I hope that after reading last week’s blog you have been thinking a little more about your goals and making a plan for how to achieve them. Because whether you are skating purely for fun or with really high ambitions you’ll get so much more out of your favourite sport if you make yourself a bit of a ‘road map’ to help you on your way.

Here are five very quick tips you can put into action this week to help you progress. Using one tip each day over the five days, you will be surprised how much you can change and improve because you are setting your mind to it and really following a plan!

  1. Day 1: Set the GOAL. Make a plan for next week.  Decide right now what you would like to be able to do, or do better by the end of your lesson next Friday.  Keep it realistic and achievable within five days. Check in with your coach to see what they think about it.  Make it specific and get someone to video you at the beginning of the first day doing that move in the way you do it right now, whether it’s a jump, a spin or a twizzle – get it on video so you can see the improvement at the end.  Break it down into smaller parts which you need to practice in order to make it happen and decide when you need to complete each mini-step.
  1. Day 2: Be PASSIONATE /find your ‘WHY’ … remind yourself of the reasons why you skate and what you love so much about it.  Put passion and drama into every single move in your lesson or patch session. Remember how you broke down the move that you are working on for your goal, into tiny steps and think about how each step feels. Link that feeling with the love you have for skating and the WHY. Show your passion every time you practice that move.
  1. Day 3: ACT AS IF – this is one of my favourite tricks to be confident.  If you act as if you are confident when you are practicing this move, you can fool your body into being confident.  And if your body is confident, your mind will be too. It’s when you allow doubts to creep in (aka gremlins – “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t do this”) that you falter and your goal edges further away.  So send those gremlins packing.  Act as if you are confident with every move, and when all of that confidence is going on, you’ll notice that you start being more consistent.  And being consistent makes you even more confident.  Use your Cracking Jumps log to check how things are going.
  1. Day 4: FOCUS – Focus really hard on the move that you are practicing this week and notice how much better it has been getting.  Keep the focus on you and your own skating. Just on your moves and where you need to place yourself on the ice. In this way you will no longer be ‘sharking’ or circling around without jumping and blaming everyone else for being in the way!  For really great focus you need to do lots of ‘noticing’.  Notice what you see when you do that move. Notice what you hear (especially the scraping – or not – of the ice!) and notice what you feel when you do it. Oh, and notice what you notice!
  1. Day 5: REVIEW. Bring it all together.  Revisit your goal and remind yourself of exactly what it was you wanted to be able to do by this fifth day. Notice what has improved and how it feels now compared to how it was on Day 1.  Get someone to video you again to show the improvements you’ve made and see how much you’ve moved from where you were on Day 1.  Celebrate. High five your coach and your mum – or whoever is around!

This is a bit of an exercise in discipline. By deciding on a plan, setting a goal, working out the mini-steps, adding in the passion, acting as if you’re confident and really focusing, you will be working fabulously hard on that one special move. And you’ll be really surprised what you can do in only 5 days if you really do follow the steps.  There’s only one thing left… and that’s to start all over again for another 5 days with the next thing you need to work on!