Muscle memory is a funny thing. We don’t have a conscious control over it other than learning that: Practice makes progress.
Sometimes in the journey to master a move we make mistakes and our brains can get a little confused in that moment of which “feeling” is right or wrong for that move. However, subconsciously our brain does know, and that’s why sometimes realising when it’s not going well is a good time to have a break. A moment, an hour, a day or a few weeks can make a difference!
My coach would quite often say “I think we had better leave that for now and come back to it” or occasionally ask me to have a couple of weeks off from attempting it.
I remember a holiday once where in the weeks before, I was in a bit of a rut with landing some jumps. 2 weeks after my holiday loe and behold they were back as strong as they had been and I’d had 2 weeks on holiday!!
Trust your subconscious mind and your muscle memory. Quite often less is more when you’ve lost a feeling you’ve had before. So go an have some time off and enjoy your holidays 🙂 You’ll bring back a fresh mind for the ice and a “clean” muscle memory for your most newest or most difficult moves 🙂
OK maybe I’m biased but out of the thousands of sports in the world, there is only one I can think of where the “playing field” can be simultaneously enjoyed by any age, any ability and anyone! For many reasons ice skating is one of the most diverse past times out there!
A first timer aged 3 takes to the ice along side retired adult skaters, wheelchair users and a local school of teenagers. Some of them are there to improve their skills, some are there to be social, some are there for the sensory experience... all of them are there for fun!
For certain; ice skating creates a “bug” for new skaters that’s hard to shake. And through anyone’s skating journey, one profound lesson is learnt for life - if you fall down, you get back up and try again.
There’s no better feeling than building “grit” to persevere in any situation, on or off the ice and skating does that without you asking it to.
Is made faster out of your comfort zone. People who are willing to make mistakes at the cost of looking silly, having a stumble, a fall or even an injury can be the ones who progress faster. Skating is sometimes per sieved to be a very dangerous sport and it can be! However in a controlled environment, pushing yourself to the limit is the difference between 1st and 2nd place, between progressing at a usual rate or a seemingly faster rate to the majority.
In speed, in jumps, in spins, in edges, and in practice. Feeling your heart beat from adrenaline or just from hard work is the buzz i will never forget in skating. That buzz is often the excitement of progress - "Did i just do that?". It's the feeling of achieving something you never have after trying so hard - and what a feeling!!
It's easy to say be brave, but sometimes too much blocks us from going out of our comfort zones. The trick is to focus on the goal - how much do you want this? The mistakes you make will give you feedback you can progress with faster.
So go and make some mistakes - what's the point in trying if your not trying your best?!?
Practice makes perfect - you knew that right?
The difference between those who seem to find it easy and those who feel they are working hard and not getting very far very fast is your mindset.
A fixed mindset often comes from a negative attitude - "that was not good enough"
A GROWTH mindset comes from a positive attitude - "that was a tiny bit better than last time!"
In skating, the learning curve is so steep. For many, as you get higher in the levels, things take longer to grasp. Tests take longer to pass and competitions are tougher to win.
In a few minutes of trying something your brain is trying new connections, when something works those connections stick, your brain gets stronger with those connections and eventually they become "muscle memory" (2nd nature / you don't need to concentrate so much).
Think of baby learning to walk... He has no idea about practice or the concept of it, all he wants to do is walk! (He has a GOAL) Try and try again, fall after fall eventually he makes it - how long did it take? as long as he needed it to, the day he decided he WANTED to walk. We are born with no walking or skating abilities - they are learned! And it's only dedicated practice with a positive mind that will secure your success and achievement - whatever your age!
I don't believe for one second anyone is "past it" or "plateaued". Everyone has different levels they can reach, some higher than others, the point is IMPROVEMENT no matter how small can be made with the right mindset - How strong your mind is and how much belief your coach has will determine your level.
So what are you waiting for?