The Co­nun­drum Of Con­di­tions

Dressage Today - - Arena -

When do you ride your best? Do you even know? many ath­letes can­not an­swer this ques­tion, no mat­ter the sport, and i find it cu­ri­ous. if we are al­ways striv­ing to do our best, how is it that we don’t know the con­di­tions un­der which we per­form well?

be­gin by ex­am­in­ing your per­for­mance record Hboth at home and at showsI to re­ally an­swer the ques­tion of when you ride your best. know­ing this com­po­nent is pow­er­ful be­cause it not only gives you a place to start but also a course to fol­low to con­tin­u­ally im­prove. The num­ber of times i have seen a rider come out of the ring from a great test and not be able to tell me why it went so well is over­whelm­ingly high. They say some­thing like: “it was my horse,” “it was the full moon last night,” “it was the oat­meal i ate for break­fast,” or some­thing so dis­tant from the self, you won­der if they rode at all.

part of that comes from our cul­tural bend to­ward hu­mil­ity, and that i get, but the abil­ity to own your suc­cess is equally im­por­tant and crit­i­cal for be­ing able to re­pro­duce it. So be­gin to pop­u­late a list of what you do well. cover as many areas as pos­si­ble be­cause so much goes into a great ride other than what you do in the sad­dle or in the ring. This should be a liv­ing document of sorts be­cause not only will it take you days to con­nect with and re­mem­ber them all, but you want to con­tin­u­ally add to this list as you add new skills.

To read more from sport psy­chol­o­gist Dr. Jenny Susser, visit dres­sage­to­day.com.

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