Personal Development Lessons From Ice Skating

Going Ice Skating today as part of my daughter’s birthday was an awesome experience. It has been years since I have been ice skating and it was good to get back on the ice. As I watched both the adults and children on the ice a few things came to mind that are just as applicable to life as they are on the ice.

The first thing that I noticed was that those in the group that let go of the wall first were the quickest to learn to skate. In fact the two that did not even use the wall, were the best ice skaters in the group by the end of the two hour session. One had not even been ice skating before. This got me thinking that in life when we remove our safety net we tend to grow the most. There is little to no growth in clinging to the safety net.

The next key thing I learnt was that falling over was an important part of learning to ice skate. Those that fell over the most improved the most. Those that did not fall over at all did not improve. Their skill level on the ice remained the same. Again this is related to life. Anytime we step out in the unknown we learn and grow; however stepping out into the unknown also leads to mistakes and errors. So we should view these errors and mistakes as a good thing as part of growth and development.

Another key lesson I learnt today from ice skating was about encouragement. Everyone in the group encouraged each other to get out on the ice and to let go of the wall. As explained above some let go at the start and others took longer. The key to get all out on the ice was encouragement. The encouragement came from those already on the ice. This once again applies in life. Teams that encourage each other will achieve far more than those who do not.

Occasionally on the ice two people collide. There are a number of reasons that this can occur. Though it may not be your fault, it is something that you need to deal with. By observing what is happening around you, you can reduce the risk of someone hitting you. Such it is in life, things can happen that are not planned on. To reduce the likelihood we need to be situational aware and if things still happen then ensure you approach it with a good attitude.

As the session went on the ice became cut up. This did make it more difficult to skate on, however as most people stayed around the outside, it was worst on the edges. This meant that the middle had the best ice to skate on. So to let go and skate into the middle, where you are furthest from the safety net of the wall, was the best place to skate. In life successful people know that though it may seem risky and take effort to go after your dreams, it is very rewarding.

By the end of the two hour session the best skaters in the group were starting to do tricks. These skaters also spend a fair amount of their time on their bottom. It seemed to go hand in hand the better skaters fell over a lot as they pushed themselves to do better. In life this is so much the truth, for one to be great at something; they need to be able to risk setbacks and embarrassment.

So in summary the lessons I learnt for Life today from Ice skating are:
– To grow you need to let go of the safety net
– Errors and mistakes are a part of growth and development
– Teams that encourage each other will achieve far more than those who do not
– Stay aware of your situation and surrounds, however when things go wrong keep the good attitude
– Take a risk and go after your dreams, it is very rewarding
– For you to be great at something; you need to be able to risk setbacks and embarrassment

Created by: Attila Ovari
© Attila & Kim Ovari 2012. The content of this Article may be reproduced with permission of the author. Correct as at 26 May 12

Other articles on leadership can be found at:
Is Win-Win the Ideal Outcome?
Leadership or Management?
Lessons in Persistence from Tiffy

  1. Hi Attila, the title of this post caught my eye as I am an ice-skating fan. It’s so true what you say about it being a metaphor for learning in life. I need to remind myself about letting go of the wall. Thank you!

  1. Pingback: Thoughts on Ice Skating and Personal Development « Attila Ovari

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