Recovering from Mistakes in Competition

This week I want to talk about competition mistakes because eventually every skater ends up falling or tripping in a competition program. The best skaters will recover immediately, and they’ll usually forget about the mistake quickly.

I’ve found the best way to forget about the mistake is by transferring your focus to the next element in the program. If you dwell on the mistake, that is when you tend to lose focus and possibly make many more mistakes.

You can develop mistake recovery by practicing like a competition. When you make a mistake in practice, you should resume your program with the same expression and energy as before the fall.

Here’s an example of 2010 Olympic silver medalists and 2011 World champions Charlie White and Meryl Davis at a recent ISU Grand Prix competition in Russia. You see Charlie take a significant stumble early in the program, but he quickly resumes composure, getting right back in sync with Meryl. This causes the audience to forget about the mistake and keeps any negative marks by the judges minimal.


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December 5, 2011