Figure Skating

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Mental Requirements

    The sport of figure skating has a mental and emotional factor that can not be ignored as a skater attempts to acquire a package of skills to be successful in taking tests and winning competitions. Many coaches go so far as to state that the decisive factor is >89% mental in every competitive performance when comparing equally well trained athletes whose skills are technically equal. More athletes defeat themselves than are defeated by their opponents.

    It is very helpful for skaters to learn to prepare mentally to cope with the stress of testing and competiting.  They longer negative thoughts occur, the more difficult it is to correct them.
The mental Qualities of Athletes
    
There obviously is an intelligence component associated with skill and performances of all athletes; however, the qualities we are concerned with include the following areas:
  • Essentials of an effective mental training program
  • Developing mental training skills
  • Gauging your own mental aptitude
  • Steps to achieve positive thinking
  • Preparation for Mental Training of mind and body
  • Unleashing the mind's power potential
  • Optimizing personal performance
  • Participation in training programs than minimize overtraining related injuries
  • Troubleshooting for obstacles that block/inhibit performance
  • Mental training for to solve specific problems
  • Mental training for Life Skills
  • Mental toughness
  • Mental resilience
Mental Toughness
       Mental Toughness is a state of mind in athletics that is associated with an athlete being able to conquer their fear of losing. Losing is only losing if you fail to get up and try again.

       Athletes who display, alertness, promptness, courage, confidence, resourcefulness, patience, push, enterprise, expert knowledge, insight, shrewdness, tact, self-control, excellent decision making skills are displaying qualities that are also associated with having a winning attitude.

       Because of the added stress of passing college level classes, athletes should be selected based on documentation that they meet or exceed the qualifications that they are physically and mentally qualified to participate in the expected athletic training academic and clinical requirements.

      All athletes at a university level must pass a complete a physical conducted by the Team Physician.  Athletes are expected to demonstrate their ability to analyze, think critically, synthesize, and integrate information both from their previous athletic training and apply their skills and knowledge to their current athletic training program. If the student has questions about their abilities to handle the stress of acadameic and sports training, they should discuss their concerns with the appropriate medical personnel about becoming overloaded with their course load and/or an overload of training responsibilities.

      Succssful athletes rank high in the following abilities:
  1. Maintain a positive attitude.
  2. Maintain a high level of self-motivation.
  3. Set high, realistic goals.
  4. Effectively communication skills.
  5. Utilize positive self-talk.
  6. Utilize positive mental imagery.
  7. Effectively Manage expected and unexpected anxiety.
  8. Effectively Manage their emotions.
  9. Maintain their focus and concentration.
      The effectiveness of these abilities can be better understood as they occur during one of three phases of the Performanc Pyramind - long-term development, immediate preparation for performance, and during actual performances.

Performance Pyramind
  
   

Level I - These mental skills constitute a broad base for attaining long-term goals, learning, and sustaining daily practice. They are needed on a day-by-day basis for long periods of time, often months and years.

Level II - These skills are used immediately before performance to prepare for performance. They maybe used just before competition begins, or immediately before a specific performance action, such as a golf shot or a free throw in basketball.

Level III - These skills are used during actual performance behavior.


Recommended Reading:

PDF Mental Qualities and Employed Mental Techniques of Athletes  program development and evaluation in the case of youth elite team sport athletes. 

The Nine Mental Skills of Successful Athletes You don't have to be a professional athlete or an Olympic champion to be a successful ... There are nine, specific mental skills that contribute to success in sports. ... When appropriate, communicate their thoughts, feelings, and needs.  

References:
    
   
   
Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

       
  
Developing A Training Plan

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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