Our mindset influences us in every aspect of our life! Fundamentally it effects how we learn new information and overcome challenges. The type of mindset you have can either stunt your potential as a rider or help you excel in your chosen discipline whether that be dressage, show jumping, eventing etc.
So what kind of mindset do you have?
Have a go at answering these questions with YES or NO:
1. Elite riders were born with a higher level of natural ability?
2. You can always learn and improve on new skills and exercises with your horse but you cannot change your level of riding ability?
3. I would rather try a new exercise/movement that we haven’t done before at home alone, rather than in front of my instructor?
4. When I get a low score or feedback at a competition I often blame poor judging or ignore the feedback?
5. Any rider with enough effort and practice could achieve Olympic standard?
6. I always appreciate feedback from my instructor as I know it is helping me improve?
7. I find learning new things as a rider exciting, even if I make mistakes in front of my instructor and at competitions.
8. When I am faced with a challenge (under saddle or on the ground) with my horse that is taking longer than anticipated to fix, I would still try to overcome the problem calmly and with patience rather than give up in frustration.
ANSWERS, So are you more of a fixed or growth mindset?
1. YES = Fixed NO = Growth
2. YES = Fixed NO = Growth
3. YES = Fixed NO = Growth
4. YES = Fixed NO = Growth
5. YES = Growth NO = Fixed
6. YES = Growth NO = Fixed
7. YES = Growth NO = Fixed
8. YES = Growth NO = Fixed
Riders with more of a fixed mindset believe that their riding abilities are fixed, in other words some riders are just more talented than others. This type of mindset is motivated to avoid failure, meaning these riders don’t like making mistakes and taking risks at lessons or competitions as they believe that rider’s abilities are set in stone. So by avoiding challenges and mistakes they believe they are showing the world that they possess high levels of ability but in reality their mindset may lead to them not reaching their full riding potential.
Riders with a growth mindset believe that their riding abilities can be developed, meaning they believe they can always learn to become a better rider and be more effective no matter the horse they currently ride. These riders are motivated to put effort into learning and improving themselves. As a result, they are more likely to take risks because they see failure or mistakes as something they can learn from and overcome. These riders see challenges as only requiring effort because skill and ability can be learned … BUT doing more of the same and trying harder are not always the best solutions. Sometimes, other actions are needed e.g asking for help when needed, this type of mindset is good at recognising this, therefore these riders are more likely to reach their full riding potential.
Sport psychology says having a growth mindset is ideal for athletes, there is always ways you can change and improve your mindset which we will share with you in another blog!
Be Bright. Be Brave. Be You