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  1. #1

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    Loosing your nerve to jump

    I started back on the ice at the end of June. It was all going well unitl last week when I landed a few axels. Ever since I've lost my nerve! I know I can do it if I would just trust myself but I keep pulling out at the last minute or if i do get into the air opening up or putting my left foot down. I've become so scared of falling!

    Anyone else have this problem or been able to overcome it? I'm getting so fustrated with myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C_T_T_ View Post
    I started back on the ice at the end of June. It was all going well unitl last week when I landed a few axels. Ever since I've lost my nerve! I know I can do it if I would just trust myself but I keep pulling out at the last minute or if i do get into the air opening up or putting my left foot down. I've become so scared of falling!

    Anyone else have this problem or been able to overcome it? I'm getting so fustrated with myself.
    I have similar problem with my toe loop. It is weird that I am more scared of the toe loop than any other jumps including Lutz. In fact, the toe loop is the only jump I chicken out at the last minute (I do the three turn, transfer the weight to R leg and when it is time to dig, I just don't dig, I step forward and skate without the jump!) It is like if my brain decides at the exact moment that I won't do it and the body just doesn't do it.

    There were several things I have tried to get out of this.

    Sometimes it helped me to just practice through it and make myself do it, and again, and again. Sometimes it gave me the confidence that I knew that If I don't do it now, I would have to repeat it several times and that forced me do it.

    However, sometimes the more I was trying, the worse it became. It got to the point that I would feel some sort of irrational fear when attempting the toe loop (I don't even know fear of what, because I didn't have a fall on the toe loop and I am not scared of falling. More like fear of failure?) If you feel you are getting into situation like this, it may be better if you don't do the jump for a while (like a week or two). Then the fear gets out of your head and you start ahead with the confidence and positive attitude.

    Another thing that helped me was trying it repeatedly in a slow motion, without the speed, and only when I felt that the technique was firmly in my head I would be adding speed and again repeating it quite a few times (if it didn't work, I would again go to slow speed...)

    My toe loop problems come and go. They come approximately twice or three times a year and last about two weeks, then they go and I have no problems at all with the jump for a while. I am not sure what causes it - whether I slightly change the technique without even realising it... My coach doesn't know why either.

    Anyway, good luck C_T_T_! I hope your axel will settle down.

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    I do it all the time It's purely a mental thing because I KNOW I can easily pull off any double jump (yes, even a double axel, which I haven't really practiced), but my issue is more of the perfectionist in me. I'm not so much afraid of falling as I am of not having the jump be perfect.

    I recently told my coach that sometimes I feel like I need to psych myself out just to make sure I do all of my jumps without thinking about anything. I still think twice on the double lutz because I'm still correcting the takeoff edge, and I still tell myself to just do SOMETHING, lol, even though I'm not totally comfortable with the new takeoff just yet.

    My solution is really two things. First, when I step onto the ice, I really just clear my head of everything I'm thinking....no excuses basically....I'm on the ice to practice and I feel like a Nike commercial, LOL. I always tell myself "just do it."

    Another thing I notice is once you start to force yourself to do things, and you realize you can do them perfectly fine, your confidence will return. When I stepped back onto the ice last year, after an 8 year absence, I started back on my axel on the 3rd week. For some reason I was scared even though I knew I could do one, but finally landed them once I actually tried to do them. A few weeks later, my coach and I started working together, and she said do an axel going fast.....I was thinking "I'm NOT ready to do that yet," but I forced myself to do it, and I eventually got to the point where I was doing them without even thinking twice.

    Repeating jumps and spins a lot is probably the best way to overcome the nerves. I've accepted the fact that I cannot be perfect and that I WILL fall. No getting around the fact. I also notice that even if I'm thinking too much, and I have to force myself into something, I typically have a 90% success rate in terms of a clean landing, so that's why I really feel this sport is very mental just as much as it can be physical. The best advice my old coach ever gave me was to not think about it....my body is trained to do it, so I shouldn't have to overthink it.

    Hope that helps.

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    Thanks for the replies.
    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    However, sometimes the more I was trying, the worse it became. It got to the point that I would feel some sort of irrational fear when attempting the toe loop (I don't even know fear of what, because I didn't have a fall on the toe loop and I am not scared of falling. More like fear of failure?) If you feel you are getting into situation like this, it may be better if you don't do the jump for a while (like a week or two). Then the fear gets out of your head and you start ahead with the confidence and positive attitude.
    Yeah, today I kept telling myself just to do it no matter what but it was getting really swingy and wild. After 4 attempts of completely chickening out I thought it was better abondoning it before it became a habit.

