I can do this!!
On February 25, the CDCTA stepped inside for some pressure proof training with Liz Piacentini. Liz is a Certified Equestrian Sport Psychology Presenter through Daniel Stewart’s Pressure Proof program. Her vibrant personality makes her a perfect candidate for hosting these seminars, as helping riders conquer show jitters is not an easy task! Many of us spend the majority of our show days worrying about all of the ‘what ifs’. The workshops that Liz has put on with CDCTA for the last two years is wonderful in helping promote confidence and a positive attitude, even in those “Oh, Crap!” moments.
The best part about attending the workshop is learning that maintaining a positive mindset is not as hard as you would think. Little tools can be used to simmer a stressful situation easily, such as changing simple thoughts to something inspiring. Liz brought music into our thoughts as she explained how helpful our favorite song could be. Within every song, there is a line which we can relate to and be inspired by. We can then transform our favorite lyrics into our motivating motto. Another awesome tip is to keep things short and sweet. Rather than trying to remember all of the techniques that your trainer goes over in schooling, it can become more efficient if you take a few key tips and create an amusing acronym with them! I came up with RIDE- Ride with Dressage Etiquette- This way I can tell myself to just RIDE instead of telling myself to, ya know: sit up tall, use my leg, keep my thumbs up, ride straight and forward, etc, etc, etc……
Another tool I really enjoyed was the stress stopper! This tool is something that can be used to get you focused and relaxed. Liz related it to the ritual that some basketball players do at the foul line. Some could even user a superstition as a stress stopper. A cute example is the story of a young girl who rubs the shoe of her pony named Lucky as a stress stopper.
One important tool that I learned in this workshop is one that I will use in all aspects of my life when stress occurs. Liz had us draw two circles like a donut on our paper. Within the outer circle, we listed stressful situations or things that are outside of our control. On the inside smaller circle we listed situations or things that we COULD control. It really makes you sit back and think about the stress that we put on ourselves over details that are beyond our control.
It was extremely fun to work with the other riders and share our thoughts and experiences with each other. I look forward to attending more seminars with Liz to strengthen my ability to focus and maintain positivity in a high stress circumstances.
CDCTA has a busy schedule this year and we are all looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces. If you would like to check in on the club, please visit cdctaonline.com or visit our Facebook page for more info!
Pictures courtesy of Ann Bowie
Clinic and Event Participants.