Monday, December 18, 2017

Pre Season Prep- One

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Pick My Brain

Reviewing and determining what to do next.

Before you plan for next season you need to reflect on how things worked for you last year. Take an honest look at yourself and your  environment. Did you meet your goals? Did you have goals? Did you skate your best? Were you able to say  “ I gave it my very best shot” or did you find yourself saying” If only I had done…”.

It’s a new day and the beginning of a new year, at least in the world of figure skating. So, start by making a list of your strengths and weaknesses. You are most likely to succeed if you use your talents to their fullest extent. Similarly, you will suffer fewer problems if you know what your weaknesses are.

Strengths are characteristics that give you an advantage or an edge on something or someone.  Weaknesses are the characteristics that place you at a disadvantage.

So how do you identify these strengths and weaknesses? Start by answering the following questions:


1)    What advantages do you have? What are you good at? Are you a jumper, a spinner, do you have great edges, can you twizzle?

2)    What do you do better than some others?

3)    What personal resources can you access? Are you a hard worker, are you tough?

4)    What do other people think you are good at?

5)    What are you most proud of?

6)    What values do have? Do you respect your sport?


1)    What tasks do you avoid?

2)    What do others see as your weakness?

3)    Are you confident?

4)    What are your negative habits? Are you disorganized, have a short temper, can you handle stress?

5)    Do you have a personal trait that is holding you back?

After you have determined who you are, you will begin to realize why things went well for you last season or why they didn’t.

The next step is deciding what level to compete at next year. This is something you should discuss with your coach. He or she can help you determine what is considered the norm or the average at the level you are skating. Obviously, if you fall below that you should stay where you are and continue to develop your skills. If you are at the high end and have qualified to move on in this season, you would consider moving up. So, all the rest of you have a real dilemma.

Building your skills as a skater is like building a house. You must have a strong foundation and then you build each level to support the next. It takes time. It is never good to rush and take short cuts. Examine your skating skills and how much you have mastered them. Are you ready to go to that next level? What is the competition doing and how strong are they? Not everyone can be a medalist but everyone can win if they reach their personal best. That is what it is all about. Looking at what YOU want to accomplish and seeing where you will have the best chance to feel successful.

Moving up a level will require some testing and therefore some additional planning and scheduling. As with all decision making, there is an uncertainty and unknown factors. There is always some complexity as you consider all the factors at hand. Make the best decision you can and make sure the skater, coach and parents are all on the same page.

Note: This series is geared toward the US figure skater but is adaptable to ISI skaters as well. Subjects such as goal setting, boots and blades, music and costuming are beneficial to all.

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