It was difficult to watch Roman Sadovsky struggle in the team event. Kurt Browning said, “his mind was going way faster than the music or the skate”. Being asked to fill the shoes of the veteran Keegan Messing, last minute, was an experience I am sure he would not have expected. Not having a lot of international competitive experience would also make this difficult. How do you plan for such an epic change of plans!?
Expanding your Comfort Zone
At its essence, competition is about finding comfort in the discomfort. You can never plan for every scenario that might happen. What you can do though, is practice expanding your comfort zone weekly. On the other side of your comfort zone is where your confidence lies. When you push through an uncomfortable situation or purposely find opportunities to push the boundaries of your comfort zone, you grow a little more and build your confidence.
Getting in the Zone
Even on the edges and footwork, Roman’s “bread and butter” elements, he looked unsettled, out of his knees, and distracted. Carol Lane stated, “half way through the program, his mind started chasing”. Kurt used the analogy of “changing the layout of your own home, you know you are in your house but everything is different”. “We take for granted the feeling of the jumps because we do it everyday”.
Blocking out the noise of distraction, whether internal or external, is a skill that athletes develop through mental training. Learning to take one element at a time and let go of the outcome once it is complete is a big part of learning how to get in the zone. I have a strategy I use with all my athletes, that consistently helps them perform their best. You can access this worksheet by following this link —> Getting in the Zone
It is difficult for me to watch skaters struggle when I know that mental training could help them immensely. It will be very important for Roman to regroup with his team before the individual event begins. I hope he can rely on his training and the consistency he has built in practice over the past month leading into the Games. This will be the real determiner of how he performs overall.