It can be difficult, and even a bit overwhelming, to set goals for your season. Writing goals down or telling someone about them makes them real. This feels like it holds you accountable to do what you say you will do. What if you don’t achieve what you set out to accomplish? It can be scary to put yourself out there, but once you learn the right way to set goals you will see results and trust the process.

Goal Number Line

Setting realistic goals is key to starting your season off right. Your mind cannot stay focused in the longterm. It will get distracted or you will lose motivation. That is why I created the Goal Number Line. This system focuses on setting long term goals, season goals, and then the short term, interim goals necessary to achieve them. Along the way, you celebrate achieving the short term goals, nurturing the motivation to keep going.

Imposter Syndrome

Even in the midst of training, when you are setting and accomplishing goals, athletes don’t always acknowledge their accomplishments accurately. As a perfectionist, you may focus more on the mistakes you make and regularly judge yourself for not being enough; consistent enough, strong enough, etc. This is referred to as seeing yourself through the eyes of Imposter Syndrome. 

Imposter Syndrome rears its ugly head when you find yourself at a place where you don’t feel you belong or deserve to be. This often occurs when athletes receive praise for an accomplishment. While trying to keep you safe, your self talk is inevitably keeping you playing a small game, training inside your comfort zone. Your perspective on what you accomplished and how you achieved it becomes your reality.

It is important to know this happens to almost everyone. To move yourself through this uncomfortable place, you must accurately remind yourself of your achievements. An athlete cannot deny the facts about their skating. When you track consistency, it is easy to point out the facts. 

Consistency Tracking

How you train in practice will be reflected in how you preform in competition. When setting goals for a competition, it is important to meet yourself where you are. I encourage my athletes to use consistency tracking to help the process. Track your jumps in your daily run-throughs. Keep it simple and note whether you land, fall, or pop. Review the consistency tracker to keep your perspective accurate.

Goal Setting

If you aren’t yet skating clean programs in practice, then it doesn’t make sense to set this as a performance goal. If you choose to include a jump in your program in competition that is 50% or less consistent, then it is imperative that you set a goal that reflects that ie. “rotate the double axel” or “strong attempt on the d.axel”. When your goals are realistic, you will be content with the outcome and the competition performance will act like a springboard for success throughout the season.

Setting well rounded goals that reflect all aspects of figure skating will keep you on track. Include jump, spin, presentation, and skating skills goals. After the competition, reflect on whether you achieved each goal: yes or not yet. Each performance is teaching you how to compete and moving you closer to your longterm, season goals.

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