The first is when you focus on all the things that are wrong rather than those that are right. I make it a golden rule to work from what my students and their horses can do, rather than what they can’t do, and this makes a huge difference. It enables quality practise from the beginning, then increased confidence and accelerated progress are largely inevitable. Secondly with so many riders there is that ‘maggot in the mind’ saying “I can’t do this…the other riders are better… I’m dead!” What is needed
instead is a ‘good genie’ saying “This is fun…I can do this…Yes!” In both these cases by working from the positive there is a hugely beneficial effect on your performance. Being positive is very efficient and self motivating as a method of training and pulls you forward, while negativity just builds barriers and destroys confidence and dreams.
So the engine of success is readily achievable action steps and thinking positive. The secret is to first set your long term aims and plan backwards to where you are now. Then execute these bite-size steps directed specifically towards achieving your medium term goals. This stacks the odds in your favour and produces the opposite of a vicious circle. Being confident that we have the internal resources and method to take on a new challenge, we accomplish more and in turn become more confident. A good coach will also encourage you to watch riders and trainers who are obviously doing good quality work, because their standards and confidence will rub off on you.
This is the beginning of role playing.
The use of role playing and modelling is a powerful tool I use to overcome such challenges as fear and a negative attitude. Role playing is more natural to humans than many realise, because role playing and modelling is already used to some degree by us all in our daily lives. It is almost impossible to go through life without learning from and copying those around you. My twist to this basic truth is that you can make this more effective by first identifying what is missing in your mental armoury and then find the right role models to improve your performance in these
Having identified the mental attributes required, a role model is selected that you like and know well – often not a famous person. Just by focusing regularly on the role model and their desired qualities our behaviour will automatically move towards this image. This is a huge achievement for little investment. Role playing allows us, for example. to tap into the ‘I am the greatest’ spirit of Muhammed Ali, the ‘can do’ attitude of blind cross country skier and Canadian Winter Olympian Brian McKeever, or the courage of Paralympian Tanni Grey Thompson, and protects us from the paralysing pessimism that is all too characteristic of many underachievers. With regular use of role playing you will find that one image or key word can trigger a wide range of desired qualities. Alternatively I use a number of specific Hats to make the whole process even more accessible and
effective. (See my web site under Habitual Hats.) The greatest value of role playing is that gradually you will not be role playing, because these attitudes will become an established part of who you are on a daily basis.
THE ROLE OF YOUR COACH
Of course if you fall of regularly you have every reason to be fearful and every reason to change your coach! In my next blog I will talk more about learning how to fall and how a good coach can help
overcome fear and avoid most falls. Even a novice rider can suddenly become secure when their weight is in the right place. More next time. Happy days. William
NEXT TIME....AT LONG LAST A HIGH INTEREST INVESTMENT