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How to Gain More Confidence on your Roller Skates

by Mel @troubleon8wheels

  • Did you skate as a kid and it's been a decade, or two, or three, since you last put skates on?

  • Did you skate last week and felt fine, but when you went to put them back on, your legs went to jelly and your body forgot what to do?

  • Did you feel generally fine on your skates (inside) but then you went to a new space and found yourself uncontrollably falling over?

If you answered YES to any of these - keep reading!

(Also think about booking onto the Higher Skate of Mind Confidence Coaching workshop happening monthly online now - the video will be available soon for Deluxe members and Skate Pass holders to watch again).

What is going on with my body?

To be honest, it's not your body, it's your brain. Your brain is hard wired to keep you safe. Anything causing a spike in your cortisol (stress hormone) levels or a raised heartbeat for a prolonged period of time will make your brain react in a more primitive way - also known as 'fight, flight or freeze'. The issue is, we CHOSE to tie roller skates onto our feet and the rational part of us is fully aware of this! If we try to run away, it invariable leads to falling over. Backwards. Ouchie.

How do I sort myself out then?

Our self talk is vital here. We are in our own heads 24/7 and quite likely your inner voice is a combination of all the voices and people who influenced your life, you maybe just haven't realised.

The first step to sorting it out is being aware it is happening. Take a moment to breathe - deeply. Then do it again.

Try to observe what is happening (like you are viewing it from above) and see if you detect how you feel.

Remind yourself that the pace your body wants to learn at is perfectly acceptable and you will allow yourself to go at that pace. Steady learning is normal and gives your body a really thorough understanding of what is happening.

Do what you need to do to feel safe. We will explore the theme of safety in more detail in this month's online workshop, so if you're interested, please join me!

But why was I fine, and now I'm not!

We hold on to the last feeling - usually. When given a choice of three things, lots of people choose the third one. I definitely noticed this with children when I was a teacher and if I wanted to the class to choose one thing over another, I would say it second! So, we recall the confident feeling at the end of the last roller skate session we had - the "I can do it!" proud moment that I really hope you had for yourself. Your muscles finally co-operated, you remembered to breathe by yourself and you enjoyed the carefree feeling of roller skating! Then you had a break. Your body has not yet built enough experience to know what is going on, so you slipped back into being unsure.

Essentially, you are teaching your body what to do from scratch every time you start roller skating. It will get a bit faster each time as you go through the steps. Until you don't need to.

My suggestion to starting out your roller skate session until you feel more confident

  1. Make sure you feel safe in the space you are in. If you don't, you won't relax.

  2. Put on any protective gear you need to feel safe.

  3. Start gently, practise bending your knees or falling forward to remind your body what to do.

  4. Celebrate your progress.

  5. Take a little progress video for yourself. You may feel a little self conscious, but you can look back on it at the end of each month and notice differences in your posture.

Remember that everyone had to learn to roller skate and it is hard. It is also strongly linked to how confident you are - more confident people seem to 'get it' faster. They don't learn more quickly, they are just not worried about falling over.

By facing your fear and practising it, you can diminish its power over you and confidently go on to take up the space you deserve!

See you at my Higher Skate of Mind workshop on Wednesday 28th February 7.30pm. (This workshop is included in our offer for Skate Pass holders.)

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