Hard work, determination, focus, drive….these are all qualities that define an elite athlete. However, there is another equally, if not more important quality, that often gets overlooked. That quality is:
LOVE FOR THE SPORT!
Love for the sport was what brought you to your first private lesson, what made you beg your parents to let you spend your summers in a freezing cold arena while all your friends were playing outside in the sunshine, it is what gets you up at a ridiculous hour of the day/night to head to morning ice for practice, and its what brought you back after a long break from training due to injury.
Sometimes skaters forget the importance of LOVE and need a reminder. This reminder comes during the off-season, when you have the opportunity to take a break from the daily grind of preparing for competition and get back to what makes skating so fun. I see lots of clubs embracing this by:
- hosting ice-shows,
- club competitions,
- seminars with celebrity coaches and skaters..
When coaches create space for skaters to PLAY during the off-season, the LOVE for their sport is rekindled. Coaches and parents are left with HAPPY SKATERS! Happy skaters are well rested, nourished and given the opportunity to express themselves creatively moving into the next season.
Embrace the off-season, acknowledging it as an important down time and participate or encourage your skater’s to participate in these creative outlet activities.