Why Don’t Figure Skaters Get Dizzy?

If you have been watching the winter Olympics, you’ve probably seen men’s or women’s figure skating. One of the most popular Olympic sports, figure skating is an impressive combination of grace and athleticism.

How they can jump and spin multiple times in the air is beyond me. I can’t even jump and spin like that when I’m on a trampoline. And my trampoline always rips when I try to do it wearing skates.

Watching highlights of the men’s skating competition, I started to wonder…how are they not dizzy? With all of the twirling, whirling and rotating, I get dizzy just watching. How are they able to spin that much and stay on their skates?

For our answer we turn to none other than two-time Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko.

Stojko explains in this video that one of the main reasons figure skaters don’t get dizzy is practice. Turns out that skaters do get dizzy when they are new to the sport, but their inner ear learns to get used to spinning after years of training.

I didn’t know this, but apparently all skaters have a dominant side. They either spin clockwise or counterclockwise. When they are just about finished with their spin, they spot with their eyes to find out where in relation they are to the arena. Doing this helps their eyes adjust when spinning and prevents them from getting dizzy.

So next time you are watching figure skating, spin a little and see if you are a clockwise or counterclockwise spinner. But don’t do it too long, you might get dizzy.

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You Don’t Have To Be The Best At Everything To Be The Most Valuable

With the game on the line, U.S.A. men’s hockey coach Dan Bylsma knew exactly who he would turn to.

And it wasn’t his best player. It wasn’t even his 20th best player.

When three periods and overtime were not enough to determine the winner between U.S.A and Russia on Saturday, the Olympic game came down to a shootout. After three rounds of the shootout, the game was still all tied up.

Bylsma had his choice of any one of his players to take the ensuing shootout attempts. He chose T.J. Oshie. Not once, but six times.

Upon reading that you may assume that Oshie, a forward for the St. Louis Blues, is U.S.A’s best player. But that is not the case.

According to an ESPN story, Oshie was likely the last player chosen for the Olympic team. And the reason that he was chosen…he is great at shootouts.

He was picked for this exact circumstance. And Oshie delivered. U.S.A. defeated Russia thanks to Oshie’s 4 shootout goals.

Obviously Oshie is a great hockey player. He wouldn’t have made the Olympic team if he was not one of the best players in the world.

But he isn’t the perfect hockey player. Without knowing a ton about hockey, I think it is pretty safe to say that Oshie isn’t the team’s best skater or passer. He might not even be their best puck handler or scorer.

But when it comes to the skills that are required for a shootout (creativity, confidence & clutch-ness), Oshie appears to be unmatched.

That is a good reminder that we don’t have to be perfect or the best at everything to make an impact in our careers.

Within your organization, there may be 20 people who are superior or more experienced than you in certain areas. You might not be great at crunching numbers.  You might not have a creative bone in your body. You might be the last person picked to give a presentation.

But you might just be great at making a customer feel like they are the most important person in the world.

When the circumstance calls for customer service, then you become he most valuable person in the office.

Oshie didn’t have experience; this was his first Olympics.

Oshie wasn’t the best player; he was the team’s last pick.

But much like Liam Neeson, he has a very particular set of skills.  And these skills made him the best man for the job.

Crunching numbers might not make your go trending on Twitter (Oshie added 130,000 Twitter followers after the game) but it certainly could make you memorable around the office.

Quit trying to be perfect and spend more time developing your skill that makes you valuable.

In a given situation you too might just be the best man (or woman) for the job.