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  1. #1
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    Anyone else get really demoralized?

    I skated for a few years when I was a kid. I'm 23 now, and I decided to take it up again in March.

    I've been practicing a lot and taking private lessons. I've definitely improved a lot, but sometimes I feel *so* demoralized.

    Some things seem hopeless. Its seems like no matter how hard I work at it, I will never get certain moves right.

    Do you guys experience this, too? And if so, how do you keep yourself from getting too discouraged? I am really hard on myself.

    Thanks,
    Miriam

  2. #2
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    I'm oftentimes talk myself out of doing certain things because if it isn't perfect, I'll be upset with myself. I've actually had to train myself to say it's okay to fall and make plenty of mistakes because that's the only way I'll ever be a better skater.

    Like you, I skated when I was younger, and started back up last summer. I skated for 10 years competitively, and quit in 2001. I then decided, at age 28, to get back on the ice and start skating again....8 years later.

    Part of my issue was that I knew back in 2001 I could do a lot of the difficult elements, and also do a few triple jumps. So coming back, I almost felt funny since I couldn't do some of the stuff I could do before. However, I set-up some goals for myself, and surprisingly I've been able to accomplish a lot...IMO anyway. I'm still not where I want to be 9 months later, but I'm also not skating 5 days a week and several hours per day.

    I thought it would be hopeless to do a lot of things again, and with a little confidence, I've been able to jump over a lot of hurdles, and even surprised myself.

    IMO, I think if you're having a bad day skating, you need to think about what you did wrong, and then pump yourself up, in a sense, before you skate again so you feel energized and want to get back on the ice and try again. A few weeks ago, I was with my coach and was popping double jumps left and right, and they're all pretty easy for me at this point. I was so discouraged because I just couldn't do anything correctly, and it was so bad that even my coach was like "what's wrong with you? This is so unlike you." That was a day I really questioned why I'm returning back to the ice, but then I thought about what was wrong, and made sure to be extra focused the next time I skated. I also looked at some video of me to see what was good and not so good so I had something to work on and correct next time.

    I'm sure you're a huge perfectionist like me so I understand the feeling of being hard on yourself. But, we have to remember that in order to attain the perfect or flawless look on the ice requires a lot of imperfect practice.

    Kristi Yamaguchi's coach, Christy Ness, said something a few years ago that is very true about skating (I'm going to paraphrase here)....there are very few moments of greatness in skating, and there are a lot of good moments mixed with a ton of bad moments. It's whether or not you learn from the bad moments and push yourself to keep moving forward.

    Anyway, point being that we all have a ton of those demoralizing moments where you just want to give up, but it's up to us to keep looking forward and to push ourselves harder.

    Check out my thread on here if you want to follow my progress. I have a feeling you are in the same place I was last summer.
    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=72520


    Good luck with everything!

  3. #3

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    What is your goal? Just to learn how to skate better? Or do you want to be competitive? We'll go from there.

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    I skated from 14 to 19 and wasn't half bad (if I do say so myself)> I came back to it at age 57 and thought "Give me a couple of days on the ice and I will be right back into it!" NOT SO! I couldn't even STAND UP on @$#%$ skates! After 4 years I am still working on the basics, only have a mediocre upright spin, a so-so Waltz jump, and a poor Toe Loop - but I am too stubborn to quit!

    A couple of years ago I was talking to an Olympic medalist figure skater from years back and asked her how she has adjusted to "diminishing abilities". She laughed and said "It is just part of life."

    It isn't productive to compare what we USED to do with what we CAN do today. Better to look around at your peers, the ones who started at the same age you did, and use them to assess our progress.

    My "primary competition" at the national level is 73 years old - I am 60 and I am still trying to beat her LOL!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miriam246 View Post
    I skated for a few years when I was a kid. I'm 23 now, and I decided to take it up again in March.

    I've been practicing a lot and taking private lessons. I've definitely improved a lot, but sometimes I feel *so* demoralized.

    Some things seem hopeless. Its seems like no matter how hard I work at it, I will never get certain moves right.

