Imagery (also known as visualisation) is an essential mental skill for Ice Skaters.
Being able to use imagery to accurately visualise an ice skating move or routine in the mind is a skill that contributes to becoming the best we can be. Elite Ice Skaters use imagery to help them in training and in competition. Coaches and Sport Psychologists can help developing athletes to learn about it.
This article is an introduction to Imagery in Ice Skating for newbies and a challenge for those who think they’re competent.
It’s also a very useful skill to have for when Ice Rinks are closed during a lockdown!
How is Imagery useful for Ice Skating?
- Skill practice…fine tune your skills by learning to “zoom in” on important details
- Reinforce movement cues for better jumps, spins, twizzles, lifts.
- Preparation to compete; visualising a successful skate is a powerful affirmation filling you with positive vibes
- Improve presentation, timing and body lines with less physical fatigue
Mental imagery requires practice to become an accurate, focussed and effective mental skill.
Below we have a fun exercise developed by Dr. Rosie Authur of Bangor University to help you to practice your visualisation and also, to know how accurate your skill is. You will need the following equipment:
- Your music and a means to play it.
- Earphones (to allow you to focus completely)
- A piece of A4 paper or an Ice Rink Diagram (download and print one here)
- A Stopwatch (or stopwatch app on your smart phone)
- A quiet place to sit and concentrate (ideally sitting at a table)
Follow along our guided Imagery Challenge below
Remember, once with your music, then once without your music but timing yourself with your stopwatch.
Notice any difference in the time it took to complete your routine.
- Were you tempted to repeat things that didn’t go well?
- Did you miss any transition steps or were they fuzzy?
- Could you “hear” your music when it wasn’t playing?
Aim for accuracy in every step and every moment. Practice makes all the difference! Good Luck 🙂
If you’ve enjoyed this challenge and want more tips to improve your competition game face, take a look at this