Learning to Handle Pressure Situations (Robert Tebby)

World and Olympic coach Robert Tebby offers sage advice regarding learning to skate and perform under pressure. In the video, Robert is teaching a class on the double toe loop at a local seminar. One of the skaters was asked to do a double toe but didn’t execute it well (not shown in the video). And Robert uses that as a teaching opportunity. He notes that being singled out to perform an element in a seminar setting is a huge opportunity. It serves as a way to practice performing under pressure, just like any skating competition. He says, “The more times you can put yourself out there and learn to sort of be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation, the better you get at it.”

Next Robert shares some tips with the skater to help her stop blocking the rotation of the double toe. He wants the arms to start moving through BEFORE the toe pick goes into the ice. He also emphasizes being wide with the arms and going to small by the time the take-off happens. He uses the concept of “throwing a beach ball” which turns into a “tennis ball.” The skater lands the next attempt.

Robert finishes up this video by continuing to discuss performing under pressure in front of everyone. He says, “That’s a skill on its own.” Just like working on specific skills like jumps and spins which take time and effort to learn, “performing that skill at that right moment in time is also a skill.” Robert then uses the “what’s-the-worst-that-can-happen” motivational speech to clarify why skaters should be willing and eager to take chances and learn to handle pressure by putting themselves in pressure situations as often as possible.


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