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.

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.

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 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 I’ve learned from Cian O’ Conner

By Annette Paterakis

As I’m sure you all know by now, I am currently working on writing my second book and, for that, I am having the pleasure of interviewing some of the most successful riders in showjumping. Perhaps most known for his ability to manage everything to perfection, Cian shared so many wise lessons with me during our hour-long conversation, I don’t really need to add anything at all! So for today’s blog, I will let Cian do the talking. Here are 5 lessons I learned from Cian which I hope will also be valuable for you.

Busting the myths of success in the showjumping arena

By Annette Paterakis

Having been around in the showjumping sport for some time, I know how certain myths are still believed to be true – in fact I used to believe them myself.  We might still believe that successful riders have more talent, money and confidence, for example, but is that really true? Interviewing and talking to the best riders and trainers in this sport, they have helped me bust 4 common myths. Want to find out the truth?

7 signs you are a resilient rider

By Annette Paterakis

When looking up resilience in the dictionary, the following explanation comes up: “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. Listening to many successful riders lately, I have noticed they all seem to have resilience traits in common. Want to find out what these traits are and whether you are resilient as well? Here are 7 signs to find out.