Are you overthinking it? What exactly is going on in your head? How many times have you popped a particular jump or gone into a jump knowing that you’re not going to land it. Or have you ever approached a competition in the full knowledge that you can absolutely do your programme perfectly well in practice but just ‘knowing’ that you’ll be way too nervous to do anything properly come event time. Have you heard the voices clamouring for attention in your head – so full of negative chatter that you become confused and overthink the whole, simple process?
Reasons why you might be overthinking:
- Repeatedly unsuccessful attempts at a new jump or field move
- Self-belief tank too low – needs refilling
- Coming back from illness or injury (see also “Injured? Scared in Case it’ll Happen Again?)
- Anxiety about an upcoming performance or competition
- The Perfectionist Gremlin
- Artificial expectations of yourself or perceived expectations of others (not wanting to let coach/mum/team mates down)
And here’s what you can do about it:
Keywords or trigger words are definitely my ‘magic beans’. When you are overthinking you are not focusing properly, you are letting in all kinds of distractions and you are enabling the dormant gremlins to reawaken and prevent you from being able to do that element or field move you have been practicing over and over to no avail.
With a jump for example, as you go into the jump you are probably not noticing that your head is awash with all sorts of negative self-talk. I can’t do this. I’m going to fall again. Why can’t I do this? Everyone’s expecting me to do this but I just can’t. I need to pull in/kick my foot out/go in with more speed. I’m no good anymore. I’m not progressing. I’m too tired. It’s not working… and on and on. You have a very limited amount of time to complete the move, and there just isn’t enough to get all of that stuff in your head under control.
Keywords + Focus + Elimination of Distractions = Successful Execution
Keywords help you to pick three or four words which will help you to focus and eliminate all the ‘white noise’ going on in your head. Using this method I’ve helped so many skaters, young and old, to land double axels and even start landing triples. The keywords need to be just right and customised around your own personal experience with that jump, and once you start to use them you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes – not only to your attitude to the jump but also to your ability to land it.
If you want to know more about keywords and how to set some for your own skating and make them work for you, why not get in touch and see how we can work together and help you to overcome the falls, popping and demotivation that comes from overthinking?