Competition Preparation – Part 2 (Audrey Weisiger)

World and Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger continues her series of videos on the topic of competition preparation. In the first video of the series, Audrey addressed the competition planning process. In this video, she turns her attention to determining “the purpose of the event.” Audrey likes to think of competitions as something she refers to as “comptests” where “comp” stands for being “compared to other skaters” and “test” stands for students being “tested against themselves.” Audrey says that skaters at a competition are “being tested against their own standard.”

Audrey notes that the purpose of any competition really shouldn’t be to win. Any skater can rack up huge numbers of wins by simply entering easy competitions, but as Audrey says, “That’s not why you skate. I like to remind my athletes they chose skating because it’s challenging. Skating is one of those sports that only the really strong of character survive and develop through it.”

Next, Audrey offers some examples of good “purposes” or goals for a specific competition. She says, “Give them 3 assignments that make sense and are attainable, but are just far enough for them that they’re going to have to push themselves a little bit.”

Record keeping can be very helpful in the process of planning and preparing for competition. Audrey takes a moment to discuss a skating journal, and particularly the value of recording (some) program run-throughs. She makes the point that this kind of information can be very helpful to minimize or eliminate problems that simply need a little extra attention.

Audrey tells skaters and coaches to “expect the unexpected” and she wants skaters and coaches to be aware of negative self-talk. Having skaters practice coping skills is important for all the unknowns that can come up at a competition. Audrey offers examples of how she creates situations that require some level of mental toughness.

 

NOTE: In this video, Audrey mentions a handout that she is willing to share. If you would like a copy of this document, please reach out directly to Audrey at audreyweisiger@gmail.com and explain that you saw this video on iCoachSkating and would like the accompanying “competition preparation handout.” Audrey is very busy so please be patient if she does not respond immediately.


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