Make a Plan to Improve Your Elite Athlete Mindset

Laura King at WIT-1When the participants in the Dressage4Kids Winter Intensive Training Program are in South Florida for the winter show season, Lendon Gray asks me to speak to them in the early morning hours once a week. This is the second in my series of talks to the dedicated young people in this exciting program.

To see where you want to go, you have to know where you are going. The key is to make a plan. You need a plan to guide you−a roadmap to achieve your goals for this month, next month and six months from now.

When a plan is in place, your brain automatically produces a solution to a problem or a reaction to a situation. With your automatic responders already in place, making a decision is on autopilot. The programs that already exist are called metaprograms, and these metaprograms help you choose how you respond to situations. When the information goes into the center part of your brain, your brain chooses how to respond to a situation and that gives you a physical response resulting in a behavior.

For example, with a plan in place determining the metaprogram to remind you that you will NOT sweat the small stuff at a horse show, overacting is not an option.Laura King at WIT 4-1

When examining your goals to make your plan, what is your story for peak performance? Who do you look to mimic? Creating your peak performance is knowing what your peak performance is. Using that mentor, create what your peak performance is to you within the theatre of your mind. Model your appearance and your behavior after this person. Then, your brain has an image. You can’t create the correct movement unless you know what it is. You have to know what it looks like, what the horse needs to do to produce it. You have to be the orchestrator of the communication to the horse to ask for the movement so that you can mimic that movement.

You create the correct solution to your prior troublesome issues. Choose a roadmap in your brain as to how you want to accomplish this. Take the lid off your brain and imagine the possibilities. Your plan creates a road map and a way for you to do it.

Laura King at WIT 5-1Then, do what I call “chunking.” Take things you need to do and divide them up into chunks. Know when you need to do them and then determine your timeline. Write them down. Then, the theatre of the mind is seeing you do it. Once the brain has seen you do it, it knows what you need to do to achieve it. Pick your goals for three months, six months and a year.

Fear is created when something isn’t coherent in your brain. Fear is a lie. You aren’t lying to yourself, you just have the wrong story. Where did that story come from? A teacher, a trainer, a horse, a parent? Forgive it, let it go and retrain yourself. Ninety nine percent of the time, fear is not real—it’s a made-up story and you can rewrite the script.

We CAN create new outcomes—that’s called the elite athlete mindset.

To learn more about how to improve your performance, log onto Titles include Focus and Positive Thinking for Competition, Peak Performance, Positive Self Talk Equestrian, Release of Performance Anxiety Equestrian and many more.