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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!
Olympic Lessons in Mental Training
It has been 2.5 weeks since the Olympics finished and I am still revelling in how it all turned out! As a viewer and lover of figure skating, I couldn’t have asked for a more satisfying event. As a mental trainer, there were so many nuggets of wisdom and take aways that I have been sharing with my skaters since the events finished. Where do I begin! Well, I believe one of the biggest mental game lessons was learned by our Canadian, Gabrielle Daleman. Lesson 1: Getting in the Zone A great Long in the team event was the start of Gabby’s Olympic experience. This was very reminiscent of her success at Nationals just a month earlier, and of course, her incredible performances at Worlds last season. It seemed clear to me that her mental game was strong and I wondered what she was doing to develop this. Then came the individual event and it unfortunately began to unravel. A mistake on her signature triple toe/triple toe combo in the short seemed to plant a seed of doubt that derailed her confidence and possibly developed into a negative story on the jump. The rest of the short went well but the ghost of the mistake on the combo obviously haunted her going into the free. Making a similar mistake on the combo in the free program left her visibly shaken, culminating in a disastrous program. So what happened? My belief is that it was 100% mental! Her body knew how to do those jumps, eyes closed, hands tied behind her back, so it wasn’t a matter of physical fitness or training. But, how can the body seem to “forget” how to jump in a high pressure situation? A mistake on its own cannot break a performance…but if you choose to focus on it it can sure make it close to impossible to regain composure. The mind, when left to its own free will, will default to that critical place and bounce around from future to past to present thinking and back again. When the mind is focused in the future, you are thinking “what if?” and creating feelings of anxiety in your body. When the mind is focused on the past, you are thinking “remember when?” and your body will experience feelings of worry. Both these thoughts and feelings are counter-productive to your mission to skate a personal best and create an epic performance! To make this happen you want to be focused IN THE PRESENT! To be in the present during a performance is to GET IN THE ZONE. I have created a system that teaches skaters how to do just that, GET AND STAY IN THE ZONE! Getting in the Zone Break your program down into each of its individual elements; spins, jumps, and step sequence. Come up with 1-3 keywords for each element. Flood the mind with the keywords of the element you are doing. Once the element is complete, detach from the outcome and let it go. Flood the mind with the keywords on the next element and repeat the series of completing the element, detaching from the outcome and letting it go. Whether it was the best, the worst or just an o.k. attempt, it is in the past and choosing to focus on it will distract from what you are currently doing. You can think about it, fret over it or celebrate your success AFTER the skate is complete! With practice, this system will allow you to make a mistake and let it go instantly to complete the rest of the program brilliantly. It will also allow you to create a magical, flawless performance, one element at a time. Meagan Duhamel and Kaetlyn Osmond both displayed examples of this during their Free programs. For Meagan, an uncharacteristic touchdown on the side-by-side triple lutz was quickly forgotten when, not 10 seconds later, she landed the throw quad salchow cleanly. Kaetlyn also had a small step out on her triple lutz, a mistake that had no bearing on the rest of the program which she seemed to float through. I applaud these women for showing their mental fortitude at the biggest competition of their careers. I believe learning how to get and stay IN THE ZONE would have been very beneficial to Gabby during the Olympics. This is not only for elite athletes. You and your skaters can use this system to train for the next competition. Message me to find out more information about Getting in the Zone! Until Next Time, Keep your Brain in the Game!
How many times can Kurt Browning say, “it is all mental?!”
I am sure you are enjoying watching the Olympic skating! I can’t help but notice how often the commentators say, “it is all mental”, “it is 90% mental”, “it is 99% mental”!! Every performance, whether the skater is skating great or not, Kurt Browning is referencing the skater’s brute mental strength….or lack there of. A strong mindset was obvious when, in the pairs long, Meagan Duhamel touched down on the triple lutz and then 10 seconds later landed that beautiful quad sal to win the bronze medal. Whereas, a weak mindset seemed to be the case for Nathan Chen and many of the men in the team short, as each of their programs unraveled after the first jump was missed. Seemingly they allowed the first mistake to knock them off their game. Getting and staying in the zone during a performance is the missing piece of the puzzle for many skaters. Learning to use keywords correctly to focus the mind on the present moment is an one of the most important skills I teach. Getting in the Zone Strategy Flood the mind with your keywords + complete the element + detach from the emotions + let it go Cycle through this system as you mentally check off each element in your program. If you would like to make this strategy work for you send me a message. Until next time, Keep your brain in the game!
Practice what you Preach: How my own Mental Training helped me prepare for Nationals!
5 Tools I used to get Mentally Prepared for Nationals Stepped outside my Comfort Zone – When you choose to step outside your comfort zone regularly you hone your skills of becoming more adaptable, flexible and ‘go with the flow’. These are all traits that help athletes handle competition better. Following through with my decision to go to Nationals pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone. It would have been much more comfortable for me to watch from my living room, behind a screen, but I chose to ‘do it’ despite how I was feeling and the outcome was wonderful Investing in Help – I realized that I couldn’t do it on my own and decided to invest in some marketing support. I worked with a team that specializes in trade show set ups and displays, removing that stress from me so that I could focus on what I do best – interacting and supporting the skaters! It is important for skaters to also invest in their off-ice training, whether it is in physical or mental training…you can’t do it all yourself! When you invest in help for the things you need help with, you create space for you to shine and do what you do best! Coping with Nerves – Watching the skaters who I work with live, I noticed myself taking on a lot of their nerves. Perhaps it was because I used to be a skater, but for whatever reason this was a bit of a struggle for me during the competition. We adopt the energy of others around us and so it is important to have tools to cope with this. I used deep breathing in the nose and out the mouth to help relax me, as well as, self-affirmations to remind myself of my power. Bringing my A Game – Self-affirmations also played a big role in helping me bring my A game. As well, I made sure I was in peak physical shape, with healthy eating, getting lots of sleep and taking vitamin supplements to boost my immunity leading up to the week at Nationals. It was important for me to present a strong, confident professional just like it is important for you as a skater to do the same! Trusting my Training – This is something I tell my skaters before every competition. You put in so much time and effort day in and day out, to go out for a few minutes and bare it all. Trusting that you have done the work that will lead to your success, no matter what struggles may arise the week before or the days leading up to that moment. I had to remind myself of the training and experience I have that have made me the expert in mental training for skaters that I am today. Until next time, Keep your Brain in the Game!
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