YOUR GOALS...CAN EQUESTRIAN SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY HELP YOU?
October 25, 2006 at 7.30pm
Leading sports psychologist, Jennie Killilea gave an evening talk
to a sell out audience of equine enthusiasts at Nottingham Trent
University's Brackenhurst campus on Wednesday 25 October 2006.
Jennie spoke about how top riders achieve their winning state of
mind and guided the audience through how they can achieve their
riding goals through controlling nerves, tackling competition pressures
and getting into 'the zone.'
Competing with your horse and wishing that you could return and
have another go is a familiar story for any rider - whether at
a local show or international level. Jennie explained that the
difference between winning and losing, enjoying or not-enjoying
a performance can often be down to the mental outlook and psychological
skills of the rider.
Although sports psychology has been applied to other disciplines
for a number of years, equestrian sports psychology has been a
more recent development. As in any new area there was much skepticism
initially, but interest and confidence in the field has grown.
The impact of psychological skills on the performance of many leading
riders has contributed to a thirst for knowledge in this area.
Now riders at all levels are keen to find out more about how mental
preparation and training can provide them with the skills they
need to maximize both performance and enjoyment of their chosen
Jennie's expertise is currently utilized by many top riders including
those on the British Equestrian Federation's World Class Start
and Potential Schemes (Dressage, Show-Jumping, Eventing & Para
Dressage). She helps stars of the future overcome nerves, tackle
competition pressures, motivate themselves, and develop self and
performance confidence. Two of Jennie's pupils from the local area,
Para dressage riders Sophie Wells and Emma Sheardown, also attended
the event. Sophie and Emma kindly agreed to their experiences being
used as examples of how psychological training can be applied in "real
life" situations. It was obvious from their reactions that Jennie
was an invaluable member of their training team.
With a masters degree in sport psychology and
accredited by BASES (British Association of Sport & Exercise
Sciences) Jennie has competed at major three-day-events, and has
represented Great Britain at the European Young Rider Championships.
She also runs her own livery yard in Lancashire.
Dr Carol Hall, course leader for BSc Equine Sports Science (Equestrian
Psychology) in the university's School of Animal, Rural and Environmental
Sciences, said: " We were delighted that Jennie came
here to share with us her experience and expertise. It is now recognized
that input from the sports psychologist in both preparation and
training in equestrian sport can mean the difference between success
and failure. Even if you are not a competitive rider, knowledge
of how psychological training can enhance your enjoyment of equestrianism
is invaluable. The university's Equine Sports Science (Equestrian
Psychology) degree has proved to be extremely popular, demonstrating
the interest in this area. Those attracted to the field can develop
their skills and apply them in what would be a most challenging
The evening with Jennie Killilea proved to be so popular and entertaining
that plans are in place for her to return to present some follow-up
workshops to students at NTU Brackenhurst and to local equine enthusiasts.
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