Ice skating is an admittedly dangerous sport, and accidents resulting in injuries are fairly commonplace. While sustaining an injury while ice skating isn’t too difficult, getting back on the ice after a serious injury can be. If you are currently struggling with your fear but know that deep down that you want to keep skating, the following 5 tips may help you to head back to the rink with confidence.
- Watch Footage of Pro Skaters – Even professional skaters fall all the time, most of the time without injuring themselves. Seeing people you look up to fall and maybe even get hurt once in awhile but get back up anyway can help to rebuild your determination to get back up onto the ice yourself.
- Check Your Equipment – Knowing that your skating equipment is as prepared for the ice as it can be can make you feel more prepared by extension. As you prepare your skates, imagine you are preparing yourself, and the more prepared they are, the more prepared you are.
- Don’t Push Yourself – If you are getting over an injury, skating may be a little harder than usual and you may be slightly more prone to making mistakes that will lead to injuries. Giving yourself as much time as you need to heal thoroughly is a good idea, but if you force yourself to return to the rink while you are still healing, be sure and take things slowly and be gentle with yourself to prevent further injuries that could make your fears even worse.
- Practice Skating In Your Mind – Focus on imagining everything going exactly as you want it to and having a great time, performing a trick just right or perhaps winning a medal. You can even put on your skates as you do this. The point is to rebuild and strengthen positive associations with skating so that they become more important than the negative association created by your injury. It’s a silly sounding anxiety treatment technique, but it’s a valuable one.
- Alter Your Memory of the Injury – Replay the moment when your injury occurred in your mind. Make it as vivid as possible, recalling all the sounds, smells, colors and textures associated with it, as well as all the sensations and emotions you felt. Once you have a picture of this in your mind, imagine the picture shrinking and fading, and the smaller it gets and the more black and white it becomes, the quieter the sounds get and the more far away the emotions feel. Anytime the event comes back to you when you don’t want it to, do this again. After a while, the memory won’t return as vividly, and your fear will decrease.
- Exercise – This is probably an obvious tip, but exercising off the ice while you are working to overcome your fear can help you build confidence in the strength and resilience of your body and help you to feel prepared for anything that might happen. On the other hand, letting your muscles weaken while you feel unable to skate will only make it more difficult when you do return to the rink.
Don’t let fear come between you and the activity you love. By following the above tips you will soon find yourself slicing through that ice with a vengeance and making it think twice about causing you any more trouble.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera has seen the way that injuries can affect athletes and their anxiety. He writes about other tools to cope with anxiety at www.calmclinic.com.