What’s the temperature at home?  Are things beginning to get heated?

I suspect that this weekend the practice ice will be buzzing.  Right now there are skaters all around the world practicing their hardest for an upcoming competition. Or maybe their national championships. Whether you are British, Australian, American, German or Canadian preparing for a competition or your national championships, there’s every likelihood that the same gremlin thoughts are going round your head. And hey – everyone else’s too!

This week I’ve no doubt that a large number of jumps have been ‘lost’.  Spins are veering out of control and steps are being forgotten, edges unclear, and I’m sure the whole world and his uncle have been getting in your way when you are trying to practice your programme.

Is the panic setting in?   Have you done enough?

Does it feel like everything which was going great a short while ago is now a total disaster?

The national championships is the peak of all the hard work, effort and practice you have put in over the last 12 months.  It’s the reason you’ve been entering competitions – to qualify. It’s the icing on the cake.  The ‘gala performance’ if you like.

In reality it is just one stepping stone on the route to your Big Goal.  That’s all.  It’s no more or less important.  There’s still time between now and achieving your skating dreams, and this is just one of those moments along the way which is there to help you along.  There will be many others.

If it’s your first championships, congratulations!  Enjoy every moment and remember it well – because when you reach your Big Goal, it will be a sweet moment to look back on.

Right now though, you have to be strong. Have courage.

You have to guard against every gremlin sowing doubts in your head;

The one telling you:

  • You’re not good enough
  • You don’t deserve to be here
  • Everyone else is better than you

Is getting yourself in a state the best thing for your skating? No. Will it help? No.

You are good enough – you have to be, to be allowed to skate there.  You deserve to be there because you worked hard and did what was needed in the run up to the big day.  Is everyone else better than you?  Is that really true? Is it helpful to think it?  What could you say to yourself instead?

Some of you will be thinking of withdrawing from the competition. Why?

Pulling out because you don’t think you’ll do well is not a recipe for future success.

Successful people – champions – don’t fear failure.  If you are thinking this way, you have already defeated yourself. Of course you won’t do well – you’ve already made up your mind that it’ll all go wrong.  And your mind is in charge of EVERYTHING.