Ice Girl is burning out a bit on figure skating. She’s still interested, but she’s cutting back, at least for the coming month.
We’ve been very careful to allow Ice Girl to decide her own level of participation, so why is she feeling burnt out? And why am I not worried?
- The struggle for success. Progress through the lower skating levels was quick and easy for Ice Girl. Sure, she had to work at some things, but she quickly overcame obstacles. Not so with the axel. Ice Coach tells me Ice Girl is landing it inconsistently, which is good. But Ice Girl is frustrated with that jump and is tiring from the struggle.
- Our solution? She’s working on other things in her lessons and building on those successes. She is working on a flying sit spin and just got a camel – back sit spin that wasn’t half bad.
- Pain. Ice Girl has worked so much on her axel that her hamstring is bothering her. We’ve bought The Stick to massage the muscle and I took her to her doctor for evaluation. The hammy’s fine for normal use, but hurts when she steps up into that jump.
- Our solution? A physical therapist friend gave Ice Girl an exercise to try. I made an appointment with the sports medicine doctor, too. We’ll see.
- Too much of a good thing. Ice Girl skated 13 – 15 hours a week this summer. That’s a lot.
- Our solution? Ice Girl cut back on her ice time for September without any prodding from me. She’s in control of that contract. I’m not pushing her.
- Pushing herself too hard. Ice Girl is new to figure skating: she’s been on the ice for just under two years. Her peers are higher-level skaters and she pushes herself to reach their level. That kid has drive, which is good, but she’s running out of gas.
- Our solution? Again, it’s the ice time control. She can tone down the ice time for a bit and ramp it up once she gets her energy back.
- Blurry vision. Why is Ice Girl doing this whole figure skating thing, anyway? She's having a hard time focusing on what she loves about figure skating because her hamstring hurts and she's overtrained. Losing sight of the vision makes it hard to stay motivated.
- Our solution? Talk it out. We are talking about what Ice Girl loves about figure skating and why she took to it in the first place. I'm asking her to write it down, too, but she's pretty resistant.
Kids burn out for other reasons, too. Some parents push their kids, some kids stress about the money factor, and some kids can’t take the discipline that a sport requires.
I’m honestly not worried if Ice Girl burns out (she cut back ice time from 13 to 9 hours a week). If she cuts back even more, then it’s just another lesson that she’s learned from figure skating: everything in moderation.
Update (9/1/09): I have been informed this morning that Ice Girl is not burning out. Ice Girl is amazed at my overreaction to her relief that she'll have only 9 hours of ice a week, not 13. "Mom. Mom. Mo-om. Stop being so dramatic. I'm not burning out. Geez. We're buying new boots this weekend."
Isn't that something? Me, getting a lecture about drama from Ice Girl. :)
Have you or your skater experienced burn out? How did you rekindle your passion for the sport? Share!