Feb 05, 2023

Pressure Proof with Daniel Stewart: Lumps, Links, and Logos

USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo

Three months ago I introduced you to a technique called "Brand-Building;" the idea that equestrians can increase the likelihood of success by building strong personal brands, just like companies can increase the likelihood of success by building strong business brands. This technique consists of four parts, and we spent the past few months talking about the first three, which include:

(1) Athletic Anthems: Building a playlist of songs that have positive affirmations hidden in the lyrics
(2) Athletic Acronyms: Acronyms that create behaviors like: Smile And Never Doubt Yourself (SANDY)
(3) Mojo Mantras: Rhyming comments that create positive behaviors like, “Push-on, finish strong”.

Together these building blocks help direct your thoughts towards feeling fearless instead of fearful. In this month’s Pressure Proof Tip, I’ll introduce you to the final step to completing the mental toolbox that is your athletic brand which is actually made up of three additional steps of its own:

(1) Lump: In this first step you lump your anthem, acronym, and mojo-mantra together
(2) Link: Once your lump is created you link them to a matching pre-ride ritual
(3) Logo: Once you’ve lumped and linked, you design a logo that matches them all

Here’s an example of how lumps, links, and logos can be used to create the athletic brand “SUPER:"

Acronym: SUPER = Smile Under Pressure, Enjoy Riding
Anthem: "Superman" by REM
Mantra: Up, up, and away
Ritual Wearing a Superman T-shirt and socks under your riding clothes
Logo: The Superman logo embroidered on a saddle pad or taped to a tack trunk

As you can see, the acronym, anthem, mantra, and pre-ride ritual all match the idea of Superman, and the Superman logo brings them all together into one recognizable brand. Here’s another example:

Acronym: ROAR = Ride On And Relax
Anthem: "Roar" by Katy Perry
Mantra: Hear me roar, Hear me roar…
Ritual: Taking a deep, cleansing breath and roaring quietly while exhaling
Logo: A tiger head inside a circle over the top of the words ROAR

Once again the acronym, anthem, mantra, and pre-ride ritual all match the idea of ROAR, and the tiger logo brings them together into one recognizable brand.

The purpose of the lump, link, and logo lies in the knowledge that our brain has a really hard time focusing on multiple things at once, but lumping and linking techniques together (and to a logo) helps the brain find a common tie between them, which ultimately makes them easier to remember (like how an acronym makes it easier to remember many things).

When you think of Superman, your brain naturally thinks of your anthem, acronym, mantra, and pre-ride rituals. When you think of ROAR your brain does the same thing. This is called chunking, and it’s the key to mental multi-tasking because the brain loves chunking together concepts that it believes are related.

So this month why not begin 2023 by building your very own athletic brand? Listen to some good music and come up with an empowering acronym, mantra, pre-ride ritual, and logo, but don’t be surprised if it takes a little longer than expected. It’s a bit of a puzzle with lots of moving pieces so it may take you a few hours or even days to complete. The good news is that even if it does, that time will be well spent thinking of some really positive things!

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Pressure Proof Tip and the three previous tips that built your lumps and links. If you like the idea of mental coaching and would like to learn how to teach equestrian sport psychology clinics or seminars just let me know! I’m beginning my next online Instructor Certification Course on February 7th. Email me at [email protected] for more information.

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