It is becoming evident that the scoring system is rewarding quality of jumps over quantity. Skaters are being rewarded for performing less challenging elements at a higher quality than for trying more challenging elements with the risk of mistakes.
I am sure this comes as no surprise to you, however I can’t help but question the impact this has on skater’s confidence. If a skater is simplifying their programs, holding tight with the same content and refraining from upgrading to the new elements, does this impact their confidence?
To build confidence an athlete must take big, bold risks and learn to bounce back after failure. With the Grade of Execution ranging from +5 -> -5 it is very difficult for an athlete to see the benefit of taking risks.
Recently I have had the conversation with my skaters about simplifying their programs to optimize their points. I position this as a strategic plan to help them achieve their goals, however a skater may interpret it as me not believing in them. My fear is that self-doubt will rear its ugly head in this case. It can be a touchy subject to broach with a skater and I understand why.
Navigating the delicate emotional and strategic balance during the decision making process can be tricky. Sometimes you have to play the game to give your athlete the best chance at achieving their goal.
3 Ways to Approach this Tricky Situation:
- Open communication with the team – coach, parent, and athlete. I am so lucky to work with athletes who acknowledge the benefit of everyone working together to support them.
- Build trust first – only after I have built a strong rapport with the skater will I bring this topic up. Reassurance of my 100% belief in their ability is key.
- Respect the skater’s wishes – after I have approached the subject and provided my insight I leave it at that. The athlete is the one performing the program and must be completely content with the content.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Have you had this conversation with your skater? Are you a skater who has considered simplifying your program this season?
Skaters, learn to LET GO OF MISTAKES and perform IN THE ZONE. Get my FREE Performance Mindset Worksheet