Figure skating is not an easy sport to master—you’re expected to learn difficult jumps and spins that can take years to perfect. On top of that, you have to ensure you’re eating a well-balanced diet, training effectively, and getting adequate rest. But exactly how do you stay motivated to continually improve your figure skating skills?
Arguably one of the most important aspects of improving in any sport is setting goals. When you’re creating your figure skating goals, don’t set an intention simply because other athletes are aiming for it—make sure that they are achievable for you. Placing the bar too high will set you up for disappointment.
How do you know what goals to set? Where do you begin when trying to achieve your goals? If you’re frustrated after spending hours trying to land that double axel with no luck, we’ve got you covered with some tips for setting and meeting goals on the ice.
Tips for Achieving Figure Skating Goals
Setting figure skating goals is the simple part of the equation—achieving them is another venture entirely. In order to reach your figure skating goals, you have to identify some realistic options that will still challenge you. Here are some tips to keep in mind when coming up with a plan.
Create Both Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
When you start to think about what goals you want to accomplish as a figure skater, keep in mind that you should set short-term and long-term goals. Many skaters want to hone high-level skills such as a triple axel or an illusion spin, but it can be a long journey to get there. This is why short-term goals are essential.
Short-term goals allow a skater to achieve success while continuing to make progress towards larger goals. In order to determine what goals to set, assess your current skill level. Knowing where your skills are at will give you an idea of what you can work on in the here and now (increasing your endurance and stamina, nailing a single axel, etc.) and what you should save for later.
Aim for Objectives That Motivate You
The key to achieving your goals is to set ones that keep you motivated to continue working hard. This means that you need a plan that is unique to your personal skill level and developmental needs. Your goals should be important to you, and you should recognize the value in achieving them. For example, landing those harder-to-hit jumps (a short-term goal) will enable you to move up a level or score higher in competition (a longer-term objective). If you have little interest in the outcome, then chances are you won’t work as hard to achieve that goal.
Identify S.M.A.R.T Goals
This commonly used acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. Let’s dive into each part of the acronym a little more.
Your goals should be as specific as possible. When you work towards a vague or generalized intention, you’ll find it much harder to stay motivated and on track. By defining precisely where you want to end up, you’re giving yourself a better chance at success.
Having measurable goals enables you to easily gauge your progress. This could mean choosing certain dates you want to achieve each aspect of a goal by or moving up a figure skating level by mastering all the skills and checking them off your list.
This is one of the most critical aspects of creating a goal—ensuring that it is actually attainable for you. If your goals are too unrealistic, you’ll find yourself disappointed when you aren’t on track to achieve them. On the other hand, you don’t want to set goals that are too easy to reach. Meet in the middle by setting a challenging goal that you can hit with some hard work and dedication.
Your goals should be relevant to you and your specific skill level. This is crucial for developing and maintaining focus. Don’t get caught up in where other people are—instead, create goals that are relevant for you to stay on track and achieve long-term success.
You should always set a specific date by which you want to achieve your goal. When you don’t have a deadline, you’ll feel less urgency to actually make it happen. Setting a kind of deadline helps motivate you to work hard, whether it involves you spending more time on the ice or simply getting more sleep every night.
Write Them Down and Make an Action Plan
Now that you have set SMART goals and you’re motivated to work hard, it’s time to write down your objectives and create a plan of action. An action plan can keep you organized and show you a clear path to achieving your goals. This can be as simple as creating a schedule for training a certain amount of times per week, eating a well-balanced diet in order to stay healthy, or setting a certain amount of hours per week to focus on specific skills or flexibility exercises.
You’ll also want to write your goals down in a way that makes the most sense for you. Consider keeping a sticky note on your mirror so you can see it every day, or write your goals in a notebook and also use it to keep track of your progress. It’s up to you where you write things down, but remember that the process of putting pen to paper and taking a look at your plan periodically can keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.
Reach Your Goals With Figure Skates from Riedell
No matter what your goals are, you’ll need the perfect skates to help you achieve them. We’ve got you covered! With boots and blades from Riedell, you’ll enjoy a customized fit that will help you feel comfortable out on the ice. Our master craftsmen can design and build your custom ice skates to exacting specifications, with features like prescription orthotics, high or low arches, heel spurs, additional toe room, and more. Achieve your goals in style and comfort—visit one of our authorized dealers today, or contact us for more information.