Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sometimes you can just "See it Coming!"

I sensed a bad performance coming before she got into her skating pose to begin her routine.  I felt "bad" for her already, and she hadn't even begun.  Her breathing, the look on her face, the visible nervousness as she skated to the center of the rink -- she was telegraphing her inner state before beginning her final skate at the Four Continents Ice Skating Championships in Taiwan just a week ago.  She was in second place.  This skate was going to make all the difference.  

Have you ever felt this way before your big competition?  Especially with a lot on the line. Trembling, unsure, trying to pump yourself up and talk yourself out of what was unconsciously choking you?

This Canadian champion knew she had it all on the line.  Her first move, a very doable axel was "shaky" (commentator's remarks).  The next was a triple lutz.  She fell.  The next triple toe/double toe was easier and she did much better.  "She looks slow and sluggish to me," said the codmmentator.  Cynthia was not having a good skate, not having fun, and she ended the entire international competition falling from 2nd to 6th.

No doubt she has done each of these moves, and probably the entire routine, with ease and excellence.  But not this day; not when it really counted, not on her final skate to determine the champion of the Four Continents Ice Skating Championships.

This ever happen to you?

I'd love to hear about your experiences - and what you've learned about these mental performance slips. We can discuss some of your biggest challenges - I'm here to assist.