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.

Mar 30, 2023 Profile

Historic Results and Determination Propel Smith to 2022 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year Title

From horse trials in her home state of California where she prepared herself and her horses to take on the best in the nation and around the world to five-star events overseas where she represented the United States on some of eventing’s biggest stages, Tamie Smith had a remarkable season and finished 2022 as the Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year for the second year in a row.

Mar 29, 2023 Competitions

Fast Facts: The Event at TerraNova

TerraNova Equestrian Center in Myakka City, Florida, held its first CCI4*-S competition in the fall of 2021 and is now gearing up for the location’s third-ever FEI event and inaugural spring event this weekend during The Event at TerraNova which takes place March 30-April 2.

Mar 29, 2023 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: March 30-April 2

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.

Mar 29, 2023 Grants

Learning about Young Event Horses: Setting Goals

Many riders across all levels have found that working with young horses has provided them with the most valuable experiences in eventing. The opportunities for young event horses have never been more exciting. The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast and West Coast Championships continue to grow in profile as the culmination of a calendar of qualifying events is expanding to more areas of the country. More American riders and their young horses are aiming for the FEI WBFSH Eventing World Breeding Championships at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion D’Angers, France, particularly thanks to programs like the Holekamp/Turner YEH Lion d’Angers Grant. That’s become one of the most attended sporting events in the entire country. It’s given young event horses from the United States a chance to represent the growth of the American eventing community’s dedication to properly developing talent in the sport.

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