Rebecca Was Ready To Sell Her Beloved Horses. Self-Doubts Were Destroying Her Confidence. Now She’s Won A Prestigious Event. After Only Six Weeks Of Sessions!
If your an experienced rider, you’ll probably recognise this scenario. A run of disappointing results leads to self-doubts….which in turn creates hesitation in your show-jumping decision-making.
Then you start riding with fear..riding not to hit fences, and disregarding all your successes and magic moment
Her Anxiety Was Destroying Her Confidence…
The phone rang early in the morning. The caller sounded downbeat. It soon became clear why.Rebecca is an experienced show-jumper. Been making a good living from the sport for many years now. But a disastrous Sunday show in Lincolnshire had proved too much.
She told me that he had thought of getting help on the mental side of the sport before, but had always put it off. Not anymore. Sunday afternoon was a competition too far.
She was seriously thinking of putting all her horses up for sale and doing something less stressful. Yet…something inside told her not too…not just yet!
Rebecca explained why. Her own high expectations were bad enough. Always beating herself up if she didnt ride perfectly. No margin for error!
Then there was the constant negativity from her trainer. Always picking up on her weaknesses. Never reinforcing her strengths. To say Rebecca’s confidence had become fragile, would be an understatement.
And of course that uncertainty began transfering to the horses. They pick up everything. Both authority and uncertainty.
Rebecca had reached the end of her tether. Either things changed, or enough was enough. She had lost all confidence in her stride patterns. Had become afraid of attacking the fence. Afraid of falling.
What Will They Think Of Me?
A bad fall had certainly eaten into her confidence. A fall that she hadn’t really got out of her system. It had created a reservoir of doubts.
And then there was the fear of people watching her. Especially senior riders. ‘What did they think of me?’ ‘They must think I’m hopeless’. ‘ Laughing at me!’
This was a classy, experienced rider who had lost all confidence in her skills. She’d suffered self-doubts and bad attacks of anxiety and doubts for a few months now.
Apparently it all began around 2011 when she had a heavy fall on a temperamental, difficult horse.After a few months, her self-doubts had started to grow. She knew he was riding with her emotions, not her mind. Not a recipe for show-jumping success. Bad habits had started to develop to her cost.
- Fear of falling
- No trust in her stride pattern
- Worry about what others were thinking of her
- Communicating fear to her horses
The critical details that are the fine margins between success and failure. But, there was nothing she felt that she could do about it. The self-doubts were starting to beat her. Bad habits were holding sway, and worst of all she had started to expect failure.
Things Had To Change…
She’d had enough. Competing at shows had stopped feeling like fun. She knew that things had to change. Rebecca couldn’t carry on like this. Either she stopped competing, or finally resolved this issue. But she loved the buzz of competition too much to pack it in.
She loved the magic moments, when everything came together. The horse; the fence; the clear round. That unbelievable feeling of euphoria, that being at one with the horse can bring. And her husband Simon told her, that she should get some kind of sports psychology help.
Then, Through Sports Psychology, Things Start To Change…
So, that’s how Rebecca came to call me on Monday morning. She was given my name by Sarah, a close friend, who had been through a similar sort of riding hell. It didn’t take me that long to get to the heart of Rebecca’s problem. I have helped many show jumpers through exactly the same dilemma.
She had lost her focus. Her head was all over the place. She was coming to shows almost expecting to fail. Riding with fear, and not committing to fences. Rebecca had become scared of falling.
We talked that morning for a couple of hours. That’s because Rebecca had a lot to get off her chest.
We analysed some of her recent rides,and why she was under-performing. But more importantly we began to create a strategy that meant that he was riding with a cool clear lucid mind, not fearful emotions! She was actually a very good rider, that had simply got into some very bad mental habits.
Rebecca had self-doubts for far too long. And they had cost her a lot of time and energy! By that lunchtime, after one sports psychology session with me, her enthusiasm was back. She now knew what was happening to her and why. And more importantly what to do about it!
Important Note: The reason it only took one session to get to the heart of Rebecca’s problem, is that, I understood why she had self-doubts and was riding with fear and negative emotions. And more importantly, I knew how to help her change her mentality.
The Show Jumper Reborn…
After only a short period of sports psychology sessions, Rebecca was a rider re-born. Six weeks later she won her first event in three years. She was back in the zone.
Riding with a blend of patience and aggression. Trusting in her own skills. Communicating to her horse with authority and assurance. Becoming much more self-aware of picking up tell-tale signs of anxiety earlier.
