“Sometimes you win,

sometimes you learn.”

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.

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

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5 ways to treat yourself like a pro

by Annette Paterakis

We are taught to always put our horses first, and for good reason. At all times we have to ensure they get the best possible care. So when we come home from a show, late at night, our priority is that they are looked after, fed, and happy in their clean stalls. We do all this before WE get to eat, shower, and hopefully sleep. We spend every spare dime on their special needs, from supplements to fluffy toys – but we must not forget ourselves! Yes, we will always look after our furry teammates, but it’s time we invest a little more in ourselves too. Here are five ways to invest in your most important asset: YOU!

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.

How to be more deliberate about your practice

by Annette Paterakis

The road to excellence is a long one and requires patience, grit and deliberate practice. That is at least if you listen to the experts in the field of expertise performance. According to Anders Ericsson, a researcher in the psychology of expertise and human performance, specific or deliberate practise is of one of the most, if not the most important factor to reaching the top in any given field.
Here are 7 specific tips on how to apply his research to training your own skills in the saddle.

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.

What to do when you’ve hit a plateau

by Annette Paterakis

There are times when you might experience very little improvement or the same results over and over again. It is possible that you have hit a plateau, which means your progress has stagnated. Not knowing how to move forward can be frustrating, unless you understand how growth works. Here are 5 things you might want to know about growth.

Daniel Deusser: 9 ways to learn from the best

by Annette Paterakis

As some of you might know, I’m currently interviewing top riders for my next book. I want to know what the most important habits and patterns are to become successful in the mentally challenging sport of showjumping. Daniel Deusser is clearly a natural and confident rider and he has some inspiring thoughts on how he go there? He shared with me the things he learned along the way, and what helped him most on the way to the top? Here are 9 practical lessons I learned from Daniel, that you can apply as well.