    Quote Originally Posted by scootie12 View Post
    Another thing I notice is once you start to force yourself to do things, and you realize you can do them perfectly fine, your confidence will return. When I stepped back onto the ice last year, after an 8 year absence, I started back on my axel on the 3rd week. For some reason I was scared even though I knew I could do one, but finally landed them once I actually tried to do them. A few weeks later, my coach and I started working together, and she said do an axel going fast.....I was thinking "I'm NOT ready to do that yet," but I forced myself to do it, and I eventually got to the point where I was doing them without even thinking twice.
    I know what you mean. I was off the ice for nearly 3 years and first day back on decided to try an axel. Now it wasn't great but I landed it with no bother. So thats why I'm a bit baffled now. My coach suggested I was over thinking it so maybe we'll do something completely different next time and then through in the odd attempt here and there.



    As for the fear of falling- I have no idea where that came from. I've had plenty of really bad ones over the years but nothing recently. It's more a subconscious thing that takes over when I'm in the air. Someone told me it was just an age thing and I had to expect that since I'm not a kid anymore-didn't help much!

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    I do with double axel through triple lutz. I'm not aggressive enough and too much of a perfectionist. The othe rday I "set up" for my triple loop about 20 times and didn't even ATTEMPT to jump any of those times.. i'd just chicken out or something because it wasn't "perfect" which is the worst thing to do. it's annoying. when i do jump, 99% of the time they're landed though. i just need to quit worrying about messing up, etc.

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    I came back to jumping, with the permission of my surgeon, after almost 2 years of no jumping. I did small singles but trying to get my axel back at the age of 45 with a resurfaced landing leg was a difficult fight.

    It requires a lot of belief in yourself, and knowing that you can do it, and everything will be just fine. My axel came back exactly one week after ANs and my double sow and toe are slowly becoming more consistent.

    If you are young, just work on being consistent having a good pattern for your entry and most of all don't rush!!

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spazactaz View Post
    The othe rday I "set up" for my triple loop about 20 times and didn't even ATTEMPT to jump any of those times.. i'd just chicken out or something because it wasn't "perfect" which is the worst thing to do.
    Have you had a bad experience falling on the 3lp in the past and maybe that's why you not 100% comfortable with just going for it? I'm sure your coach has already told you this, but if you don't go for it in practice then it'll be harder to go for it during your actual competition.

  8. #8

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    Maybe you can practice falling to get the fear out of your head? Do an axel with the permission in your head that you will after the take down lower yourself to the ice?

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    When I was working actively on more difficult jumps and felt intimidated, I would try skating around and doing other skills then just stick the jump in somewhere w/o giving myself time to think about it. Not necessarily a program, but just skating whatever felt good to me. I had quite a bit of success w this method. Landed some of my better jumps this way.

    Kay
    www.skatejournal.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spazactaz View Post
    I do with double axel through triple lutz. I'm not aggressive enough and too much of a perfectionist. The othe rday I "set up" for my triple loop about 20 times and didn't even ATTEMPT to jump any of those times.. i'd just chicken out or something because it wasn't "perfect" which is the worst thing to do. it's annoying. when i do jump, 99% of the time they're landed though. i just need to quit worrying about messing up, etc.
    this describes me exactly, except with the double axel and easier triples with the exception that i always fall on the triples, haha, but the double axel, i'll go around like 20 times, and not do anything, or end up doing a single cause i haven't jumped for so long my body felt cold :S, and then when I jump the double axel (the proper way), I land it!

  11. #11
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    When it comes to the axel, I have learned to obey my instincts. If something feels wrong on the takeoff edge, it probably is, and I could end up having a bad fall if I forced myself to do it anyway. Instead, I go back to the waltz-loop-loop and make sure I am keeping my free side shoulder back, keeping my free leg still and staying lined up right over my hips, then taking off straight up. Then I go back and try the axel again. It usually works.

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    I don't know about the rest of you, but when I work with my coach, we work pretty quick on getting through the jumps, so I think being in a situation where you can't think too much allows you to just do the jumps. Plus, she'd get upset with me if I didn't force myself to do everything.

