MENTAL MISTAKE #1:
DWELLING ON MISTAKES
This is a very common mistake of many skaters, and one I work with skaters on everyday. We see examples of this mistake on every session, in every rink.
Many skaters find it hard to let go of mistakes during the running of a program, during a lesson and practice sessions. Whether it is popping a jump, forgetting choreography, failing to perform the required rotations in a spin or falling on a jump. These mistakes also include mistakes due to frustration, lack of focus or mental errors.
These mistakes cause a negative thought/belief cycle where you are stuck in the past and on what you did wrong. Skaters use non-useful thoughts & negative self-talk, causing frustration and tension and leading to the making of moreand more mistakes.
Many skaters cannot accept that they will make mistakes and they place more importance on mistakes than they need to. One great example of this was a Novice Skater I worked with. She found it very hard to accept herself making any kind of mistake, she wasn’t successful unless her program was run clean and everything was perfect. Anything less than that was a failure or not good enough, which meant that she was a failure, that maybe she wasn’t good enough or capable of achieving her goals and the negative self-talk spiralled down from there… affecting her confidence and her performance.
This non-useful belief system led to frustration, discouragement and ultimately her performance reflected her beliefs and not her potential.
Before working with me on her mental game, the pressure began to build up and without the tools to handle that pressure she began to pop jumps, circle for no reason. She felt the added pressure of thinking that her coaches were becoming frustratedand disappointed with her adding to her anxiety each time she stepped onto the ice reinforcing the negative thought cycle creating more mistakes and frustration.
FEARLESS TIP #1:
Let It Go! Stay In The Present
You need to remember everyone will make mistakes. It is not the mistake that matters but your response to the mistake that is important and the valuable feedback that each and every mistake can offer.
The key is to be able to let go of the mistake before attempting the next element or jump repetition. The best way to do this is to focus on one element at a time, to focus on the present. You want to remember what you are doing well and how tocorrect the mistake the next time. Keep the focus on what you want to do to… perform the element, ie: the set up to the jump, then the take off. By focusing on the present, what you need to do your mind will not become overwhelmed with non-useful thoughts and emotions that have contributed to the mistakes, frustration and disappointment.
Don’t miss my Top Tip #2 next week!
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