It’s no secret that I was disappointed in myself for my poor performance at Adult Sectionals. What I needed to do, however, was to understand what went wrong. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to conduct a post-mortem (lessons learned) with my mental coach.
I told her that during my unofficial practice session, I got physically dizzy while on the ice. I’m not sure if it was from the bright lights or something else. But, it was a weird feeling that I’ve never experienced before. When I took the ice later that afternoon, I got dizzy again during my first spin. After that, I got disoriented and skated in the wrong direction… twice.
Here’s what I learned about that incident.
The dizziness was an external force that I wasn’t used to, so it was unplanned and unexpected. Since my mind didn’t train for this to happen, it got traumatized and couldn’t recover. As a result, my balance felt off, and I got discombobulated during my program. My mind latched onto the dizziness and couldn’t shake it off. It hung onto the disoriented feeling and my body wasn’t able to go back to normal.
When I had practice again the next day, my spins were off, and my balance wasn’t there. Again, my mind was still traumatized. The next day when I skated in my open freestyle event, my mind still latched onto the dizziness.
I blamed my bad skating on my blades. I thought something was wrong with them since my balance was off, but after my skate tech looked at my blades, he saw nothing wrong with them. My mind was so convinced that my equipment was off that I didn’t realize that it was a mental block.
Now that I know that my mind was traumatized, I now how to plan better. I can add this to my preparation and training so I will know what to do the next time something like this happens.
This post-mortem is exactly what I needed. The mind is such a fascinating (and powerful) thing.