Success Story: Katie McNair – She Swapped Fear For Focus And Her Riding (And Parenting!) Thrived

By Annette Paterakis
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In this series, I unveil the mystery of mental coaching by sharing some of the challenges that my clients have faced and how, together, we turned things around to become a more confident rider. For this case study, I’m sharing Katie McNair’s story.

Katie reached out to me when she began to struggle with staying focused while in the saddle, and as a result, that lack of focus led to disappointing show results. As a mother, Katie balances her time, energy, and attention between her children and her horses but has often found herself distracted with both aspects of her life. Is it possible to balance work and family life, and on top of it all, thrive in the show ring? The answer is, “YES!”

Success Story: Sabrina Rodriguez – How I recovered from surgery to win again

By Annette Paterakis
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Every day I get up with a single goal in mind: helping others. Helping others to build their confidence, to increase their focus, and to prepare for competition and, ultimately, to perform at their peak and to enjoy the ride. But sometimes, you end up helping someone in ways you could not have imagined.

Meet Sabrina. Sabrina is a showjumper and she reached out to me leading up to very serious surgery. Her situation was unique and very challenging. She needed to prepare herself mentally in order to get through this incredibly tough procedure and to work through her post-surgery recovery. I suggested to Sabrina that she should join my Master Your Mind Online Mental Training Program. She was one of the first students to graduate from the program. In just over three months, she made it through, she’s back in the saddle and she’s winning again! I cannot begin to express how proud I am of Sabrina. Here is her story…

Client Story: Zoé Conter – How to bounce back after a bad fall

By Annette Paterakis

Ever wondered what mental training is really all about? You are not alone… When thinking about what a mental coaching session is like, many riders might still picture someone lying down on a sofa and opening up about their issues to a dull therapist with a crazy imagination. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! So, in this series, I unveil the mystery by sharing some of the challenges that clients of mine have faced and how, together, we turned things around. For this case study, I’m sharing Zoé Conter’s story with you.

Zoé needs little introduction. She is only 21 but has already established an impressive track record of success. From winning a team gold and individual bronze medal at the European Junior championships in 2016 to riding 5* shows, Zoé has been there and done that. However, in May 2018, whilst competing at an international show in Rome, she had a nasty fall with her horse and ended up breaking her neck. Falling off is one thing but getting severely injured is another. How do we bounce back after an accident like that?

Client Story: Jennifer Goddard – Letting go of self criticism

By Annette Paterakis

As there is still some mysticism around mental coaching and sport psychology, I’d like to raise the curtain by sharing some of the challenges that clients of mine have faced and how, together, we turn things around. For my second case study, I’m sharing Jenn’s story. Jennifer Goddard is an American show jumper based in the Netherlands. With up to Grand Prix level experience, she is currently focused on acquiring young prospects, working them up and selling them on, with great success thus far. Last year Jenn sold one of her projects to Eric van der Vleuten and it is shaping up to be an excellent partnership.

Client Story: Anna-Liza Makkinga – Enjoying the ride

By Annette Paterakis

When people mention they are working with a personal trainer, everyone knows what that means. When you work with a trainer to improve your dressage and flat work, everyone gets it. However, when one mentions they are working with a mental coach, many people are still mystified as to what that actually is. Though I have been sharing my thoughts and knowledge on mental skills and training for equestrian riders for some time now, I often still get asked, “So what do you do exactly?”

With this in mind, in the coming months, I’ll be sharing with you some of the challenges that clients of mine have faced and how, together, we turned things around. For my first case study, I’m sharing Anne-Liza’s story. Anne-Liza Makkinga is a Dutch rider, with her own yard based in the Netherlands. She competes internationally at 2* to 5* level.

Peder Fredricson’s mental skills and how you can apply them too

By Annette Paterakis

As you probably know by now, I love learning from the best, and Peder Fredricson is definitely one of the best equestrians active today. So, eager to talk to the well-rounded, ever charming, eventer-turned-showjumper, I asked Peder about his journey in the sport, his learnings and, of course, his mental skills. As it turns out, he has a whole lot of insights to share with us in this area! I have summarized these into 5 steps you can also take right away to sharpen your mental skills.

Top 8 books I read in 2018

By Annette Paterakis
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As 2018 is coming to a close, I’m getting ready to wrap up the year. I’m just ticking through my final “to do” list, and looking forward to sitting by the fire with a good book over the holidays. If you are looking forward to doing the same and need some reading inspiration to get you ready and set up for success in the New Year, I’ve got you covered. Here are the top 8 books I read and enjoyed most this year.

How to create better sleeping habits in 21 days

By Annette Paterakis
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Suddenly my Instagram feed is full of scented, “sleep enhancing” candles, and sleeping mask pics. Sleep is the new black, it has become a hot topic, and rightly so. We are finally becoming aware of the importance of deep, re-energizing sleep, partly due to the best seller “Why we sleep” by Matthew Walker. I’m personally super interested in sleep because, in all honesty, over the past two years, even though I got my eight hours a night, I didn’t get the great quality of sleep I needed to wake up energized every day. Therefore, I decided to dive deeper into the topic and I want to share with you why you also want to get good quality shut-eye every night, and how to get there in 21 days!

How to give feedback to your child or student

By Annette Paterakis

As parents, trainers or coaches, we obviously only want the best for our child or student. However, sometimes, our best efforts can backfire. Giving certain praise or feedback, or using certain language, despite being done with the best intentions, can trigger unhelpful behavior and impact your child or student in a negative way. Let’s become aware of how we can best support, guide and encourage our children and students to stay motivated and confident in themselves.

What to do when disaster strikes

By Annette Paterakis

Have you ever been at a show or in a situation where you had to perform, and then suddenly, out of the blue, disaster strikes? Perhaps one of your friends got involved in an accident or maybe one of your horses just passed away? On a few occasions my clients have reached out to me asking for help as they had just got some very bad news, whilst at a show. How to stay focused under the most difficult of circumstances? Here are a few ways for you to let go of all the thoughts racing through your mind and to focus on the task at hand.