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Strategies for Competing

There are differences in the structure of competitive sports
As a general rule each athlete improves throughout the pre season training, the official training season, and during the actual competitive season. The amount of progress can vary and training plateaus are common.

     As the training season progress, coaches change the emphasis of the training by increase the tempo and intensity of the training. This contrasts with focusing more on refining (mastering) physical skills compared with emphasizing the acquisition of new skills.  Coaches attempt to deal with ebbs and flows of emotions leading up to competitions, matches or meets using a technique known as peaking.

     Athletes who are successful use cognitive strategies, including:
  • Self-confidence,
  • Focusing,
  • Control feelings,
  • Positive imagery and thought,
  • Commitment and determination,
  • Establishing goals,
  • Developed coping strategies
Guidelines For Practice:
      As a general rule, the athlete's positive attitude is a major asset, but some personalities seem to dwell on the negatives which become a self fulfilling prophesy. It sometimes is useful to have guest speakers address athletes and speak on the following topics:
  • Enhance confidence, 
  • Discuss unusual circumstances and distractions that can occur before and during competition.
  • Suggestions on how to block out irrelevant events and thoughts.
  • How to use mental rehearsals on a regular basis leading up to competition.
  • Learn how to focus on your own performance rather then on other competitors.
  • Develop detailed competition plans.
  • Learn to regulate stress and anxiety.
     Practice sessions should simulate competition problems such as staminia, and endurance.

Mastering a foundation of essential skills will shorten time necessary to acquire advanced skills
      It takes much longer to correct technical errors that have not been learned properly.  There are no short cuts in learning. Every athlete must acquire the basic control of their body's movements prior to attempting  more advanced skill sets.

      For example, figure skating is built on a solid foundation of performing - edges and turns that formed the discipline of School Figures. MITF has replaced the school figures in requiring more than just the basic edges with a wide variety of more advanced turns performed with the power associated with free skating.

      Jumping skills are predicated on learning how to jump as high as possible from secure edges at full speed and having an upright gyroscopic position in the air that does not wobble. While some skaters prefer to jump rather spin, the ability to perform multi-rotational jumps requires the ability to perform and have controlled exits from fast forward and backward scratch spins.

       Skater who lack the flexibility to perform an excellent spiral position will have difficulty performing forward and backward camel spins.

       A well rounded skating ability should be the goal of skater and coach. Performance and presentation skills should at the same level to consistently receive high scores in competitions.

Competition is a primary motivation of parents and possibly their children

       Competition motivates athletes, parents, and coaches to strive put their full effort into achieving their goals. 
A beginning skater becomes more comfortable competing when they have increased opportunities to perform.

       A practice competition can consist of skating skills or program run-throughs or exhibitions.

       Work with your skating club to organize sanctioned events such as:
  • Exhibitions of skater's badge skills in a test or competition format with critiques from judges
  • Program run-throughs with critiques from judges on practice sessions
  • Hold exhibitions for experience skating in front of an audience with critiques from judges
  • Enter a local competition(s) to gain competitive experience
       The strategic plan of a coach should be to encourage their students to participate in the local competitions prior to recommending entering competitions require one or two nights in another city.

       Coaches should recommend to skaters that they participate in as many exhibitions, critiques, and competitive opportunities as is affordable.

       It make good business sense for a coach to have as many skaters, as possible, entered into an open competition considering that traveling and over night stays cause a loss of lessons at their home rink.


Developing Training Plans

How to Cope if You Are Anxious About Sports Competitions July 7, 2012 ... Learn about strategies for managing anxiety during sporting events and what to do if anxiety is seriously interfering with your ability to compete.

Different strategies for sports injury prevention   Different strategies for sports injury prevention in an America's Cup yachting ... of different strategies of preventive physiotherapy during competition periods.

Effective hydration strategies for sweat loss - Australian   Effective hydration strategies for sweat loss play an obvious role in determining sweat rates especially for athletes competing in summer- based sports Maintaining fluid balance, or hydration, is an important factor in preserving various body functions and supporting exercise performance. During exercise, fluids are lost, mainly through sweating (some water will also be attributable to respiratory water loss, which can be substantial in hot environments). Unless the athlete consumes fluid to replace these losses, a fluid deficit will occur. To help develop a fluid intake plan, both during and after exercise, athletes need to know about the magnitude of their sweat losses.

Strategies to Prevent a Meltdown in Sports Competitions Sept. 17, 2009 Strategies to Prevent a Meltdown in Competition. Competition and the drive to win evoke the most primitive passions in humans;

Cognitive Strategies and Athletic Success - Using The Mind There are certain mental and cognitive strategies that athletes can use to help themselves with competition and athletic success.

Training Considerations

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 Training Plans for Athletes
Evaluation of Training
Age Training Guidelines
Components of Training Plan
Stages of Acquiring New Skills
Strategies for Training
Strategies for Competing
Fitness Training & Sports
Advanced Training
List Daily Training Tasks
Construction of a Training Plan
Developing An Annual Training Plan
Principles of Global Training
Competitive Training
Starting to Seriously Train
Skating Environment
Peaking Performance
Benefits of Cross Training
Principle of Varying Training
Varying Training Improves Results
Approaches to Training
Approaches to Jump Training
Transferring Knowledge & Skills
Aerobic Activities
Anaerobic Activities
Exercises to Develop Coordination
Off-Ice Activities For Skaters
Fitness and Conditioning
Off-Season Conditioning Activities
Tips for Long Distance Traveling
Mental Barriers to Training & Competing
Mental Considerations for Athletic Training
Mental Training Considerations
Mental Strategies for Training
Endurance Training Activities
Flexibility Training Activities
Bodyweight Exercise Training
Weight Training Activities
Brian Grasso Articles
Evaluation Assessment

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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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