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Old April 26th, 2015, 03:46 AM   #18
Smooth Roller
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sussex, UK
Posts: 111

Originally Posted by Oicusk82huh View Post
Lefty? All nelsons (mega too), crazy, x, sun, and even snake and crisscross, one footed too. Pretty much anything. I've been right-siding it since the 90's. Bad Juju. I'm a little upset. Freestyling all winter was fun, but I'm not sure how much more progress I'll make this year through cones. Any advice on burn out?
If you're working on almost all of your weak side moves, then you are obviously diligent and disciplined. I'm therefore surprised to hear you say that you think you won't make much progress this year, and that you feel burned out.

I'm probably not the best person to ask about becoming motivated or overcoming burnout, because motivation is something that I've always had during the four years that I've been skating.

For me personally, my motivation comes from understanding exactly what I want to get from my skating and then freely focussing on those things. I've sometimes felt that I really "should" be working on certain things in order to make me a more rounded skater; but skating is a leisure activity, so I'm not going to let 'obligation' turn my enjoyment into a chore. I'm not a professional competitor, a career skater, or an instructor, so who cares if I'm weak in certain aspects of a discipline that I never intend to pursue? My reason for skating is fun, not punishment.

To maintain my motivation I also avoid being pressured by other skaters (or general expectations and traditions) into doing or not doing certain types of skating.

I've had countless people approach (and nag) me to do roller derby, but I can't think of anything on skates that I'd find more tedious, so they always got a very firm "no" from me. I'm more of a quaddie dancer (not Jam, more rhythm skating / JB) but I also have a huge respect for, and interest in, the more aesthetic and complex side of slalom moves. Several other quaddie dancers thought it was weird that I wanted to learn slalom moves when I'm not an inline skater and have no interest in cones. However, they soon changed their tune when I took the slalom moves that I'd learned and started 'dancing them up' in the centre of the rink. Meanwhile, inline skaters were telling me to ditch my quads and learn to slalom "properly" with a view to competing. They completely missed the point. Firstly, I hate competitions and competing, and secondly I would never give up my quads. At first I did find myself giving into pressure to learn foundation slalom moves because that's what you're supposed to do. But I hated it. I'm never going to do cones seriously (I just mess about on them from time-to-time) so why force myself to do something that I find so boring? That's not to say that I can't do any basics, I can snake, criss-cross, basket-weave, one foot etc. all forwards and backwards (both strong-side and weak-side) but they're just easy things that I could automatically do anyway; I didn't actually spend any time learning them. Instead, my time was spent learning more interesting (to me) moves like heel-toe screw, heel-heel screw, fan volte, toe sevens, and cobra etc.

The moral of the above is that by understanding what I found to be most exciting and interesting about skating, it helped me to remain constantly motivated because I was never begrudgingly doing things just because I felt a duty to do so (or just because other people kept telling me that I should) so therefore my skating activity has always enjoyable and I never suffer from burnout. Even on days when I'm struggling to make progress with a very difficult trick, I still don't mind, because it's exactly what I chose to be doing.

The other thing that helps is that I stop skating completely for 4 to 5 months each winter. This means I get to "miss" skating and don't get a chance to become sick of it (or take it for granted). Where I live there are hardly any decent places (indoors or outdoors) to skate, so winter is a good time to stop because the bad weather makes it mostly impossible to skate anyway. When I start up again in spring, I am always a bit rusty, but it's so exciting to be back on my wheels that I just don't care.

We've been lucky this year with a freakishly warm spring. April in the UK is usually somewhat mild (but often rainy) but this year we've had long stints of non-stop sunshine as temperatures of 22 degrees. That really helped me get back into the swing of things, but I guess that's not so easy to do if you're surrounded by snow in up-state NY.

If you're looking to get your mojo back then try thinking about what most excited you about skating in the past. Maybe you need to skate more with groups of people (rather than on your own or with just one other person). Perhaps try to get down to Central Park more often, or spend some time teaching basic slalom moves to interested beginners. Seeing other people progress through the basics can often fire up your own desire to also make your own progress and move up to the next level.
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