How To Not Get Nervous Before A Figure Skating Competition

Written By: Riedell | October 23, 2023

The thrill and exhilaration of participating in figure skating competitions is unlike any other. The adrenaline rush when you glide onto the ice while a hushed crowd waits in anticipation for you to begin your routine feels extraordinarily empowering, but it’s also nerve-wracking. Pre-competition jitters are normal for any performer. After all, this is a big moment and the culmination of months or years of dedicated hard work. 

The pressure to perform and execute your routine perfectly may cause that unpleasant butterfly effect in your stomach, but there are plenty of ways to manage your nerves and use them to fuel your performance. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of methods and techniques to help you manage your figure skating nerves.

How To Not Get Nervous Before A Figure Skating Competition

All athletes get a case of pre-competition jitters, regardless of their experience or the number of competitions under their belt. That rush of nerves is a normal part of performing in front of a crowd, and it only proves that you’re a dedicated athlete who wants to do well.

Figure skating nerves can be a formidable opponent when you’re preparing for a competition, but there are ways to help ease your mind and calm your body. 

Address Figure Skating Nerves With a Sports Psychologist

Sports psychologists are experts at helping athletes manage performance-related anxieties. Understanding the root causes of figure skating nerves is the first step in addressing them and building your confidence.

A sports psychologist will help you determine what’s causing you to feel nervous. Perhaps it’s the pressure of performing in front of an audience or the desire to impress friends or family. It could also be a general concern of not executing every move and step sequence perfectly. 

Whatever the reason, working with a professional will help you identify the thoughts that trigger your anxiety. Then, they’ll work with you to develop methods you can use to manage your nerves.

Work With Your Coach

Dealing with figure skating nerves on the eve of a competition is nothing new to your coach. They’ve helped plenty of athletes manage their anxiety, and they can help you come up with a pre-competition routine to help you feel comfortable and confident. 

Collaborating with your coach will allow you to establish a good time to arrive at the rink, which will provide you with plenty of time to complete your pre-competition routine. You can go through a warm-up routine to get your blood flowing and your muscles ready for action. This would also be a good time to use breathing techniques, visualization, and other relaxation techniques to help you center yourself and prepare to compete.

Methods & Techniques for Dealing With Figure Skating Nerves

While a sports psychologist and your coach can help you develop specific routines and techniques tailored to your unique needs, there are some general methods that you can start using on your own to help calm your nerves.

  1. Visualization: Visualization is a technique that’s been used for centuries to help performers remain calm and boost their confidence. Start by taking slow, deep breaths and closing your eyes. Then, picture yourself performing your routine flawlessly. Imagine yourself nailing every jump, spin, and step sequence. The more you envision your meeting your goals, the more likely it is to happen!
  2.  Breathing Techniques: There are a variety of breathing techniques used to calm nerves and ease worries. The 4-7-8 technique is an excellent option for calming your mind and body. This technique can be used anywhere: on your drive to the rink, during your pre-competition routine, or even right before you go on the ice. Breathe in deeply for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and release it for eight seconds. Take your time with this method, and make sure you’re focusing on each breath. Repeat this cycle as many times as you need to feel calm. 
  3. Work With A Professional: As we’ve mentioned, working with a sports psychologist and your coach can be extremely helpful. They’ll help you develop a pre-competition routine that helps you feel comfortable and settled. They can also help you identify and challenge negative thoughts, develop a more positive mindset, and implement relaxation and emotional regulation techniques to increase your confidence and decrease your nerves.

Remember, figure skating nerves are a normal part of the process, regardless of your training or level of experience! It doesn’t make you any less capable, and you can use those nerves to your advantage. Embrace the fear and use it to fuel your desire to perform. Remind yourself that the butterflies in your stomach are a sign that you care deeply about your performance and you’re ready to give it your all. That passion will come across in your performance and could even set you apart from the competition!

Prepare With Riedell

Here at Riedell, we want every figure skater to go out on the ice with everything they need to have an amazing performance. We offer a variety of products and accessories that will help you succeed in competitions and feel comfortable on the ice. Riedell Ice offers the best equipment, which will help manage your nerves, so make sure to check out our products today!