All skaters get dizzy after completing a spin. Some may naturally get a little dizzier than others but I’ll repeat… All skaters get dizzy after completing a spin. So then why do some not look dizzy at all and can carry on as if they are completely fine and balanced you may ask? After years of training spins, practising them every single day, a skater’s brain learns how to deal with the dizziness. It can be compared to a diver performing a multiple rotation flip during their dive yet still being able to spot the water to enter their dive perfectly vertically. The biggest difference between the practised skater’s brain compared to a beginner’s brain is the rate of recovery in which their brain balances the images entering their eyes into a focused movie that isn’t constantly spinning. This only comes with practice. But there are ways of accelerating your learning on how to deal with dizziness. After performing a spin, to try and regain your balance and focus, you should try to pick a point in your view, perhaps a clock, a point on the barrier, a seat in the audience and keep focused on that point. The more you try to look around, the more information your brain is taking in and will struggle to process it all. Give your brain the best chance to recover and keep a still image as much as is possible to control the amount of movement your eyes perceive. Another advantage that practised skaters have over beginners is that they can rely on their feelings to help guide them through their moves shortly after their jumps. They do not have to solely rely on their vision to keep their balance. They have practised those moves, hundreds if not thousands of times, therefore, they will know what it feels like using all the sensors in their body, and whilst their eyes may not be reliable in the short seconds after a spin, their other receptors are. This is why, if you put a professional figure skater in a different position, off the ice, being spun around, they will react very similarly to a novice when asked to perform an unknown move shortly after the spin! So don’t worry, everyone gets dizzy. The best ways to deal with it are:
- Help your eyes regain focus as quickly as possible by narrowing your vision onto one spot and holding it there if possible for a few seconds
- Learn to trust your other senses and balance when performing moves by practising and knowing how they feel rather than what the outside world looks like
Perhaps next time you watch a professional figure skating competition you might spot the first top tip more often than you’d think!