“Sometimes you win,

sometimes you learn.”

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?

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.

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

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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.

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.

How to create better sleeping habits in 21 days

by Annette Paterakis

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!

What I’ve learned from coaching riders

by Annette Paterakis

I started of as a rider myself and then continued in the showjumping sport as a mental coach. I made that shift about five years ago and I have since learned so much from all the different clients I have had the pleasure of coaching over the years. So I thought I’d share with you the things I have learned from working with equestrian athletes so far.

What not to do when competing at the WEF

by Annette Paterakis

With hundreds of riders and thousands of horses competing together for over 3 months, the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida is an amazing opportunity to compete against the best riders in the country and the world. However, it can be quite daunting to be surrounded by the best of the best, and to constantly be reminded of how many other great riders and horses are out there. Here are a few reminders to stay in control of your mental game and to enjoy your time at this beautiful event:

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.