How to Conquer Your Equestrian Event Nerves
Do you have a big equestrian event coming up and the nerves are already starting to kick in? Is this a constant issue you have, where each time you attend an event, your nerves tend to get the better of you? Not only does this make for a stressful and unpleasant situation, but it can also negatively affect your performance since you can’t relax. However, rather than be ruled by your nerves, here’s a look at some different ways in which you can combat those feelings and approach events in a more laid back and positive manner.
Ensure You Are Prepared
The first tip is all about preparation. When you are prepared, you’re able to head into a competition in a more positive mindset because you feel in control and you feel confident. Being prepared isn’t exactly simple though; it requires plenty of hard work, training, lots of time and dedication. It’s weeks, months, even years’ worth of preparation, so it needs to be something you’ve been working on for a while.
What’s Your Goal?
Although your main goal may be to win the competition, what other goals do you have? Setting a goal for yourself at a competition can help you to feel more empowered. Rather than saying it’s win or nothing, how about focusing on achieving other things? Maybe you want to set a new personal best? Perhaps your goal is to break the top 10? It could be any other personal goal that doesn’t necessarily include winning first place.
Try Visualisation Techniques
Many people swear by visualisation techniques as a way to calm down, fill themselves with confidence and see themselves achieving their goals. Visualisation means you picture victory and success in your mind. You can play out the entire process and see every move you will make as well as the results. It can be quite powerful as you can take that visualisation and turn it into a reality.
Visualisation is very much about focus. It’s about having that focused mind where you don’t let any outside thoughts seep in that can distract you or chip away at your confidence.
If you want to try this technique, a few tips to use include:
• Start by sitting in a quiet room free of distraction
• Close your eyes so you can see the entire process play out
• Picture yourself moving through the competition from start to finish, each move you will make and how you will make it, all in real-time – don’t skip over anything
• Now repeat this process over and over until it becomes a habit and second nature
Enjoy a Little Online Gaming to Relax Beforehand
Sometimes, to calm your nerves, you need to take yourself out of the event mindset and do something else. A great solution can be a little online gaming to shift your focus and allow the stress to slip away. Navigate to this website to find information on the best online casinos. This style of gaming can be especially fun and engaging, and you’re bound to forget about your nerves. Even just a quick few games can be all it takes.
Listen to Your Favourite Music
Music is another fabulous distraction that can help set your mind and body at ease, and pump you full of confidence and adrenaline. You may choose to listen to upbeat confidence-inspiring tunes, or something more calming that works to almost lull you into a more meditative state. Whatever works as a distraction is perfect.
Chat with Friends or Teammates
Conversation can also help you to calm down, and it gives you a chance to bond with others. Maybe you have teammates that you can chat with, or you can talk with friends/family members to help get your mind off things.
Don’t be afraid to be honest and let them know you’re feeling pre-competition nerves. Sometimes it can be helpful to get that off your chest, as you’ll start to see how silly it is and the fact that it doesn’t help you in the long run.
Use Breathing Techniques
If your gaming hasn’t calmed your nerves enough, you can always adopt breathing exercises. These exercises can be used in any stressful situation so they can be very useful to learn. Breathing exercises force you to focus only on your breathing – breathing in and out – in a repetitive manner, making sure you take nice deep breaths each time.
As you focus on breathing in and out, your body starts to relax, the muscles in your body relax, your heart stops racing, your brain starts to clear and breathing becomes easier. This can be handy right before your name is called, making sure that you’re clear-headed when you begin the competition.
By using these tips, you’ll be able to approach your next equestrian competition in a different mindset and ensure that nerves don’t take over and hurt your performance.