    Do you guys experience this, too? And if so, how do you keep yourself from getting too discouraged? I am really hard on myself.

    Thanks,
    Miriam
    You need to read what you just wrote. You've only been skating again since March - that's only a month or so. Cut yourself some slack, here.

    As others said, as an adult returning skater, you cannot compare what you're doing now to what you did when younger, nor can you compare how quickly you grasp elements now with how quickly you grasped them when younger. Focus on the you that you are now, not the you that you were then.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  6. #6
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    I also skated as a kid. Had doubles through a loop, working on flip and lutz. I was off the ice for 22 years and came back in my late thirties. I got my jumps back through flip pretty quickly, but eight years after returning I still struggle occasionally with the axel and the doubles are just not there. It is frustrating, but I try to focus on other areas of my skating too, where I have seen improvement.

  7. #7
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    scootie~ Thank you so much for your response. The thing you mentioned about Kristi Yamaguchi's coach, what she said....I will definitely keep that in mind. Your post really helped me.

    luenatic~ I haven't decided if I want to compete or not. I'm trying to become a well-rounded skater, and I started choreographing a program that I could potentially compete to (with some tweaks).

    RustyBlades~ I think it's fantastic that you're "too stubborn to quit." And I'm also just working on the basics. Can barely do a waltz jump.

    GarrAarghHrumph~ What you mentioned is good to keep in mind. That being said, I was never any great skater! I think I was at Beta 1 or Beta 2 when I stopped skating. You guys are probably light years ahead of that.

    sk8ter1964~ I'm amazed at anyone who can do the jumps that you do!


    Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to respond. It really helps to hear from people that understand.

  8. #8
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    I very much like what Yamaguchy's coach said, this is so realistic and encouraging. I'll remember it as well especially through hard times. Enjoy the great moments, have fun with the goood ones and learn from mistakes to push yourself always.
    However, if you have the passion to skate, just skate for it, have fun, enjoy yourself and the rest will come as it should.

  9. #9
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    Miriam, first of all, I wish I were 23 again...

    I skated as a kid and then played hockey in college where I tore up my left knee pretty bad in 1967 which required a partial rebuilding of my knee.

    I was off the ice for 30 years. I started figure skating again at 52 and got some of my jumps back. The big problem was I was a clockwise jumper but because I didn't want to land on my left knee, I had to rewire my brain to do counterclockwise.

    Two years ago at 62, arthritis began to develop in my lower back which made jumping painfall so I took up figures, which I do on a regular basis.

    Was I demoralized at times? You bet! But my coach, who has been very encouraging over the past 12 years, once told me, "Even if you only make a little progress, it still is progress. The most important thing is that you have fun and enjoy skating!"
    Happiness is being married to your best friend!

  10. #10
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    I think it's all about who you compare yourself to. Don't compare yourself to those who are younger, those who have been skating a lot longer, or even yourself when you were younger. Just compare yourself each year (or maybe every 6 months) to yourself this same time last year.

    I took my first skating lessons at age 27, so you are already years ahead of me! I am now 45, and in addition to just not mastering things as quickly, I now find that my body also needs more recuperation time and can do fewer repetitions of things before I feel an overuse injury coming on. So be glad you are doing this now, and learn as many jumps and spins as you can in the next 10-15 years while your body is still young and resilient! I landed my first axel and my first double salchow at age 38, so just imagine what you can do if you stick with it!

  11. #11
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    I do, and often. I didn't skate as a kid, started as an adult at 24, and I don't really think I've improved or learned anything new since the first year. I picked up a lot right away and was told that I get things pretty naturally, but of course it's a late start. I'm still at the same level with jumps, can't really spin, etc. Part of it is that I can't do more than once a week group lessons and practice - money moreso than time. Because of the limited instruction, I get frustrated and don't learn anything when week to week there's no progress to chart, no real build-up of skills. I feel like through all the groups and instructors, we've started with a blank slate every week.

