“Sometimes you win,

sometimes you learn.”

How to motivate yourself during Covid-19

By Annette Paterakis

We all face a dip in motivation sometimes, but in these exceptional times, staying motivated to train can be extra challenging. Just like anything else, creating sustainable and intrinsic motivation is trainable. So here are five steps to get you back on track.

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

By Annette Paterakis

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

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?

Annette is a columnist for NFstyle, Noelle Floyd Magazine & Puissance USA

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4 steps to never forget your course plan again

by Annette Paterakis

I have been asked regularly if there are any tricks to easily memorize the course. We have all been in that situation on course that we got over a jump and suddenly realized we forgot which way to go. This can be very frustrating, especially when you are still clear up to that point. So here are 4 steps to help you clear your mind, prepare and visualize your plan to never forget your course again.

4 lessons from Laura to get your game to the next level

by Annette Paterakis

As Tony Robbins says, “If you want to become great in a certain area, make sure to model those who have already achieved it.” I am a firm believer that we have so much to learn from those at the top of the sport, so I have interviewed more than 15 top-level riders to learn from them, how they train, how they prepare mentally for competition, and how they bounce back when things don’t go as planned. Back in 2017 I had the privilege of interviewing Laura Kraut. She shared so many amazing insights with me and I want to share some of these with you now.

5 exercises that help you deal with horse show anxiety

by Annette Paterakis

Our mindset, beliefs and past experiences have a big impact on how we feel about competing. Sometimes just thinking about going to a horseshow can already cause us to freeze and feel anxious. This physically unpleasant feeling is our survival mechanism at work. This mechanism has developed over thousands of years and helped us survive. However, when we are on a horse, this “fight or flight” response is not very helpful. Although this survival mechanism is pretty powerful and it takes some practice to overrule, the following exercises will help you create a more manageable amount of pressure.

7 ways to overcome distraction and stay more focused

by Annette Paterakis

Being able to stay focused on the task at hand and fully engage in the process is the key to ride your best round and to excel under pressure. I have been able to work with and study many great riders and time and again the ones that are able to focus and completely be in the moment, are the ones that often win or do well at the shows. In case you easily get distracted by thoughts or people watching you, don’t despair, you can train and improve your own focus. However, make sure you start training in advance and don’t wait till you are at the show and the pressure is on.

Series: Riding to win vs. chasing perfection (Blog 3)

by Annette Paterakis

In this series (“Riding to Win vs. Chasing Perfection”) I’m digging deeper into how to strategize our rides. When should we chase the blue ribbon and when should be aiming for perfection? In the previous installment of this series, I explored the competitive mindset, knowing when to go for victory and its pitfalls (if you haven’t read it yet, click here).

In today’s blog I’m diving deeper into the art of riding the ‘perfect’ round.  Obviously, we are always aiming for that perfect round, even in a fast jump off, but there is an important difference between riding to be competitive and riding to improve ourselves and our horses. Let’s explore the ups and downs of chasing perfection, as well as when and how to set yourself up for success.

5 mental skills you can work on right now

by Annette Paterakis

As an athlete we’d like to always be in control and have everything work out exactly as we planned. However, the reality is that there are many things that can go wrong, throw us off guard or at least, turn out differently. Often – even when we know better – we spend a lot of energy trying to change the things we can not change and neglect the things we actually do have power over. Here are 5 skills you can always work on, no matter the circumstances.