Rebecca called me that evening to thank me. She said that it was the best investment she had ever made in her riding career. And that she only wished he had used sports psychology sooner. Would have saved an awful lot of frustration.
She had read all the books, by the gurus. And paid hundreds of pounds for lessons from coaches over the years. But somehow, the underlying issues didn’t seem to go away.The reason for that, is books can help. But they are not as effective as having an expert right there, by your side, to help you every step of the way.
Also, riding coaches are good at resolving technical issues. But, from my experience, they do not have the expertise to help with problems related to how a rider is thinking and reacting to falls and disappointments.
It’s Not Just You That Has Show Jumping Problems…
Rebecca was only too pleased to oblige, when I asked if I could tell her story on the website. I’m delighted for Rebecca. Riding horses should give immense pleasure and joy, not leave you so frustrated that you want to sell your horses. But we all know, why that happens, don’t we?
Maybe your frustrated with your riding, like Rebecca was. Unable to commit to fences, because your head is too full of doubts and uncertainty. The harder you try the worse it becomes.
You might have considered calling a sports/show jumping psychologist before. But maybe, you thought that things would somehow get better. Or, you weren’t really sure what was involved. Or would it really work?
Why Use Show Jumping Psychology?…
Lots of show jumpers, at all levels, become affected by self-doubts, negative comparison with others, beating yourself up and so on.
Do you recognise any of these scenarios?…
- Your mind goes blank under pressure…
- You feel rushed as you approach fences…
- Negative thoughts eat away at confidence…
- Key details are missed…
- You become ultra cautious…
- The fun goes out of your riding…
- You fail to warm up mentally before you compete…
- You build up anxieties before you have even got into the car!
- You repeat the same mistakes and dont analyse why…
- You take too long over decisions…
- You daren’t make a mistake…
- You carry anger over from one round to the next…
- You ride when not mentally sharp or focused…
- A good round disintegrates – Again and again…
- You hate people watching you!
Who Has Benefited From Show Jumping Psychology?…
Since the beginning of the 2011 I have helped:
- A class rider rebuild trust in his instinct and gut feeling
- An experienced rider, overcome his long-term anxiety of riding in front of the Sky cameras
- An amateur who had never won an event before, win two in succession
- A professional for whom shows had become a grind, re-discover her enthusiasm and passion!
- An amateur in the habit of throwing away clear rounds, learn to win from the front
- A rider who had fear of falling issues for four years, overcome them in eight weeks working with me
Sarah Williamson – Overcomes Fear Of Failure!
Sarah Williamson is a rider from Yorkshire. She, like Rebecca, had fallen out of love with competing. Fear had taken hold of her emotions, and her mind was all over the place.
Sarah called me urgently seeking a solution to the problem. Either that, or she gave up competing for good!
I spent three months working with her in total. Anyhow Sarah had this to say about the process:
‘I cant thank you enough, and as a declared sceptic, I find it truly amazing that I have not had a single incident of fear of failure since. Many thanks once again. Please feel free to include this email as a testimonial. If there are other riders out there who are suffering from this issue, i hope my experience can give them a ray of sunshine at the end of what is a very dark tunnel’.
So How Can You Recover Your Confidence?…
So if you get the feeling your competitive success depends on my sort of coaching, I strongly urge you to act now to avoid disappointment. Now is the time to seize back the results, that reflect your full show-jumping potential. Before the moment passes.
Note: Some riding gurus charge £15,000 to solve the problems you are experiencing. And demand that you sign a yearly contract. If you work with me there are no contracts. I simply solve your problem.
You may be the sort of person that needs a chat first, to get a feel of what I am like.
If that’s the case, simply pick up the phone. I’d be delighted to talk about your show-jumping, and any concerns you may have.
Here’s my personal UK mobile number – 077897 56425
Lets Get Your Riding Back On Track With Sports Psychology…
I have been studying the secrets of confidence for over 24 years. There are very few show-jumping based challenges, that I have not resolved.
So – here’s the opportunity to get your competitive riding back on track immediately.
Please write a response to each of these questions, then send it to me using the ‘Start Coaching’ button at the end of the form. You will then receive an email invitation, or call from me, to arrange your first session.
Remember – you could wait and hope that by magic, your riding confidence returns. That somehow everything will get better. But experience tells me that rarely happens. There is a reason why you have lost your confidence in your riding. The sooner we get started, the faster you will be back to your confident best.