Mental training tools can help strengthen your skating and also help you overcome attitude and motivational problems that may could be keeping you down. Skating performance results are never totally predictable. Sometimes performance anxiety, stress or nerves can prevent you from skating your best in any roller sports discipline. If you focus on mistakes, have a hard time maintaining a positive attitude or lose motivation when it really matters, it may be time to try to develop your mental skating skills by using a few simple sport psychology tools.
When more than one skater with similar skills compete against each other, the real battle may be a mental one. Training with mental tools could give one skater an advantage over the others. Mental training tools includes such things as:Controlling Performance Anxiety
It is common for competitive skaters to perform their best at practices or during training and then fall apart before, during and even after the actual competition. Performance anxiety is a normal part of competitive skating sports, and there are many things that can be done to control or prevent it.Visualization
Competitive skaters in any discipline can use visualization techniques as a supplement to training and to help them in competition. An athlete's ability to picture him or herself skating with successful results can add to the chances of sports success.Imagery
Imagery is an image-building mind tool that a skater can use to communicate with the body and improve a skating performance. Imagery happens whenever one or more of the five senses (touch, smell, sight, hearing or even taste) are used to recall a positive skating performance memory or one generated by your imagination. This positive image can help reduce stress.
- Use imagery just before a big skating competition to rehearse the event in your mind for a sense of comfort.
- Use imagery to experience skating goal achievement and build self-confidence, before the event.
A skater's performance can also be enhanced by using self-hypnosis. This is a useful stress management tool for those who learn to use it properly.Centering and Relaxation Techniques
It is essential for a skater to remain focused and free of distractions while skating. Some sports psychologists suggest centering techniques as another method to reduce anxiety before and during a skating event. Centering techniques can help a skater avaoid negative thoughts and focus on using their technical and strategic skills in the best ways possible.
Competitive skaters work hard to be physically fit, and now trainers, coaches and skating athletes know that a mentally prepared, confident, trained mind is important for success, too. But, be sure to remember that no set of mental training tools can replace poor training habits or weak technique. A good skater should be strong, technically as well as mentally.