The Mental Game

By #TeamDiO Member Windy Griffith

Is there really such a thing as "controlling your state of mind"?

 I'm a huge football fan and lately I have been looking at what makes a great coach and how they lead their team to victory. The coaches can't control all the aspects of the game but they can teach their players how to control their emotions and adapt to the pressure of the setting. One thing I myself have been trying to improve on, is my mental strength. All great athletes have a strong mental game.

What does this mean or how does this apply to a barrel racer or other equestrians? It's my belief that preparing, adapting to your environment, composing yourself, your emotions, and reactions to your horse improves your mental game.

Positivity: A Game Changer.

The word "Compose" means to calm or settle. Prepare yourself in a positive mind set before you even saddle your horse. You are positive that today's run will be the best you and your horse can do, and, IF it's not your best run, it is a learning experience to improve on.

"All great athletes have a strong mental game."

Emotions are tough to control and your adrenaline can get you nervous and unfocused. It takes complete control and positive focus to compose yourself. I've learned that the more positive and relaxed I keep myself, the easier it is to push these emotions aside and this is the KEY in controlling your mindset.

"It takes complete control and positive focus to compose yourself."

Now, the actions and behavior of your horse are a little harder to control. However, if you are positive and have your emotions under control, it reflects on your horse and gives them a sense of calm and focus. You are teaching them how to become a confident and winning horse.

Control your mindset:

Do not let anyone or any circumstance distract you from how you run your race. Take your mind off of "winning". Put your focus into controlling your run and executing what you need to do as a rider to make the best run that you can. The "winning" will come next.

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