And So We Leave Behind the Sports Psychology Adventure

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I had my last sport psychology appointment earlier this week. The set of three appointments was an introductory package deal. I enjoyed it, but will not continue.

Hello & Goodbye
The woman tasked with taking over from Dr. Margaret [Goodbye] has been Meighan Julbert, MS, Mental Skills Consultant. [ > Team] As always, the following is my interpretation of what was said, which may or may not have any relation to what was intended.

Thank you, Ms. Julbert.

Why It Worked For Me
Last November I was a mess [Whither Now?]. I had to do something. This was something.

Bodies have predictable physiologic responses to stress. There are standard techniques to deal with these responses. Meighan (Ms. Julbert may be more polite, but seems way too formal.) helped me work up a pre-ride ritual. Of course, books discuss these techniques. I have Inside Your Ride by Tonya Johnston in hardback and on Kindle. Have I read it? Of course not. Having a person expecting a daily report by email forced me to get to work.

It can hold up a mirror to your strengths and weaknesses. Having been on the receiving end of those daily emails, Meighan was able to summarize the attitudes behind what I said. Some of the advice was on target, some not. We may have uncovered the motivation behind my show nerves. More on this once I expose the ideas to a lesson/show situation.

Why It Didn’t Work For Me
This wasn’t a fair test. My attitude has changed substantially since I’ve come around on Milton [2.0]. Oh, I still stew and fuss and kick myself, but the despair is gone.

No one can give you the answer. I don’t mean change has to come from inside. I mean change is not possible. If you are like me, the things you want to “fix” are also the things that make you who you are. I would love to be the person who says. ‘If that horse stops rearing long enough, I’ll leap on and head over to those enormous jumps.’ Ain’t gonna happen. I need to accept who I am and learn to work within my limitations design parameters. This is not a contradiction of #3 above. They can help you. They can’t fix you.

My main objection is the expense. If a session were the cost of a riding lesson, I might stay with it. As is, I can ride for a month for the cost of one hour.  I will return to that staple of the adult amateur, the trainer/therapist*.
*AFAIK, the term “trainer/therapist” was coined in The Chronicles of the $700 Pony, by Ellen Broadhurst (Half Halt 2006):

“So my therapist called me today. Well, technically, she’s my trainer, but for the sake of argument, let’s just call her my therapist.”

Online: Chronicle Forums > Forum > Archives > Favorites > The $700 Pony is Diagnosed with Social Anxiety (Chapter 3, as it were)
Author’s site: The Chronicles of the $700 Pony

Previous The MindSide Posts
My “So What?” Theory (second appointment)
Goodbye Dr. Margaret
Positives 12/1/15
Why Bother With Nerves?
First Appointment
Meet Dr. Margaret

4 thoughts on “And So We Leave Behind the Sports Psychology Adventure

  1. “Trainer/therapist” has been around a long, long time. I saw it first used in the 90s in a glossy society horse magazine. The article was on the subject of how to get the most out of your lessons. The comment was: “your trainer is not your therapist”. The next month (it was a monthly) the magazine got so many letters, calls and e-mails telling the author that he (or she, forget which) was nuts that they printed a retraction. Even the BNPs (big name pros) weighed in with the comment that more than half their job was psychoanalysis.

  2. As far as I know.

    Interesting about the upswell in reaction. I’m sure the concept of trainer as therapist has been round as long as trainers & amateurs. I had never seen it used as a single term. As in:
    “I tried to sneak the trace clip past my trainer/therapist without mentioning it. Not possible. A bit like dying your hair pink and just hoping no one will notice. When I walked the $700 Pony into her indoor, my trainer/therapist stopped dead in her tracks and whistled a low, sad whistle.” (ibid, Chapter 6)


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