[caption id="attachment_34957" align="alignleft" width="150"]Anna Mitchell[/caption]Do you feel like you are stretched a bit thin these days? Maybe like you are being pulled in too many directions at once? Life can get crazy sometimes and can leave us feeling overworked and unfulfilled.
Last week, I challenged you to face your fears. I asked you to consider the possibility that perhaps fear may be holding you back from achieving your goals. Common fears that athletes may face include: fear of failure, and fear of injury or death; however, sometimes, we fear fear itself.
In Texas, May marks the high point for breeding season, and I hope yours has gone well so far. Equine reproduction is one of the aspects of veterinary medicine where technology has played a major role in helping Mother Nature along, but even so, there can still be some ups and downs when getting mares in foal. If you are in the predicament of being more than halfway through the season with nothing more to show than an empty uterus and a stack of bills, this may be of some use.
As far as I am concerned, lack of preparation is the root of all evil when it comes to achieving peak performance. There is little else that will cause more anxiety than entering an important event feeling unprepared. Sometimes, however, we may use "preparation" as a crutch or an excuse to never get started at all. If you are stuck in the preparation stage, it may be time to start before you are ready.
I'm sure you've all heard the old saying, "If you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait a few minutes and it'll change." Well, over the last few weeks that saying has never been truer. From a horseman's standpoint, the dramatic shifts in temperature, wind speed, pollen count and humidity have been showing up in a variety of different ailments. Horses tend to have times of the year when respiratory infections are more common, other times runny eyes and noses flare up because of allergens.
Many people head off to the grocery store with a list in hand, or at least in mind, while others prefer to just turn up and wing it. While “winging it” in the grocery store might work out OK for you, I strongly caution the use of this tactic in performance.
Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the 2013 AQHA Convention in Houston, Texas. This isn’t the first year I’ve been to the convention, but it is the first year I was able to stay for its entirety – from the opening comments to the closing remarks, and everything in between.
My favorite part of the convention had to be Friday afternoon’s forum, which was dedicated to equine welfare. Dr. Tom Lenz, of Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health), gave a presentation on the science and emotion of equine welfare. I wish it were possible to put his entire presentation in print form, so all of you could read what he had to say.
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.