Mental Coaching and life coaching
As a member of the Dutch team, I learned how to deal with pressure and top performance. It is all about believing in your own abilities and having strong and positive thoughts. I also experienced that it is very important to forget the world around you, there is just you and your horse. And that is also what makes equestrian sports so interesting, you don’t only need to control your own body and mind, but also the horse’s body and mind. This living creature under you feels every emotion you have inside you. Through good and bad experiences I learned how to deal with pressure during performance and I even found out how to make sure the horse doesn’t feel my emotions anymore, or how to show no emotions at all. I personally developed a method to help riders who are so nervous in the ring that they stop riding and therefore have no success, yet they are doing fine at home. This method has proven to be successful and it doesn’t take a long time before it works. Of course there is one demand: the rider and horse need to be trained well and totally capable to compete on that level.
Ted Troost, famous because he coached most of the top sporters in the 80s and 90s, is a big example for me. He tought me how to stop being tense in my body during the competition. He also tought me how to influence the results of my performances through positive thinking. I am still using his techniques all the time.
Rico Schuyers is another mental coach who I have trained with.. His is the current coach of most Olympic athletes in many different sports here in Holland. He showed me how to think in techniques. When you are riding a competition, you should think about what you are doing. But as we riders all know you think about things going wrong, bad judges, audience that is noisy or to close to the arena etc. Rico gave me the skills I needed and I started to be confident about me and my horse BEFORE the competition, so I performed better and did not have any negative thoughts anymore during the competition.
Last but not least: Peter Murphy showed me how I could change that my one tempi changes went wrong all the time. Neuro Linguistic Programming is what he used to teach me how I could delete my negative thoughts about this exercise, then I was able to change the picture I had in my head while riding these tempi changes.
Of course I am still developing my mental coaching skills. I follow courses, read books and get more and more experienced because of my students. They teach me a lot about how different people are. Coaching is something I love to do and it gives me a lot of energy to help people.