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.

What to do when disaster strikes

By Annette Paterakis

Have you ever been at a show or in a situation where you had to perform, and then suddenly, out of the blue, disaster strikes? Perhaps one of your friends got involved in an accident or maybe one of your horses just passed away? On a few occasions my clients have reached out to me asking for help as they had just got some very bad news, whilst at a show. How to stay focused under the most difficult of circumstances? Here are a few ways for you to let go of all the thoughts racing through your mind and to focus on the task at hand.

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.

5 tips to maximize your course walk

By Annette Paterakis

Your mental preparation starts the moment you walk your course. It might seem like just another routine at the show and, after riding many horses at many shows, you might feel like you can get away with a quick browse or walk through the numbers. However, the better your preparation, the better your ride will be. Don’t leave anything to chance and prepare like a pro. Here are five tips to help you do just that.

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.