Set SMART Ice Skating Goals for the New Year
by Stéphanie Siclari
As the New Year begins, it’s time to reflect on the year that has passed. Did you accomplish what you set out to do? What could you have done better? What went well?
When you plan for 2021, be sure to plan for 2022 as well.
As ice skaters, we are often so anxious to accomplish the next skill, to pass the next test, or to win that competition. Getting there, of course, requires discipline in our physical training, but it also requires a plan of action. Goal setting allows us to see the “big picture” of where we want to go and how we plan to get there.
As business strategist, author and philanthropist Tony Robbins says, “Progress equals happiness. When we see progress, we are bound to feel a sense of satisfaction.
Take it to the next level by preparing for success with Goal Setting: Set SMART Goals, a strategy described by Robbins in “How to Set Smart Goals:” (The acronym SMART, developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham in 1981, stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely Goals.)
S (specific): Be specific with what you want to achieve. This step answers the question “What do I want to accomplish?” “For example:” In 2022, I want to land an Axel. “
M (measurable):This is the step to track your progress. How do you plan to reach your goal? For example: “I will practice the Axel preparation techniques until I am ready to try ice jumping. I will be working on my Axel rotations and drills off the ice to help improve my Axel on the ice. The more specific you are in how you plan to measure progress towards that goal, the easier it will be to see how close you are to achieving it.
A (achievable): This step means setting an achievable goal within a specified amount of time. Here is an example of an unrealizable goal: “I want to be Olympic champion in Beijing in 2022, but I am a novice level skater”. It is simply unrealistic; if your goal is to land the Axel and you’re already doing simple jumps, then landing the Axel is a more realistic goal.
R (Relevant): This goal is aligned with the current skills you are already working on. In our Axel landing example, this would be a relevant goal if you are a freestyle skater working on single jumps.
T (timely): How quickly would you like to achieve this goal? Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to accomplish it. For example, if you have just learned the Axel, think about your “Measurable” step: how often will you train? What actions will you take? From there, you can set your timeline for achieving that goal.
This process may seem overwhelming at first, but the first step to achieving your goals is to identify them. Maybe start with a smaller goal that is easily achievable, because when we achieve goals we feel a sense of satisfaction. If we can achieve the smaller goals, with our focus and energy on them, we can certainly achieve our larger goals. Celebrate every victory, even the smallest!
And don’t forget to write down your goals! In a recent study from the Dominican University of California, “those who wrote down their goals were 42% more likely to achieve them,” according to Robbins.
The main reason people fail to reach their goals is fear! With the right mindset and the right attitude, discipline and patience, you can achieve your goals!
Now let’s all go out and make 2022 a successful year!
Download my guide to SMART goals to get started.
Stephanie Siclari has been teaching figure skating and power hockey for all ages and levels for 15 years. She has worked with skaters around the world, who have competed in national and international competitions as well as the US World Synchronized Figure Skating Championships. She is a former senior female competitor and two-time United States synchronized skating champion and member of the United States team (University of Miami, Ohio, college and senior teams). She is the creator of SKATERFIT, an off-ice and on-ice training program designed to help skaters build confidence and physical and mental strength while providing a fun platform to achieve their goals. For more information, please visit coachstephaniesiclari.com. You can also visit his YouTube channel for additional exercises.