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Performance = Potential - Interference

I recently studied for my certification in Equine Competition Psychology as my first step into the world of Psychology. I recently came across a quote that got my attention that I have decided to write a blog about.

What is the interference that can take away from our Potential and affect our performance?

Success is different for each individual. For one, success may be competing at the Olympics, on the other hand success to another may be jumping their first show jump. Many riders experience nerves but it is knowing how to control these nerves that can differentiate the riders that excel and those who don't. When speaking to riders the main factor that gets in the way of their success is fear, and most commonly fear of falling off (as nobody enjoys a fall from a great height!). Fear usually comes from the interference, interference that is created by focusing on the variables of riding that we cannot control like the conditions of the ground, the colour of the fence, the fact that fence 5 is a corner which then leads into water and the wondering thoughts of our mind like “Will my horse spook like he did last time”. If you focus your attention on these things then there is little chance of you succeeding as there is nothing you can do to change these variables and you are pumping all of your energy into worrying about these instead of putting your energy into riding. To ride to the best of your ability you need to focus on the variables that you can control, your position, your rhythm, your breathing, straightness into a fence, your transitions, accuracy. These are all mini performance habits that brought together allow you to achieve great things and aim towards your goals and success. Although it is hard to focus on all of these things at once setting yourself goals in your training to achieve one or two of these at a time will make it all the more easier when it comes to bring them together in a competition.

I hope this first blog made you think about how you maybe hindering reaching your full potential, and things you can do to improve this will be coming in my following blogs :)

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