Put Your Mind To It: Figure Skating Competition Prep

Written By: Riedell | October 3, 2013

Earlier this year we shared recommendations from top coaches on how to prepare in the weeks and days before a competition. Today we’ll share some tips for how you can mentally prepare for a figure skating competition so you’ll be ready to rock the ice—just like Joshua Farris and Kiri Baga!

Getting in the Right Mindset

Have you ever heard a coach say that the game (or medal) is won in the five inches between your ears? What that means is that a focused and positive mindset is key to performing your best. Here are 5 tips on mentally preparing before any competition, event or skate test.

  1. Set goals. Before competitions and events, set specific goals for yourself. The best goals are ones can you directly control like skating a clean program or landing a jump you’ve been practicing or just enjoying the experience. Keep a record of your goals (and when you achieve them!) as a motivator.
  2. Visualize yourself on the ice. Mentally going through each portion of your routine helps you focus on the performance. Practice visualization often, including on competition day!
  3. Focus on the performance in front of you. If you begin to let your mind wander to next week’s test or the skate club event later this weekend, your mind will not be ready to perform. To help stay focused try listening to a favorite song, read an inspirational quote or do stretching exercises.
  4. Positive self-talk. You can learn to quiet negative thoughts you may have prior to an event. Trust your training, your coaches and your abilities, and tell yourself that you can meet your goals. (Saying it out loud really does help!)
  5. Be prepared. Pack your skate bag with all of the appropriate items (skates, extra laces, bobby pins, blade guards, music, snacks, etc.) the night before your competition. When you don’t have to worry about forgetting something, it’s much easier to focus once you’re at the rink.

What are your tips for figure skating competition prep?