To celebrate the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships which are starting today, I am thrilled to bring you a 5 part series on 'Organizing Athletes' by Karen Preston. Karen is an Olympian and 2 time National figure skating champion of Canada. Karen is now the Director of the Canadian Ice Academy located in Mississauga, Ontario, as well as coaching at the Toronto Cricket and Curling Club in Toronto, Canada. If you're a coach, athlete or just curious about how athletes are trained, this series will inspire and excite you! Without further ado, I give you Karen Preston - Lauren
Set Your Goals
All great coaches know that to achieve success you have to set goals. These goals should be S.M.A.R.T goals. In other words, they need to be Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time sensitive.
The first thing I do is sit down with my athletes and their parents at the start of the season. We have a meeting and I outline a yearly planning instrument or a YPI. This allows everyone to visually see the plan. The YPI will include everything from when to get new skates, go to the Doctor for a general check up, get new outfits, to what skills the skater needs to acquire throughout the year. This meeting allows for all of the individuals to be on the same page. For example if the main goal is to earn a spot to the National Championships, everyone participating, from the athlete to the parents driving them to the rink, need to understand what level of commitment that will take. The hours needed on ice, the financial budget and then how to go about it achieving it. To avoid making the athlete feel overwhelmed I break down the larger, sport specific goals into smaller S.M.A.R.T goals. This way the athlete can focus on the day-to-day training and feel success as they achieve these smaller goals on the more specific skill acquisitions that will allow us to get closer to achieving the larger goal.