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Monday, March 4, 2013

Focus and Visualization

     Dr. Susser had some amazing ideas as usual on how to focus, concentrate and succeed under the pressure of competition at EDAP.  I found some of my notes yesterday and wanted to share some additional thoughts with you.

     First, prepare for your events.  Make a list and be sure to follow the list.  Dr. S told an amazing story about a friend of hers that packed up, drove hours to a horse show, unloaded her equipment and then went to the back of the horse trailer, opened the doors and she had forgotten her horse!  He was still back in the barn in the cross ties waiting to be loaded.  So you know what you need to take to a show.  Make a list.  Check of the list.  Perhaps have it on the computer so you can print multiple copies. 

     Second she said to put more focus in the training sessions.  Be mentally focused on what you are doing.  She called it bringing the show ring into the home ring.  As you are tacking up, visualize what you want to do today.  She said just pick one thing you want to achieve.  Then in training or lessons spend 10 or 15 minutes focusing with show ring intensity on that item.  Use positive mental imagery to see it happen.

     Third, try not to get upset over silly things.  Think of ways to use that agitation or energy in a positive way.  Let yourself only be upset for 30-60 seconds, then breathe and move on.  Here I have to say I learned a valuable saying from my friend Mary Katheryn Nommensen’s trainer Anna Burtell.  She said when something really great or really bad happens, regardless of which you only get five minutes.  Five minutes to gloat or jump around like a fool.  Five minutes to cry or stamp your feet at something terrible.  (The only exception is getting tossed off a horse or winning a National Championship…then you get 10).  After that you put it behind you and it isn’t mentioned again.  I like the saying.  I have reminded myself of it several times. 

     Finally, she said to make sure you sleep well the week before the show.  This is often hard as you are in a hotel, or surrounded by people you haven’t seen in a while.  But get rest.  I know that I have talked to Brandi and Genay about their ‘show habits.’ And although there is some variation, prior to the show is not really the time for hanging out and visiting.  Everyone focuses on their objectives.  Each goes mentally to their place and tries to shut out distractions.  We do this not to be unsocial but to do as Dr. Susser teaches!  Visualize, focus and concentrate.  You can’t do those when you are distracted by a dozen other people’s issues, ideas or needs.  So I have realized to not bug other girls to go get something to eat, or go to the ‘shopping’ area.  Let everyone concentrate and focus before the show and then celebrate together after!

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