“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

You might also be interested in:

Wise lessons from McLain Ward

by Annette Paterakis

Ever wondered what the greats think about before they go into the arena? Or what their view is on talent? I mean, they are all obviously uber-talented, right? And what about their mental game and confidence? Have they ever doubted themselves? In my quest to find out what the most successful riders in showjumping have in common, and what they do and don’t do, I spoke to McLain Ward and asked him about both his strengths and weaknesses.

5 ways to become a better rider from your couch

by Annette Paterakis

It is that time again. We are only days away from the equestrian sport equivalent of the Olympics: the World Equestrian Games. A physical, emotional and, without a doubt, mental challenge over four long days in dressage, showjumping, eventing and many more disciplines. Four long days of controlled focus, belief, energy and confidence is needed to make every round count. Being able to bring everything together at the right moment requires preparation and a lot of training.

Now, as I like to promote working smart over working hard, here are five ways you can train your mental skills in preparation for a big event, in a comfy position from your very own couch.

7 ways to mentally prepare for the ring

by Annette Paterakis

Ever got the show jitters just when riding into the arena? Or do you ever exit the arena only to realise you were not focused at all on what you had to do in the ring, but instead noticed the sounds around you, people watching you or your mind racing 100 miles per hour? You are not alone! Luckily there is a lot we can do to be more in control of how we feel. So here are 7 ways you can take charge and become the best version of yourself every time you go into the ring, instead of the circumstances ruling your mood, focus and state.

Series: Riding to win vs. chasing perfection

by Annette Paterakis

In this series of blogs, I will discuss the pros and cons of riding to win vs. riding to train our horses (i.e. riding perfectly). By gaining a deeper understanding of each approach, we can make a more educated, or perhaps more conscious, decision as to which we should adopt and when.

Blog 1: Introduction.

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.

12 life lessons I have learned this year

by Annette Paterakis

As a coach it is my aim to keep learning and improving myself continuously in order to better help and serve others. I read as much as I can, listen to audio books on my travels, get coached myself regularly and attend trainings throughout the year. In an attempt to summarize all the things I learned in 2017, I have come up with these 12 lessons I would like to share with you.