The Learning Process
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San Diego Figure Skating Communications
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Setting Goals

Establishing goals creates a pathway to success
       Setting goals and objectives creates a path for figure skaters to follow to master the skills that are necessary to be successful. Goals and objectives are an effective motivational technique that boosts skill learning as well as performance in competition.

       Ice skaters tend to be more focused and committed to training when goals are clearly established and they know unquestionably when they have achieved them.

Figure Skating Goals
       There are three different types of goals coaches can establish to help athletes develop the skills to be successful as an athlete:

  • Outcome goals are those that compare the performances of athletes with those of other athletes. For example, qualify at regional to enter sectional championships.
  • Performance goals are used to improve an athlete's individual performance. For example, tracking total points scored based on event summary sheets .
Process goals are used to improve the execution of a specific skill. For example, landing fully rotated jumps on a secure edge on a bent knee, with full free leg extension, and erect upper body.
Establishing Goals
  • Set realistic, yet challenging goals. More difficult goals lead to better results than easy goals.
  • Coaches and parents must be very specific about their expectations of what the skater can accomplish in a given timeline. Specific goals are more effective than do-your-best goals or no goals.

  • Goals must be meaningful to the skater. He/she must understand the relevance of goals so they are motivated to achieve them. This is especially true of teenagers who may be challenging authority figures at home, work, and school.

  • Identify the target skills that an athlete needs to develop, the conditions under which the athlete is to perform these skills, and the reward for achieving the goal. For example, completion of 90% of attempted multi-revolution jumps that are fully rotated and landed on a secure one foot landing will be rewarded by incorporating the jump into their competition program.

  • Offer constructive feedback and be precise about the progress. 

  • It is very important that each skater participates in the goal setting process and provides input back to their coach on how they perceive their progress. Better results are achieved using this approach than assigning goals without the involvement of the skater.

  • Adjust goals to accommodate individual differences, such as age, gender, physical attributes, abilities, stage of learning, past experience, or other pertinent qualities.

Tracking Progress
  • Establish base line for skaters at the start of each season in different areas -
    • Jumps
    • Spins
    • Footwork sequences
    • Transitions
    • Special items (i.e. spread eagles, spirals, pivots, hydroplaning, etc.).
  • Track scores from fitness or sport skill tests as an objective measure of how how off-ice training is progressing.

  • Track progress of testing. Review actual test sheet comments.

  • Track placement and summary sheets of IJS events.

Recommended Reading:

Principles of Sports Training

Mental Training

The Process of Learning


Goal Setting   Good goal setting gives a skater an “edge” in three areas: Direction, Feedback, and
Support.  Many skaters achieve some success without using formal goal setting, but virtually every great athlete who consistently succeeds, uses some form of goal setting. Using goal setting is as necessary as having a coach.

Goal Setting Tips for figure skaters, dancers, etc.  Setting goals for performance athletes! What is a goal? A goal is simply a stepping stone to a greater accomplishment or dream. Your dreams can become a reality with a clear vision, a plan, perseverance, and luck.

Principles of Effective Goal Setting   This article is adapted from Goal Setting for Synchronized Skaters and Coaches: Determine for yourself what you believe you can achieve and are willing to expend the effort to accomplish!

Your Responsibilities as a Skating Parent    This page should help you do much more than survive your child's skating experience.  Helping your child set performance goals.

How to Set Realistic Goals for Yourself for individuals who have never previously taken the time.  You may want to become a world champion ice skater; however, is this a realistic goal?

Sports Psychology Degree information  An extensive list of Sports Psychology programs broken down by campus as well as detailed information about the degree and possible career choices.

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:

The System of Learning
Topics of Learning
PDF  Attentional Focus

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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