Deer in Headlights or Zen Master?

According to my coach this is me when I am competing.

Stop the presses!!

The good news is that I found material for my next book!  The bad news is that someone has already written the definitive article and all I need to do is refer people to this particular article.  Things could be worse, though.  A friend of mine working on her PhD thought she had her thesis all nicely organized and thought out, until she “Found a book which says everything I was going to say in my ground-breaking doctoral research but says it better than I ever could (which makes one less reason for my existence).”

Well, it’s back to the drawing board for me, but I just wanted you to know that I found a well written and practical article on how adult figure skaters can handle their nerves during competitive or test sessions.

This is a topic that’s close to my heart, since I can’t tell you how many tests I’ve failed or bad skates I’ve had  due to this,  most notably my debut on the world stage in Oberstdorf.  You know what it’s like.  It usually hits me while I’m waiting to go on the warm-up session before my event.  It feels like zombies have removed my brain and left an empty shell with no free-will or voluntary muscle control.

According to the article, the cause is not so much zombies eating my brain but rather, I don’t breathe properly.  And keep my heart rate calm, so I can function without tightness.

The article goes on to recommend many practical ways of controlling nerves in order to skate your best such as “simulations, seminars and daily analysis of run-throughs.”  The most important thing is being well prepared and ultimately making sure you go through your program in practice as much as possible so that when you are thrown a curve ball, your muscle memory will take over and get you through the program.  As for me, everything in a competition seems to be my curve ball: arena too cold, too hot, music stops, ice feels weird, or even I just feel weird.

I’ve been getting many inquiries about  how adult figure skaters can handle their nerves  and will continue to put my head to practical ways I can help us all through this critical issue.  It is, after all, a fascinating topic – how our brains control our bodies in ways contrary to what we want.  Here’s the link to the great article I found.  Read it and tell me what you think.  What works for you?

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One Response to Deer in Headlights or Zen Master?

  1. karen hosie says:

    this is a great article and i will try some of these strategies in future!

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