My “So What?” Theory
I have had my second sports psych appointment.
Much of the content was the same. Being nervous means you care. Record daily ups and downs to track progress over time. Be in the now.
The approach was different. The new person (I forgot to ask how much this person wants to be outed), was less interested in hearing the specifics of my situation. (It’s a complicated one, even for those who know the horse world. Two horses at home but riding elsewhere in an unrelated discipline? That’s weird. But I digress.) She got right to telling me the theories. This was less fun for me. Who doesn’t like talking about themselves? OTOH, I can see the merit. Sports change, human nature doesn’t. It hardly matters if I am a gymnast, a baseball player, or a rider. Performance anxiety is the same. In my case the “performance” is the act of getting on the horse, even discussing it in the office made my stomach hurt. Once mounted, I tend to get on with it (touch wood).
My take-away this time is what I have named the So What? theory. Knowing the why behind a behavior is important. Obsessing about the why can be detrimental. Learn to manage the behavior first. For example, I am standing next to the mounting block:
Me: Why am I so damn nervous?
Peevish Inner Voice: Because you are useless, fucking moron who does not deserve to ride a dime-store pony.
Me, citing new theory: Okay, let’s assume this is true. How does it change what I DO?
It’s not often my peevish inner voice is at a loss for words.
As always, this is my interpretation of what was said. It may have little bearing on proper sports psychology methodology.
Gratuitous Dog: Lady
Lady photobombs my TDO picture of a rock.
The entire pasture to chose from, and she must lie right there.