Pressure in sports is a common feeling to have. As an athlete prepares to play a sport, nerves and anxiety combined with adrenaline can bring out the best or less than best results.
Paige Hager and Maria Hadley-Cole of the Moose Jaw Skating Club recently travelled to Paris, Ont. last weekend to compete at the Isabelle Henderson Competition.
Both ladies were chosen from the province to represent Saskatchewan in the individual competition that saw higher calibre skaters than what the two are used to around these areas.
“It was good competition. It was an eye-opener to see the Ontario skaters,” said Jana Beesley-Capili, coach for both. “It was a high level of competition, as it was all the best skaters in Ontario and the best of the rest of the provinces. It was much higher than anything like around here.”
It was a great learning experience for Hager, as she moved up a level to Novice Ladies this year. She was able to see some routines that the other skaters were putting together and was able to feel and see where she can grow and improve throughout the season.
“It was a good experience to go and try it and see what they other skaters are doing as well. It was nice to be able to travel to another province to skate,” said Hager.
Putting together a routine and practicing that each day will help Hager land those difficult jumps and spins. However, as much as practice makes perfect, so does having confidence in oneself on the ice during a competition.
“Confidence is a big thing…knowing that she belongs in that level of competition,” said Beesley-Capili.
Since coming back from Ontario, Hager has been on the ice and is practicing for her next competition.
“I’m just working on my routine over and over again and learning to land my jumps under pressure,” she said.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.