Friday, April 30, 2010

The Op-Ed: Attitude

In figure skating, attitude makes such a big difference in how effective you are as a competitor. I'm not talking "attitude" like if your sassy or if you are quiet. I'm talking "attitude," where your head is.

I was pleased as punch when I read this week that Virtue and Moir will be competing next season. These two represent the perfect example of a great attitude in their approach to skating. You can have all the skills and talent in the world, but if your attitude isn't right, you'll never be as successful as hope to be.

"When I look back on my life, at my skating career, and I won the Olympics and I was fourth at the next one, it’s not going bug me," said Scott Moir. That's a telling statement. For many...if not most...that WOULD bug them. This entire season you could look at Tanith Belbin and see the frustration in her eyes. Olympic Silver Medalist in Torino, she and Ben were supposed to be the Gold Medalists this time...right? Tanith and Ben handled their defeat well this season, always gracious, but you could tell it bugged them.

If I was an Olympic Medalist and continued competing for four more years to finish off the podium...I would be bugged!

Virtue and Moir's expectationless mindset, however, is perfect moving forward. To be a champion, that is in fact the only attitude one should have after a great achievement. It frees you up from personal expectation and allows you to grow. If the only goal is win, win, haven't given yourself much breathing room have you? That mindset caused many Olympians in Vancouver to walk away from great achievements feeling like failures...and that's unfortunate. To learn, sometimes we have to fail.

I'll get off my soapbox and stop expounding upon my like of Virtue and Moir's attitude but one final point. Their attitude shows they are doing what they are doing for the best reason: because they love skating. That's the best attitude of all.

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