Slave to the Habit

By Anna Mitchell

Change is an inevitable phenomenon that you cannot control. But you can often control the direction of the change by the decisions that you make. Life is about choices, but "habits" often rob us of these choices by becoming an involuntary response rather than a conscious decision.

Motivation

By Anna Mitchell

Motivation is the drive that gets us where we want to go. It helps push us through the rough patches when we would rather give up on our quest to achieve our goals, but it can be rather elusive and may escape us when we need it most.

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Getting to Know Yourself

annamitchellBy Anna Mitchell

This week it's all about you. We are wrapping up another year and on the downhill run to 2014. What changes do you want to make next year? What frustrated you about your performance this year? What mistakes did you make? Did you make them more than once? What did you do well? Did you do it again? What could you have done differently to get a better outcome?

Go Back Before You Go Forward

By Anna Mitchell

What better time to take a step back and regain control of your life than right now? We are moving into the start of a new year. This is a great time to put last year's regrets and disappointments behind you and grab the New Year by the horns. But wait ... Before you dive off into a brand-new year, you need to take a moment to review last year. We need to go back before we go forward to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

Pre-performance Routines and Rituals

By Anna Mitchell

If you have been following my articles, then you will know that I place a lot of emphasis on flexibility for peak performance. I have stressed the importance of being able to adapt to changing circumstances and “roll with the punches” during a performance because rarely does everything go according to plan. So how does a pre-performance routine fit into this approach? Is that not an oxymoron?

You Are Only as Good as You Think You Are

Self-confidence; that ever elusive necessity for peak performance. It gives us the courage to push ourselves to extremes, allowing us to achieve beyond our wildest expectations. How can something that makes such an impact be so fragile? Some days you feel like you are on top of the world and can do anything; other days you're wondering if you can manage to get out of bed without messing up.

Surviving The Futurity

Is it really that time of year again? It seems like just last month I was writing an article on preparation for last year's futurity and here we go again. Stress Management  keeps popping up but it is particularly relevant this time of year as everyone heads to Fort Worth and Oklahoma City to battle it out.

Playing Well With Others

I was at a show recently and overheard a verbal exchange between a trainer and his customer following an unsuccessful performance by the customer. Far from supportive or encouraging, I witnessed  a brutal degradation on a personal level with little helpful critique to the actual performance. Rather than walking away with a valuable learning experience, I suspect the customer was left with a bruised self-esteem and little motivation to come back for more.

Self-Maintenance

Top performance requires top condition. Whether a car, a horse, or ourselves, if we hope to achieve peak performance, we have to ensure the vehicle to success is well maintained. Most elite athletes are aware of the need to take care of themselves to produce consistent results in competition. Those of us involved in equestrian sports, however, tend to neglect our own needs with the assumption that our horse must be in peak condition for success in the pen.

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Mentally Tough

What does it mean to be mentally tough? We hear this term a lot in sport psychology, but unless we truly understand what that means, we don't know what we are aiming for. Specifically, what is it that makes one athlete tougher than another?