off
  • Feel the music, perform to it not just skate to it – breath!
  • Control the landings

Don’t miss my Fearless Tip #3 next week!

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SKATERS!!  If you have applied this tip in your skating practices & have found it helpful please send me an email at: christine@figureskatingtraining.com

I would love to hear how it has helped you on your journey to become a fearlesscompetitor!

If you like my tips and would like to take your mental toughness training to a whole new level check out “WORK WITH ME” on my website:  www.figureskatingtraining.com

or send me and email at:  christine@figureskatingtraining.com with what you are struggling with and I will let you know how I can help you overcome whatever your struggle!




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