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
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.
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!