Barrel Racing, Mental game

Get Out of Your Head

I hope everyone had a great Canada Day and/or 4th of July run with fast times and safe drives! While on my (rather short and sweet) run with Jellybean, I had time to think on a rough patch we went through awhile back. Seasoning a rodeo horse is never easy, though I will say Jellybean makes it easier than I thought possible. 

A few weeks ago I was pretty unhappy with myself. I rode poorly in an arena that had great potential for my mare and myself.

I could blame interrupted sleep patterns and being in a different rig, but the only person I have to blame is myself. I chose to react to my environment in a way that led to my poor performance. My poor horse was reacting to my cues and my mood. She certainly isn’t to blame. 

Sometimes things aren’t perfect, but we as riders and athletes have to respond to those imperfections in a way that doesn’t affect our performance. Move on from the things you can’t change; dwelling on them will only stress you out and distract you from your purpose. 

When you are upset and distracted, what are some strategies you can utilize? 
1. meditate. I use Headspace, but it could be as simple as going somewhere quiet. Headspace has a series of “sport on the go” sessions available to subscribers. 

2. Call your “person” or a member of your tribe. This should be a person who isn’t afraid to set you straight. My sisters are really good for this, but I have a friend or two that are awesome at this as well. 

3. Jam out. Put on some gangster rap and deal with it (or your chosen genre of music, whatever makes YOU feel good). 

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4. Sweat it out. Go for a run, dance in the corner with your headphones. Release that energy so you can move on. 

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Remember, before walking down the alley, take a deep breath and let it all out. Do you job as a jockey and let all the “other stuff” go for three turns and home. 

What are some tactics that you use to get out of your own head and into the game?

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