One theory in sport psychology suggests that athletes may differ in their predisposed goal orientation. Essentially, the aim of setting goals is to achieve “something,” but how do we define achievement? Whether we succeed or fail depends on our perception of whether we have reached our personal goals or not. This being the case, what I consider to be a success may be a total failure to you, depending on how we each define success and failure.
What an astute statement by Abraham Maslow. Too often we fall into this trap whether in the show pen or in the board room. Once we find a method or technique that seems to work or feels comfortable, we apply it to every situation. It seems like many of us get to a certain level of expertise, then just stop learning.
I love Facebook. I come across all kinds of pearls of wisdom from the general masses and keep up to date with irrelevant information that I never needed to know in the first place. Occasionally though, something catches my eye and I read a quote from ncsasports.org this week that did just that —"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up."
For the past couple of years, my full-time job has been in the Quarter Horse racing industry. To be a magazine editor, you have to immerse yourself in the industry on which you are reporting, getting down to the nitty gritty. During those years, my role in the Western performance horse industry was relegated to that of casual observer, rather than active participant.
That all changed when I came to Quarter Horse News. My interest in Quarter Horse racing now takes a backseat to the Western disciplines of cutting, reining and reined cow horse. My primary goal over the past month has been to bone up on what has taken place in the last few years with regards to those industries.
Much of our mental preparation involves reducing anxiety, building confidence, and attaining a "winning" state of mind and body. What if you don't know what that "winning state" feels like? How do you know what to aim for? Professionals in our industry have an advantage with considerable experience under their belt to build a mental portfolio of successful performances.
Technology touches every part of our lives.It cools our houses, helps us run faster, gets us better fuel mileage, and ensures there is always a song we like on the radio. When technology is applied to horses, the best application in a long time has been the use of MRI in the diagnosis and treatment of lameness.
Winning starts well before you step into the pen or onto the field. You need to believe you can achieve whatever it is that you set out to do. But where does that confidence come from?
Pursuing performance goals can be a grueling challenge for even the most dedicated and ambitious of us. It can be even more difficult to motivate others to stay focused and committed on the path of progress, but that's just what coaches and trainers have to do. As the team leader, it is your job to promote a cohesive team that meets the needs of not only the team but of the individual members themselves.