All Blogs, In The Arena

The Champions Mind.. Chapter Two.. Part 2.. Brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products


If you missed the other entries about this book, be sure and read those here.

I am reviewing the second 6 steps to “Mastering the Mental Skills” and like the first 6 these can easily relate to any activity.

Lets begin with Building Your Inner Strength: This section focuses on pushing through when things aren’t going your way. It talks about building from pain and how you continue to stay focused on your down days. Doing these things will build your inner mental strength. Champions acknowledge when things are not going right and continue to strive to fix them. This is so relevant in and out of the arena, you have to put in the time and build your mental game. The reason why champions react well under pressure is because they have worked very hard to build their mental strength.

Next up is Anxiety Management: This is a very important part of this chapter, one I may review in more depth later because I know so many barrel racers deal with anxiety. I really felt this part of the book (only a few pages) had a wealth of information. Jim talks about when you get anxiety it is normally from a sequence of events that have happened in the past and you have triggers that will start anxiety each time. The key is figuring out those triggers and then how to react to them in a positive way. I think we can all benefit from this since one bad trip down the alley can stick with you, when all the good trips are quickly erased. Stop focusing on the bad and focus on the good! He talks about how to channel the anxiety into performing well.

Enjoyment is next: This section is honestly one I would have never thought about, but it focuses on humor and how it can help relieve anxiety! Finding humor in hard situations is the best way to release tension and become motivated. It will put things in perspective to just go out and enjoy what you are doing. Remember why you are at the rodeo, to HAVE FUN, that was the reason you started this entire journey is because you ENJOY it.


Body Language: This part of the chapter was pretty eye opening. Jim talks about how if you watch people and their body language you can pick up on a lot. I really thought about this and it is so true. If you pull in a rodeo and see someone saddling their horse in an aggravated fashion, then they jerk their lead rope from the trailer and walk off with their horse…..probably not going to have the best day. However the people that are calm, relaxed, passionate with their language they normally have their mental game on point. This also shows confidence which transfers to every part of the experience. Chin up!

Intensity.. Own Your Zone: This section talks about how much intensity you should have going into competition. It honestly depends on what kind of competition you are in. If you are a bullrider you may want to be really hyped up to get on, if you are walking your horse up the alley you may want to stay calm to get a solid run. Ask yourself “Is my intensity to high, to low, or just right?” Then you need to adjust accordingly.

Finally.. Personal Affirmations: Each person should have personal affirmations that speak to them and keep them calm and focused. There are so many affirmations, however it is best to pick the ones that really speak to you. Memorize them and repeat them to yourself before competition. This is very personal and should be your thing only. Keep present tense when repeating them.. “I am”.. not “I will”… “I am going to perform like a Champion today because I am prepared”

More up next week!

Anne Walkup – OTRR

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