What If I Fall ???

A good rolling fall

Its not the end of the world, or even the end of your chance for a medal in the event. When you fall, you should get up and keep going, just as quickly as you can, with minimal interruption to the flow of your program.

As long as you are not injured, a fall should not be a reason to give up on a program. Get up, put it behind you and work as hard as you can on making the rest of the program as perfect as you can make it. Don't let the fall psych you out so much that you mess up everything else that follows. Forget it, and get on with the program!

In a "Short Program" or a Freeskate progrm judged under the IJS system a deduction will be taken from your score for each fall. But don't forget that the deductions are just that -- deductions from the score you would otherwise be given, based on the general QUALITY of your skating. If you skate well, but make a mistake, your scores might still be pretty satisfying. And don't forget that other skaters in the event might make mistakes too.

One of the first things a skater should learn is "how to fall". Do NOT stiffen up when you fall. Let yourself roll with the fall. Do what you can to protect your head. Remember that falling on ice is not like falling on pavement -- you will slide, and sliding dissipates your energy gently (when you fall on concrete its the sudden stop that breaks things).

Once you've learned to fall without injuring yourself, then learn to fall and get up quickly. Do that EVERY TIME you fall - even on practice sessions. Do not sit there and feel sorry for yourself. Do not make yourself an obstacle for other skaters on the practice session. Make it a habit to get up quickly and continue, just like you would want to do if you were in competition. That way, it WILL be an automatic response for you even when you fall in the pressure of competition. Even on practice, don't ever stop your program when you fall - learn to deal with the pressure of the fall and continue.

In the photo above, and this video clip (taken from a real competition event), Sarah Townsend shows a very good rolling fall with a quick recovery. You will notice that there is only a very minimal interruption to the flow of her program. Everyone falls once in a while in competition. Try to make sure that when you do, you recover from it as quickly as Sarah shows here.