Oct 22, 2022

Pressure Proof with Daniel Stewart: Brand Builder

USEA/ Olivia Airhart photo

Successful companies know that building a strong business brand is vital to building their success and equestrians, like all athletes, function in much the same way. This month, we'll begin a four-part series of Pressure Proof tips that’ll help you build a strong athletic-brand so that you can continue to build your success.

There are four steps to building an athletic-brand and the first is to identify and create a mental tool that can help you battle the memory loss that so often happens when feeling anxious or worried (got jitters?). Sadly, when stress happens, many of the things you want to remember like taking a deep breath and finishing strong are the first things you forget. This is called stress-induced amnesia and it can affect anyone regardless of discipline, level, and age. This is why it’s so easy to remember things when riding alone at the barn, but so hard when judges are judging, competitors are competing, and spectators are spectating (this is also why you have such a hard time remembering where your car keys are when you’re in a rush!). Sadly, when pressure goes up memory goes down - and that where this month's Pressure Proof tips comes in.

The first key to building your athletic brand - and the trick to remembering important things at times when stress might make you forget - is something called an Athletic Anthem. As you already know, acronyms help you remember things, even when experiencing stress. For example, imagine worrying while working on a test but then discovering the first question is, "what are the colors of the rainbow?" If you’re like most, you’re super relieved because you know the acronym Roy G. Biv (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). You just proved that acronyms help you remember things, even at times when nervousness might make you forget. Dressage riders are often equally relieved when they remember the location of the dressage letters by thinking “All King Edward’s horses can make big fences”.

So if Roy G. Biv and King Edward can help you remember important things when experiencing stress, why not create your own acronym to remember important things when nervous? When doing so, it’s important to keep three rules in mind:

  1. Athletic acronyms should remind you who you need to be when you’re at your best (i.e. confident and optimistic)
  2. They should be limited to five or six letters
  3. They should form a complete sentence

The acronym STAR is a good example of a four-lettered athletic-acronym. You can use it to remind yourself to stay tough and relax if you’re nervous or stop thinking and ride if you’re over-thinking. As you can see, both acronyms are less than six letters, form a complete sentence, and remind you who you need to be your best. Here are ten other athletic acronyms you might want to consider using when building your brand:

  • STRONG: Stay Tough, Tide On, Never Give Up
  • FAITH: Forget About It, Try Harder
  • FAST: Focus And Sit Tall
  • ROAR: Ride On And Relax
  • BLAST: Breath, Laugh, And Smile Today
  • SHAKE: Stay Happy And Keep Enjoying
  • TIME: Trust In My Experience
  • LIONS: Laugh It Off, Never Stop
  • POWER: Push On With Every Ride

Next month I’ll introduce the second key to building your athletic brand, but until then why not come up with your very own athletic acronym?

I hope you enjoyed this month’s tip and are looking forward to learning how to build your brand. If you’d ever like to teach a clinic to your riders just let m know. My fall clinic tour is sold out but I have plenty of winter and spring dates open. For more info visit PressureProofAcademy.com or email me at [email protected]

Sep 29, 2023 Education

The Eventing Coaches Program Focuses on Area and Regional Needs

The USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) has initiated a renewed focus on the diverse challenges coaches in various regions of the country may be facing. To this end, the program is in the process of enlisting representatives in each of the 10 USEA areas to help guide the program as warranted for the unique needs of each specific area.

Sep 28, 2023 Awards

Nominations for 2023 USEA Appreciation Awards Now Open through October 29

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has opened nominations for the annual appreciation awards through Oct. 29. This is an opportunity for the sport to recognize those horses and riders who excelled in eventing throughout the year. It is also an opportunity to recognize and honor the very important people who have served the sport tirelessly both in a non-riding capacity and riding capacity during their golden years.

Sep 28, 2023 Interscholastic

Stable View is Ramping Up for the 2024 Intercollegiate & IEL Championships

Anticipation for the 2024 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship and inaugural USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) Championship is growing, and the host venue, Stable View, is up for the task of making both events an unforgettable experience for all involved. For the first time, the Intercollegiate and IEL program championships will be hosted on the same weekend at the Stable View H.T. in Aiken, South Carolina, on May 4-5, 2024, creating greater unity between the programs and demonstrating a clear pipeline of participation in the sport from grade school through college and beyond.

Sep 27, 2023 Rules

New Eventing Rule Changes Going into Effect October 1, 2023

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has made five rule changes which will go into effect October 1, 2023. Familiarize yourself with these rule changes below to make sure you are in compliance before heading out for your next event.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA