Learn to Set SMART Goals in Figure Skating

If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?

– Basil S. Walsh

One of the first and most important skills an athlete needs is the ability to set goals.  Goal setting is a sport psychology concept that is relevant to all levels of figure skating, whether you’re a recreational skater or an elite skater aiming for an Olympic medal.  By setting goals, you will be a more confident and successful skater.

A useful acronym to use when setting goals is SMART:






Goals should be SPECIFIC.

An example of a specific goal is, “I will land 3 out of 5 loop jumps in my practice session today.”  Another example is, “I will hold each of my landings for 3 seconds today.”

Goals should be MEASURABLE.

The measurable parts of the above goals are in red: “I will land 3 out of 5 loop jumps in my practice session today,” or, “I will hold each of my landings for 3 seconds today.”

Goals should be APPROPRIATE.

When setting goals, it’s important for them to be appropriate for your skating level.  If you’re an ISI Freestyle 3 skater, it would not be appropriate to have a goal of landing an axel in your 12-week semester of group lessons.  A more appropriate goal would be to do a change-foot spin with 4 revolutions per foot during your semester of group lessons.

Goals should be REALISTIC.

Realistic goals are similar to appropriate goals. Unrealistic goals are goals that are not attainable for your level of skating.  A realistic goal for an ISI Freestyle 3 skater would be to obtain a sit spin with 3 revolutions in 2 months or a loop jump in 2 months.  An unrealistic goal would be for an ISI Freestyle 3 skater to land a double axel in 2 months.

Goals should be TIME-BOUND.

It’s important to put an accomplished date on all goals so you know they’ve been achieved.  It’s also important to set daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, and long-term goals.

Why don’t you practice setting some goals?  Make sure they’re SMART.  Try setting 3 goals for this week.

SMART GOALS word art image created by Deb Chitwood

June 16, 2015

New Year, New Goals

To be a good athlete, you need strong motivation. However, levels of motivation can vary throughout the year. So it’s important to find ways that spark your motivation. One of the best and proven ways to keep on track with your athletic plans and increase motivation is through goal setting.

What better time to set goals than the New Year?! As an NASM-certified personal trainer, I was taught to set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Smart goals can stand for:






How to set a S.M.A.R.T. goal:

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Photo Credit: Photo by Niharb at Flickr Creative Commons (License).


January 8, 2012

Make 2011 Your Year of Success through Goals

Are you feeling excited and into 2011? Or maybe you had a great holiday season but still don’t feel ready to get going again. Whether you feel ready to throw yourself into the new year with full force or are lacking enthusiasm, you can make 2011 your year of success! The key is to begin now with setting your goals and starting to achieve them!

Here are 5 ways to help 2011 be your year of success…

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January 6, 2011