Last week I listened in on the livestream Skate Ontario provided for Return to Play. Tracy Wilson was one of the high performance coaches featured. I was happy to watch and listen as she made suggestions to the skaters. One of the many pieces of wisdom she shared included, “have fun, enjoy the experience, there is no rush to get anywhere, this is playtime!”
Have Fun and Play!
It is not very often that competitive athletes have the opportunity to have fun and play. Typically, you are preparing for a competition. Trying to fit in all your on and off-ice training, while attending school and work create a busy schedule! I thought it was a wonderful insight for Tracy to share! Most of the skaters I work with have felt mixed emotions about getting back on the ice. Nervous excitement, expectation and a bit of fear have been the concerns I have heard during our mental training sessions.
Return to Play
Skate Canada’s return to play protocol has definitely emphasized preparing a 2 week plan. The plan slowly integrates the more challenging elements, without pushing too hard or too quick. Staying injury free is of utmost importance right now. Listening to your body on whether to speed up or put on the breaks is very important as well. Hearing Tracy say things like, “experiment, play, have fun with it, and get in touch with why you love to skate” helps put it all into perspective. That is why you are there in the first place: to have fun! You chose skating because you loved it and this is always a good reminder.
One more nugget of wisdom she shared was, “remember how grateful you are to be out there”. Isn’t that true? You have been away from the ice for almost 4 months. You are back and able to train, so focus on what you are able to do while on the ice. Focusing on what you are not able to do will only bring you down. For more insight on practicing gratitude see my recent blog titled, Using Gratitude to Stay Positive.
Until next time,
Keep your Brain in the Game!