    The same goes for me if I were to be doing a program. Since the jumps are so closely bunched together, my body is already comfortable jumping and I have less time to think about anything, especially since most jumps are taking off from a set of steps, or other entries.

    I find I most often circle around to do jumps when I'm on my own and taking my time to do things. That's when I start thinking about everything needing to be perfect, and then it results in me circling the ice forever lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Have you had a bad experience falling on the 3lp in the past and maybe that's why you not 100% comfortable with just going for it? I'm sure your coach has already told you this, but if you don't go for it in practice then it'll be harder to go for it during your actual competition.
    nope i haven't. i dunno what it is.. just a really bad mental block or something. 3sal is the only jump that i can do every time. i can land all the triples fine and consistently, but if it doesn't feel perfect i just won't jump. i'm going to work on putting SUPER short takeoffs into all of them so i have no time to think about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Have you had a bad experience falling on the 3lp in the past and maybe that's why you not 100% comfortable with just going for it? I'm sure your coach has already told you this, but if you don't go for it in practice then it'll be harder to go for it during your actual competition.
    You know, this fear is often not caused by bad experience/bad fall from the past. The fear is there and I don't even know what I am scared of! Weird, I know! And I do know that I am not scared of falling. I know for sure that that's not it. It is really some irrational fear. I noticed that lots of figure skaters are perfectionists, and this 'fear' and not jumping is also quite a common problem, so I wonder whether the only thing to be scared is really being scared of not landing the jump, which we may equal in our heads as failure?

    I noticed that there seems to be more and more skaters even at the top levels who started popping jumps or making singles. I am not talking about messing up one or two jumps in the program, but perhaps not being able to land any triple or just very few within the whole program (Verner - Worlds 2008 and Olympics 2010, Kostner - Worlds 2009 and Olympics 2010, Oda- Worlds 2010 SP, Joubert - Olympics 2010). It is surprising what power our mind has over our skating.

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    When I was skating, it was Dick Button that made me afraid of the axel, believe it or not,. I often watched skating and Dick commentating on TV. Everytime a skater entered a double or triple axel, Dick always made it a point to emphasize how dangerous that forward entrance edge was, and how it could slip right from underneath the skater at any moment. He repeated that warning often, practically at every TV skating event that he commentated on, and he was TV a lot back in the days. So yeah, for the longest time I did have a mental block stepping into the axel and 2a. I also had experienced a couple of huge waxels, and it always felt like my entire heart got lifted out of my body when that happened.

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    Maybe you can practice falling to get the fear out of your head?
    I'm not even jumping yet and I do this. I find it really helps with confidence. The "normal" way to do this is doing a dip and dropping onto your backside, but last time I skated I also practised a forward fall (deliberately tripped over toepicks).

    I'm at that stage where I skate well enough to not fall regularly (ie. just from stroking like people do the first few times skating), but I'm not learning jumps or spins yet. So I'm falling pretty irregularly* at the moment -- excluding deliberate falls and shoot the ducks, only probably one fall out of 3-4 hours of skating. As well as the fear thing, I worry there's a risk that if I don't "practise" falling, I could actually forget what it feels like and be in more danger in a "real" fall.
    Last edited by Bunny_Hop; 08-07-2010 at 07:19 AM.

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    Well this morning was rubbish! It just felt completely wrong and even my best attempt was a quarter short so after 5mins I just decided to do spins instead. I think I'll leave it for a week and then go back and start from stratch. I've completely psyched myself out. Maybe try a few 2L instead because they were always my best jump and my single loop is definately the most comfortable one.

    Probably didn't help that there was a guy there, who I've never seen before, flying round full speed doing huge axels and 2S. 10 years ago I would have done that with out thinking

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    CTT - It has always helped me to use cue words to walk myself through the axel and make myself do it. I just follow my own instructions in real time and that keeps me in the moment and gives me a focus for each stage of the jump. Axel cue words for me are: "arch, straight, up, hip, arms" but yours may be different.

  19. #19

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    Just an update: After not jumping at all for 4 weeks and working on MITF and spins, today I started again. In my lesson we only did the other single jumps and coach suggested that I did axel prep for 5-10mins at the end of the session. After 5mins I was bored with that so I thought I'd through a few in! Of 5 attempts, 2 were df and 1 clean! Still a long way to go but it's a start.

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