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Thread: Help with nerves?

  1. #1
    Rinkside
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    Help with nerves?

    in practice i can skate a program amazingly but during compeitions i get all stiff and nervous and skate awful. what could i do to help?

  2. #2
    Rinkside
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    Hi,

    Well there really is no 'quick fix' for this problem that many athletes experience. Many different techniques work, it really depends on you, and you could try seeing what works for you each time you are in a testing or competition environment.

    Many skaters will warm up listening to their favourite music through headphones, joking around can also help take the pressure off and get you thinking of something else than just 'skating your best'.

    When you get on the ice for the warm up I suggest just really trying to get down into your knees, bending, and breathing deeply to get your body feeling like YOU are in control of it. Once you feel your legs under you and you feel good THEN start running through your elements. I often found flinging myself into such and such an element right off the bat made for stiff awkward movements, badly executed elements and therefore a fragile mindset when I step onto the ice for the actual performance.

    Happy skating hope I helped.

  3. #3
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Come up with a competition routine from the time you get to the rink (off ice warm up, change, 5 minute warm up on ice). Practice it often at your home rink, especially before competitions and it will feel "normal" or at least sorta normal

  4. #4
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    Walking through the program with your iPod before the competition while thinking about the correct technique for each element seems to really help. I actually have technique cue words for each element and they give me something specific to focus on when I'm nervous. Also, take long, deep, slow breaths as you are waiting to take the ice. That will calm down that nervous response.

    Other than that, you just have to do as many competitions as possible so that you get used to it and don't feel like you're having some out-of-body experience. My first competition of the season is usually a disaster, especially if it's a brand new program (in fact, that that is what happened at my competition last night, LOL!), so I try to make sure I do 2 or 3 competitions as practice competitions leading up to the important one.

  5. #5
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    OK, vlaurend - spill....LOL!

  6. #6
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyfootwork94 View Post
    in practice i can skate a program amazingly but during compeitions i get all stiff and nervous and skate awful. what could i do to help?
    Many skaters - even top skaters - go through this. I used to feel that way too. My knees went like "jello" - it's a bit of stage fright. Try breathing deeply and telling yourself "I can do this!" Elvis Stojko would probably tell you to FOCUS. He is the most focussed skater I have ever seen skate. It's amazing to watch him.

    Here is a great example of Elvis keeping his nerves in "check"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQYazYstUeQ



    hope this helps...

  7. #7
    Rinkside
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    thanks guys ill try this stuff. the thing thats wierd is that i have been skating in competitions for 7 yrs and its only this past 2 yrs this has been happening. ever since i got a new coach

  8. #8
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    If you have moved into the 12-17 age range, that would explain the difference as you start to gain awareness that ::gulp:: people are watching me now and it leads to some stage freight

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    OK, vlaurend - spill....LOL!
    Yes, I had several of those!

  10. #10
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Oops! Oh NO! At least now and not at Sectionals in March!!

  11. #11
    Rinkside
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    If you have moved into the 12-17 age range, that would explain the difference as you start to gain awareness that ::gulp:: people are watching me now and it leads to some stage freight
    ya im 15 so maybe that explains it

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Oops! Oh NO! At least now and not at Sectionals in March!!
    My thoughts exactly! Last year I peaked at this competition and got my highest technical score to date, then I lost my momentum by the time PCAS rolled around. So I've decided this year's awful performance was a good sign.

  13. #13
    Rinkside
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    Hello

    Thanks for sharing with us its very useful and informative information,,,,,

  14. #14
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    On another message board, I read that some coaches give their skaters a shot of whiskey to calm their nerves. I don't know how true that is. I can't see how that could possibly help.

  15. #15
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    I've done tequilla before competing. It helped the nerves but hurt the equilibrium!

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