Our fall 2019 season culminated with many skaters having worked extremely hard throughout the summer and fall. So many athletes competed in numerous competitions as they prepared for our larger Regional and Sectional events, which recently concluded throughout the country. Coaches and skaters alike were focused all season long at improving elements, skating skills and choreography. We are a hard-working bunch.
Every skater should take time to remember and celebrate their accomplishments and goals achieved this season and enjoy those moments of success with pride. It’s easy to be critical as we all want to see even more forward momentum and improvement. But sports psychologists know that happiness and motivation occur by celebrating the good stuff that happens each day and not only perseverating on failure. After we acknowledge what went well on a given day or week, we should certainly plan for what we will work on to improve – and plan to work hard. But consistently focusing on the negative first is the opposite of motivation – it can cause depressing moments and be demotivation.
These ideas do not mean that coaches and skaters shouldn’t expect the best possible outcomes, in fact they should demand it. But along with these demands should come moments for skaters to feel pride and to celebrate their accomplishments along the way. This leads to feelings of achievement and motivation to continue to work hard and achieve even greater objectives.
Congratulations to all of the skaters who competed in Regionals and to those who made it to Sectionals. Hard work, along with strong coaching and parental support, is necessary for athletes to achieve their best. For those who achieved their goals for the season and for those who did not quite reach them, this is the time to reflect on what went well, what needs to be worked on, and what goals will be set goals for next season. Work hard for as the old adage goes, “Quitters never win, and winners never quit!”
At this time of the year I am always filled with pride and gratitude as I too reflect on my skaters’ accomplishments. Congratulations to you all for your dedication and hard work. Find the time to reflect on what went well as you prepare to continue to even work harder going forward. Commit to your goals, achieve your objectives but remember to have some fun along the way as well.
Skating is more than being on the ice after all. The life lessons skaters learn include skills such as perseverance, discipline, staying self-motivated and pushing through the hard times. Skaters take these lessons learned with them long after they leave the sport. We coaches are filled with joy when we see our skaters successfully transitioning to life in whatever form that takes for each individual skater.
The session is over and the Zambonis is coming out.