For anyone to be well-rounded and knowledgeable at their job it is beneficial to take inspiration from others; whether within the same job or another industry altogether. We can sometimes take a look at the way someone chooses to do something and tweak it in order to improve our own performance and professional sport is no different. You might look at two sports such as horse racing and football and assume that because the playing out of the sport is completely different that neither of them could do anything to inspire or help the other, but that is not the case at all. Champion jockey Katie Walsh recently got together with West Ham players Aaron Cresswell, Mark Noble and Jarrod Bowen to talk about being a jockey and how she felt racing at big events such as Cheltenham; so what could these players learn from a champion horse jockey?
Katie Walsh talked openly about the mental strength needed to be a successful jockey and the steps she needs to take before starting a race. During the Betway Insider video chat, she shared with the football stars that often tempers get frayed before an event when competing jockeys share dressing rooms. She talked about feeling pressure on the day and how she prepares for that on race day – a similar feeling to West Ham stars when they are about to play an important milestone match no doubt. Football is known for its passion and tension before a game, whereas horse racing is less so and that is definitely something the football industry could learn as a whole – playing your cards close to your chest and not getting fans involved in the tensions you feel with the competition.
One thing they all talked about is the things they did before a match and whether they had any superstitions – Katie explained that she just did what she felt was right on the day, with the boys talking her through what they needed to eat before a game. Katie seems to take a more relaxed approach to what is needed before a race and instead goes with what feels right; taking off the pressure of having something she must do in order to feel like she has a chance of winning something the football players might want to try and do too!
The truth is that both sports are dedicated and disciplined in their own ways. Football might be more of a team sport than horse racing but both are hard work in different ways. Horse jockeys have a strict training schedule, which is often increased in the weeks approaching an event such as the Cheltenham Festival; because it is important to ensure the horse is ready for the race as well as the jockey. Preparation for a big event like this is a must and something that players for West Ham and other Premier League teams should make sure they take seriously too.