5 ways to use video to your advantage

By Annette Paterakis

You probably videotape your rounds when at the show, but are you utilizing this helpful tool fully? Here are 5 ways to use video to your advantage.

1. Build up confidence

I often talk about the importance of habits. If you want to reap continued benefits from your videos, make it a habit to watch a great round, training session or jump every morning. This works wonders for your confidence as you remind yourself every day of the times that did go well and that you CAN do it!

2. Reminder before the show

Whenever you are at the show, make sure to incorporate watching a great round on video as well. This helps you get in your zone and feel confident before you get on the horse and into the ring. Combine this with some upbeat music and a confident body posture for an even greater impact.


“Let go of things that just happen once or are not within your control – you won’t learn much from over analysing.”


3. Learn from the feedback

After each round, show or training you want to watch the video to help reflect on the your riding. Use the following 3 questions to help you reflect while watching your video.

  1. What went well? First reflect on the things that went well and don’t take things for granted, point out those aspects you couldn’t do a year ago.
  2. What could have been better? Without using negative language, you now take a moment to reflect on what you can still improve and work on. Side note: Let go of things that just happen once or are not within your control – you won’t learn much from over analysing.
  3. How am I going to improve this? Once you found out the things you can still improve in step 2, you can now make a plan for how to improve this specific aspect. If you don’t know how to, ask your trainer, mental coach or successful riders at the show.

4. Learn from your own mistakes

I think it’s not helpful to watch ‘bad’ rounds too often, in fact I recommend you use the step above to learn from it what you can and then delete it. In training however, you can utilize your video to learn from your mistakes. In case you don’t have a trainer helping you regularly I suggest you find a way to video yourself riding at home. Afterwards you can analyse your training and find out when you fall back into old or unhelpful habits. You can observe your body posture and find out all the things you want to work on. I recommend you pick one thing to work on for a week, and then video yourself again to see if you improved and how much.

5. Learn from the best 

Another way to use video to your advantage is to not only to re-watch your own riding, but also to learn from others. Tape broadcasts of competitions on TV and re-watch riders you admire regularly. It’s a great way to learn from their experience as well as their mistakes.