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How much does mental performance affect the overall performance?

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Mental performance has a much bigger role in the overall performance than most people would think.

Most studies and literature refers to mental performance as an 80% contributor, where the leftover 20% is training, talent, equipment etc. It’s a wild number and it’s of course difficult to measure, so to help you understand this ratio, I’d like to explain the concept and hopefully draw your attention to why it’s important to work on your mental performance.

Imagine buying this wonderful horse. Hiring a trainer to give you lessons. Buying a saddle and other equipment that fits. Using countless hours to practice, paying for boarding, feeding, training, massage, dentist. Then you finally go to the show you dreamed about and prepared for 😍 In the first class, you forget your pattern, so you are a DQ. In the second class, you get so nervous about forgetting your pattern, that you accidentally pick up the wrong lope and get a messy ending. This time you didn’t get disqualified, but also didn’t have a good run or win anything. By the time you enter your third class, you are frustrated, tired and wondering if it was worth the effort at all, or should you be riding in the forest instead? 💩 There’s usually still a way back from this, but what if it’s happening show after show? Maybe it’s not the pattern, but a lost shoe that gets you off the track? Or the change in the time schedule. And the list goes on…

I think you get the point. It is just one example of MANY that I see and I help riders with. By the way, forgetting the pattern is often caused by having too much pressure on and not knowing how to handle it, so the brain sorts the least important piece of information out…

We focus so much on avoiding mistakes and not enough on how to handle the situation when something goes wrong. Mental training is all about making you more sturdy and resilient for when it’s hard, so all the effort you put into the sport can actually pay off when it’s time.

It all starts with awareness and if you’re hungry for more, I’m more than happy to connect 💙


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