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]

Nov 27, 2022 Convention

Exciting Lineup of Speakers Scheduled for 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Savannah, GA

If you are on the fence about attending the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention this December 7-11 in Savannah, GA, the schedule of thought-provoking and insightful educational sessions planned for the event is sure to convince you to register today! To learn more about the various sessions and their hosts, click here.

Nov 26, 2022

The EA21 Recap: West Coast Edition

This summer, five USEA Emerging Athlete 21 (EA21) Clinics took place across the country giving young riders the opportunity to hone in on their horsemanship skills, improve their consistency in the saddle and show ring, and create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent. We caught up with many of the riders from the two West Coast sessions to hear their takes on the USEA’s newest program.

Nov 25, 2022 Education

Tips for the Long Haul: Advice from Shippers on Traveling for the Winter Season

It’s about that time of year again when eventers across the country are packing their trunks and making arrangements to new locations for the winter months. While some owners might feel more comfortable transporting their own horses, time and resources make it more expedient for others to load their horses onto someone else’s rig for the potentially long journey to their winter quarters. For the safety and peace of mind of everyone involved – especially the equine passengers – two trusted shippers based on the east coast shared their tips for best practices when preparing horses for long trailer rides.

Nov 23, 2022 Competitions

Area II Organizers Support the Classic Three-Day Format in the Road to the Three-Day Challenge

One of the most valuable awards at the Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event on October 21-23, 2022, were the prizes for the Road to the Three-Day Challenge. The Challenge started in July and ended at the Waredaca Classic in October. Novice and Training level riders had to compete in at least three of the events in the Challenge and Beginner Novice riders had to compete in at least two of the events, in addition to completing the Waredaca Classic.

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