    The best days are when I learn something new - sometimes it's not an entirely new skill, but even just perspective on how to do a skill better. I feel really good about that, and do it very well for a while. But somehow technique just regresses or degrades when an instructor's eyes are not on it for a while, and that's when I get discouraged. I also feel discouraged when I'm just skating around "lost" with no real warm-up, set of skills I want to do, goal I want to accomplish by the end of the session. Obviously this is all up to me and how seriously I take it, so I need to sit and think and prepare goals before I take the ice. I think that would solve a lot of my frustration.

    I have always wanted to put together a program - not necessarily to compete or even to perform in front of other people - but just for myself. Right now I don't feel like I quantitatively have enough skills to create a real program with any flow or coherence. It's a nebulous goal, but if I could accomplish that, I could apply it to my skating in the future and love it more.

  12. #12

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    I think when you get demoralised you have to find new strategies and things to work on.

    For myself, I have kind of lost interest in completing my Novice Dance test here (still have the Starlight and Cha Cha Congelada to go) because of a number of factors, one of them being trouble with particular steps which freak me out. However because I am learning to dance judging, I am just playing with senior dances with my male dance coach who partners me, and am learning to be a male partner with my female coach who is much shorter than I am and she really appreciates the chance to skate as a girl.

    I was saying to my female coach the other day, that even though I have been learning ice dance for 16 years, there is still so much to learn. And learning the boy steps is a whole new experience.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  13. #13
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    Figure Skating is one of the hardest sport. Nothing can be perfect. That's why I also feel demoralized sometimes. But back to the basics, what a joy it is to be on the ice !

  14. #14
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    brian~ So true. It is the best feeling to be out on the ice. The good days and the good moments outshine the bad ones.

    I just got a mild injury, so I won't be able to skate for two weeks. I am really missing it!

    Thanks to all of you for responding. I appreciate it so much. <3

    Miriam

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    Quintuple~ I really hope you can choreograph a program for your skating. It can be really short, like 1 or 2 minutes. I have a 2 minute program, and sometimes I videotape it and when I watch it and see improvements from the last time -- even really small ones -- it really motivates me and makes me see the progress I *am* making, even if it's just a little bit, here and there. Also, it's *so* fun to pick out music and choreograph something. Give it a try!

  16. #16
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    So you have one group lesson per week and one practice per week, or you just go to the rink once per week and that includes a group lesson and practice? If you can only skate one or two hours per week, that definitely makes it a little harder to progress. I started off with just one group lesson and one practice per week and managed to get all of my 1-revolution jumps that way, but my spins were pretty lousy and I did hit a plateau after awhile. I would suggest working toward a skills test (like your first moves-in-the-field and freestyle tests), but it's kind of hard to do that in a group lesson setting unless everyone else in the group wants to take the tests, too.

  17. #17
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    I've definitely improved a lot, but sometimes I feel *so* demoralized.

    Some things seem hopeless. Its seems like no matter how hard I work at it, I will never get certain moves right.
    Definitely yes! I think it is normal in this sport. For me spins is the hardest element, it seems to take ages until I feel an improvement, my coach is almost desperate but still encourages me al lot to try it again and again...finally after about 9 months of practice (with him, I tried 2 years myself) I get it almost right. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4x4b21dZh0 but there is still a lot of room to improve...

    There are always days where nothing really works but then there are days everything works perfectly, so I always wait for the perfect days that motivates me to always go on...one thing is for sure the good days always return, no matter what

  18. #18
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    LLOS~ I definitely know what you mean about the "on" and "off" days. So true. Gotta get through the cruddy days and savor the good ones and let them motivate you to keep going....

    By the way, beautiful one foot spin!

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    By the way, beautiful one foot spin!
    Thanks so much, it's nice to hear that you like it, it was a huge amount of work to let it look like that

  20. #20
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    Sometimes I feel that way too. I have a half hour drive to my rink and sometimes I think to myself "I love skating I'm going to have a really good day today I'm gonna do all my enitre moves test, warm up with spins and have a jump day" It feels really silly but sometimes it works

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