Imagine it is 2 weeks before your next big competition and you are starting to experience the pre-competition week jitters. Your (insert jump here), which you have been landing for years is starting to give you trouble. You are not landing it in the program. You feel rushed, tight, pressure when your music comes on. Your monkey mind is on high alert, reminding you of why you can’t do it and how you won’t be able to do it on the day of competition.
Can you relate to this scenario?
I can, and I work with many skaters who are experiencing this right now. While it is definitely a case of the pre-competition nerves, you may also be engaging in a bit of self-sabotage with the approach you are taking to practice and what you want to accomplish during that time.
Think about what you want, to land a particular jump, and visualize placing it in the palm of your hand. When you start practicing that jump and you experience struggle do you begin to feel yourself forcing it on the ice and squeezing that element in the palm of your hand? As the tension builds you may feel your grasp tighten around what it is that you want. Continuing to force this only creates more frustration, discouragement and overwhelm.
Does a clenched fist allow you access to what you want? I imagine you would answer no. How do you get what you want when it is hidden inside the tension?
The answer is, you release it and, just like that hand it becomes available for you to take it back. So if you notice this happening to you, clench and release your fists by your side as a little reminder that you are getting stuck in the squeeze and all you need to do is release so that you can take back the jump.
Until next time,
Keep your Brain in the Game
P.S. Learn to FOCUS and perform IN THE ZONE. Get the FREE Performance Mindset Worksheet