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Who is Rebekah and What is Mind-Body Performance Coaching?
I was a Figure Skater who struggled with perfectionism, competition nerves and confidence. This held me back from achieving my greatest goals as an athlete. I was inspired to use my training and experience to create the Mind-Body Performance Coaching Program, a one of a kind program focused on strengthening the Figure Skater’s mindset. It is everything I needed when I was a young skater with big dreams and I know it will work for you!
Rehash in the Kiss and Cry…Yes or No?
You have just completed a ‘not so great’ performance and now you are sitting in the Kiss and Cry with your coach. He or she starts to talk to you about the mistakes you made, what you could have done instead, the levels you missed, how you can do better next time. What do you do? Engage in the conversation, eager to take the lessons from this competition and implement them in practice to do better next time or, Cringe! Shut down, look the other way, disengage. You would rather be anywhere on earth than sitting their rehashing the disappointing performance you just had. This season I have observed some pretty awkward, cringe-worthy interactions in the Kiss and Cry between skater and coach. This is happening even when skaters and coaches know the camera is on and the world is watching. Often the skater’s body language speaks volumes. Turning away from their coach, refusing to speak, and general discomfort with the interaction that their coach is trying to have with them. These moments are not helping strengthen the skater/coach relationship, so how do we prevent them? Preventing awkward Kiss and Cry interaction Coach: Strengthen your EQ (emotional intelligence) by taking notice of how your skater is communicating with you verbally and physically. Despite your natural inclination to communicate, respect what they need in this moment. There is plenty of time to rehash the performance in the week following the competition. Skater: Communicate your wants and needs with your coach at the start of the season, before competition. Coaches are not mind readers and depending on how long you have been working together for, they may not know what you want from them following your performance. Give your coach the benefit of the doubt, they want to help you feel good in those minutes following your performance and they want to help you learn, grow, and become the best skater you can. It is all about knowing what you want and communicating it so that you and your coach are on the same page! Until Next Time, Keep Your Brain in the Game! Facebook0Twitter0Google plus0
Typical “Week Before Competition” Behaviours
The week before competition is typically a challenge for most skaters. Practice can be running smoothly, up until the last 3-5 days before competition, then there is a noticeable shift. As a mental trainer, I often work my hardest that week to reassure and remind my skaters to trust their training and the body’s muscle memory. The 5 most common pre-competition behaviours I notice in skaters are: Jumping to conclusions – “I can’t do it today so I won’t be able to do it in competition!” Making mountains out of molehills – “I fell on the jump in the program so I can no longer do it!” Creating negative stories – “Last time I performed I messed up the spin, today it was bad so it is not going to work next weekend!” Overemphasizing the importance of the last clean run through – “This is the last run through and it wasn’t clean so now I am jinxed for the competition!” Emotions running high – Easily irritated both on and off the ice. Do you experience some of these reactions before competition? If so, identify and write them down, recognize them as “common patterns of behaviour”. This will help in keeping your cool when you notice an emotion or behaviour arise. There are tools you can implement to help you control these behaviours: Deep breathing – in the nose for 4 seconds and out the mouth for 6 seconds, calming the body Reframing – asking yourself, “what could I think instead?” Taking a time-out to implement visualization – by the boards, between attempts of the jump to reset. Practice Goal Setting – use my Practice Goal Setting Template to help you better organize your practices Take control of your behaviour in the days leading up to competition and you will create more positive and productive practices that lead to great competitions! Until next time, Keep Your Brain in the Game Facebook0Twitter0Google plus0
Gracie and Yulia! Start Mental Training before YOU need it
Gracie and Yulia Gracie Gold and Yulia Lipnitskaya have just recently gone public with their mental health struggles. Their relationship with the sport they love had to have played a role in their personal struggle. In many cases, expectations skaters put on themselves as they become more competitive lead to emotional overwhelm and perfectionism. Early signs of this are obvious in the 12-16 year old skaters I work with. Their focus moves from the inward joy of skating and recognizing their talents to an outward focus on how others are performing and how they don’t quite measure up. Pressure from parents and coaches, whether real or not, is felt. Mental Training During sessions of mental training we focus on the basics: protecting your power, controlling your nerves, identifying and replicating the factors that have lead to your success in the past, and most important the keys to “getting in the zone”. Commitment to mental training leads to consistent “flexing” of the mental muscle. Gracie and Yulia’s skating careers were cut too short. Neither will have the chance to compete at the Olympics this season. It is sad to think that this could have been prevented. If Gracie had sought out the right help after the 2016 World Championships, when she was clearly struggling, would she be on the road to the Olympics in Pyeongchang? Proactive Approach Taking a proactive approach to mental training works best. Here is a great rule of thumb: do the work before the problem arises so that you have tools to cope, if and when it does. Ask me how Mind-Body Performance can help you perform your best when it counts! Until next time, Keep Your Brain in the Game! Facebook0Twitter0Google plus0
Meet Rebekah Dixon
- Understands Figure Skating from an Athlete and Coach's Perspective
- Creator of the Mind-Body Performance Coaching Program
- Specialist in the Field of Human Development