We know that ice skating offers some great health benefits. But the sport of figure skating offers much more. Let's understand the 6 mental benefits of figure skating - skills that the skaters will be able to use all their life!
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Mental and Health Benefits of figure skating
Figure skating offers some great benefits to anyone who goes for it.
Health benefits of figure skating
First are the health benefits. At any levels, ice skating helps your health in many different ways (Learn more in this other article):
- It boosts your Happiness
- It improves your Balance
- It increases your moto coordination
- It improves your joints' flexibility
- It builds muscles and improves posture
- It increases cardio health
- It helps with weight management
Life skills' benefits of figure skating
Figure Skating teaches a child (or an adult) so many things apart from the sport itself. As a figure skating mum you can be happy about that 🙂
This is true for all sports though, but Figure Skating has some interesting values to instill.
It will help you or your child:
- To not be afraid of failure and to get back up quickly
- To focus on the effort and the learning
- To be consistent to achieve success
- To trust his/her instinct and make quick decisions
- To be eager to learn from others
- To be organized
Let me show you how in the following article.
Life skill #1 - Figure skating benefit: A Get up Spirit
Figure skating is one of the best sports that exist to work on your GET UP spirit.
If and when you try and you fall over, get up quick!
- On the ice you want to because it is cold and wet 🙂
- And in life: You might benefit with this ‘bounce back’ approach and realize that the more you are down and out and you don’t try to rise up immediately, then you will take longer to sort it out, deal with it and begin growing and learning normally again. It's important to fall but equally important to pick yourself right back up and begin working at learning in a healthy way.
How you get up is important.
The 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Association’s ‘The Get Up campaign’ said:
“Ice is slippery, and so is life” & “It is how we get up that matters.”
This is the very essence of the entire sport. You will have a bad day and you will fall and what matters is how these obstacles are being dealt with. This applies to anything and everything. How quickly and naturally one gets over a failure, a rejection and a letdown and how immediately you begin to work in a forward direction is a steppingstone towards defining YOU.
Go back to your why
When you are down on the ice again and again, at one-point frustration may increase.
And if it becomes overwhelming.
- Take a deep breath
- Think about why you started
- Imagine quitting right now
- See what your mind tells you
Life skill #2 - Resilience
There are seldom easy roads to success.
Growth can be a frustrating process, but you can work harder for something that drives your passion. If you really are passionate about something it won’t leave you alone even if you quit, it will keep on coming up right back into your life.
The real strength is in knowing that you have overcome something and shall overcome more if life throws you more and bigger challenges.
The ‘never give up’ attitude is helpful when you are at practice but all you do is fall and get right back up for hours at a stretch. If you are trying out something new, you might need to do it 100 times each day for 3 weeks straight until you do it right. Most out of these tries would flop but if you think you can, you will be able to!
When you fall all the time, falling becomes immaterial and toughness takes the place of the sting.
You learn to manage it and learn from it, it becomes consistency and ultimately perfection. You can control your mind and direct it towards the positive if you get rejected over and over and then nothing can break you.
This is very crucial for a child to learn. Resilience is a key personality trait which helps children learn that challenges are not be feared but to be faced with all they have. If it’s a child who is doing figure skating, they can be encouraged to try something new and be allowed to take a calculated risk. The new challenge will build resilience and bounce back effectiveness. The focus should be on the effort that the child puts in and the learning they receive in return.
Life skill #3 - Consistency
Doing something once or being able to do something once and doing it over and over with the same awesomeness are different things and take different skillsets. Consistency is a virtue which will reward you with respect and praise all your life in everything you do. Figure skating builds this virtue like nothing else.
Showing up and delivering is key in Figure skating and in life.
You might have had many problems and obstacles which would affect the quality of delivery but in the end what matters is if you can offer what you promised. As a skater, this means performance at a constant or even an increasing level and as a person living their life it means being regularly better each time you do something.
The people sitting there to judge would just be concerned with how you do, in that moment. More than excellence, consistency is what people look for in a performer. Completing tasks at hand with equal gusto and set pace is more important than doing each one of them absolutely perfectly.
When you do figure skating, the most important part is showing up every day at practice. This is what helps you in life too:
- When you are trying to get healthy you need to check your diet and exercise each day and only consistency will get you results.
- When you want to master a new skill for work
- When you want to start your own company
This habit gets into you thanks to figure skating.
Life skill #4 - Decision making / Trusting instinct
Figure skating gives you better judgment and the skills to take decisions fast and effectively.
The children who get into figure skating get ample opportunities to learn something that’s not common knowledge, evolution and consistency. They can judge a situation and what’s there for them in it, in a better way. This directly influences their happiness as well. Decisions are made with a combination of emotion and logic and they are not always to the same effect and there is also a lot of heart that is in them. There can be no cookie cutter right or wrong but also something personal which dawns with a clarity that figure skating can give.
Instinct also plays a role when there are split-second decisions to be taken: to change a jump or modify a position in order to control the outcome.
Logic or emotion doesn’t drive that, the instinct does. The moment has to be felt rather than analyzed. The more one practices the more naturally instinct flows and one is more comfortable trusting their heart to take those decisions.
Life skill #5 - Being coachable
Being coachable is another virtue that figure skating instills. This means that you are ready and open to learn something new and inviting someone to make some changes in you that make you better.
If you take the criticism personally or get offended by the feedbacks easily, it means your ego is in the way of letting situations change or mold you. If they sound cool and give you a ‘try it’ motivation, the feedback is being taken constructively and you are committed to becoming better and growing. Figure skating makes you fall so much, you forget the humiliation that might be a theme to it and learn to let the falls change you.
The same concept comes at play when you are out of the sport, in life and faced with a variety of things and people who might be the source of something you can learn from. If you are malleable the situations can hammer and push you into a shape where you will be more comfortable. The sport teaches you this fluidity of the concept of self.
Life skill #6 - Organizational Skills
Time management, Organization, Responsibility - Any sport teaches these virtues but the one who takes it seriously benefits even in regular life away from the rink.
Remembering when is practice day and time, packing things with mindfulness, getting the gear ready, finishing homework before practice, reminding oneself to be more alert and aware of what happens in the rink are all things associated with the sport and slowly seep into the personality of the person who diligently practices the sport.
The roles change with time and more things get added to the responsibility list. A figure skating sportsperson develops his/her caliber to take on more organizational duties.
One can say that there are no time managers better than skaters. They wake up early, they train for hours before school, manage school well, do homework and still thrive.
What better preparation of adulthood, if not this? Achieving what one wants to achieve in the limited time we are granted each day is a gift a skater has and needs to hone. Go ahead and surprise them all by fitting in laborious hours into the schedule and still come out with flying colors. Thanks to skating.
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