7 reads to build up your mental game

By Annette Paterakis

Here are 7 books that I have personally really enjoyed reading this year. They all contribute to a better understanding of our minds, behavior and performing under pressure.

1. Black box thinking – By Matthew Syed

This book will change your perception of failure and success. The author of Bounce reveals how failure is perceived very differently within different industries and clearly portrays the consequences of those attitudes towards failure. Reading this book will help you adopt a more helpful view of “making mistakes” in order to learn, grow and improve more quickly on the horse.

2. Mindset – By Carol D. Dweck

In Mindset, you will learn how two very different mindsets can have a huge impact on whether you will learn and succeed or feel frustrated and – possibly – stop riding all together. This intriguing read is very recognizable and helpful in order to adopt a different attitude towards success, making mistakes, learning and improving your skills.

3. The golfers mind – By Dr. Bob Rotella

Golf and Show jumping are two mentally challenging sports. Dr. Rotella provides very clear tools on how to play your best possible mental game on the green. With a little imagination, you can translate these valuable lessons into riding and competing in the showjumping arena.

4. Burn your goals – By Joshua Medcalf & Jamie Gilbert

A lot has been said about setting goals, though “Burn your goals” is definitely not your average goal setting, self help book. It holds a very different approach when it comes to goals. One that encourages to focus on the process and what you have control over, instead of the end results.

5. Talent is overrated – By Geoff Colvin

As the tittle suggests, this book explains how talent is hugely overrated. Colvin reveals how different studies provide significant proof that having talent is no indication for how successful you will become. Perseverance and deliberate practice on the other hand, definitely are.

6. 7 habits of highly effective people – By Stephen R. Covey

A classic in personal change and leadership, this book is a number 1 best seller. Stephen Covey reveals the most important habits for personal growth and mental resilience. These habits are not only helpful in the saddle but also in communicating with owners, sponsors and trainers.

7. The power of now – By Eckhart Tolle

This book is a must read for those who find themselves over-thinking, worrying or being in the past or future often. “The power of now” teaches us how to be more in the present moment and how to stay more connected to yourself and your horses. In my belief, being able to stay present and focused, is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to competing in the show jumping arena.