Figure Skater Rachael Flatt's Winning Ways
Olympic contender Flatt shares her diet, workout, and more.
When a competition comes up, how do you approach it as far as your mental outlook? Do you do visualization exercises, or meditate, etc.? continued...
And, once we are at a competition, I focus on relying on the training --
practice like it is a competition and then you will compete like you practice.
I train hard so that it reflects when I compete.
I also bring homework with me wherever I go. It takes my mind away
from skating for a little bit.
And we try to watch funny movies or videos. [TV shows] "The Office,"
"30 Rock"... and "The Daily Show" have been great ways of keeping the pressure
How do you handle setbacks - for instance, if you’re not happy with your performance, how do you shake it off and move on?
Part of maturing as an athlete is learning from setbacks or less than
optimal performances. Sometimes we watch videos of performances and
analyze the programs for technical or performance errors. If you
aren't willing to put the work into improving, maybe it's time to move on to
something else in your life.
With all your training, how do you avoid injury?
I have had a number of injuries over the years, including torn ligaments,
sprained ankles, concussions, and bulging discs in my lower back.
The trick is to learn to listen to your body -- learn what are the daily
aches and pains and what is not normal.
My coach has a three-day rule of thumb: If you are still hurting three days
after the initial injury and you did not pursue seeing a physical therapist or
doctor, then it's time to follow up with a medical professional.
You make skating look effortless - and no doubt, the artistry is something you work very hard on. Do you think that’s something that people are born with or they can learn?
For me, I would have to say my love of skating is innate, but as
[figure skating legend] Dorothy Hamill always tells me, I must work hard
in order to achieve results and truly enjoy myself. So I think that people
can learn if they put in the hard work and I also think this applies to
most things in life, not only skating.