This came up on my social media feed, and I could not be more proud of Lili Kaissar who took my basic bootcamp program and started coaching me this time last year right before the indoor circuit. She had just switched over to coaching with Andre Dignelli at Heritage when she first started with me and now trains with the Frank Madden/Capital Hill.
How did she do it? (See my comments below this FB post)
Capital Hill is proud to congratulate Lili Kaissar and Salt Lake for a fourth place finish at the 2018 USET Foundation Inc. Finals East. Salt Lake also won the Grappa award for best horse. Taylor Griffiths and Elle Haymond’s Dalaide De Longpre finished 11th. Both Lili and Taylor were awarded their bronze medals as well. We are so proud of these girls for all of their hard work this year. #teamcapitalhill #samshield #cwd#equiline #fabbriboots #beaconhilltransportation
For those serious riders, be it pony riders, juniors, amateurs or even professionals, this does not happen overnight. And it is not just about having the right horse or trainer.
The key for everyone is that they are committed to the journey and the dream. And what they have found out along the journey is this; it takes leaving NO stone un-turned.
First, their trainers and parents (and me in this case) did not allow these riders to just pick and choose what they wanted or didn't want to do in order to make it to the top. The riders and parents were not presented with a buffet table of choices. The plate was put in front of them, and ...
They were required do it all.
The rider's role? Show up and do the program. The parent's role? Show up and make sure the rider stays on the program.
All riders at the top levels, or who want to make it there, have mental conditioning coaches. They all are all required to eat like athletes. They are all required to do strength training several days during every week. They are all required to have and maintain a good attitude and to show up in training and life with humility and good sportsmanship.
These are NOT an option. The rider is not the one in charge of putting together the program. And they are not given licence to tweak it. The trainers and mental skill coaches are putting together the programs.
You are either all in or all out. And it doesn't matter how young you are. Everyone is on the same program. Because that is the winning formula that makes it work! The athletes that don't make it to the top in their sports are just like all the others who don't, and it is for the same reason; they want to do it THEIR way. Which is usually half-assed; only choosing those things they like to do.
I can tell you that Lili, like all sports athletes, had her fair share of moments of heart breaking disappointments, being stuck in bad habits, fleeting self-doubt and disbelief, and a feeling of being dis empowered and/or a fear of never being good enough and able to make it to the top.
She too had to deal with defeat and seeing her competitors beat her out of ribbons ... over and over.
She too had to deal with the pressures from her parents, her trainers, her teammates, and also from within herself without letting it derail her. She too had to force herself to make it to the gym. I know. I went through a lot of this journey with her when she was learning my mental skills for going through all this.
But here is what changed. When she coached with me, she learned why she was struggling and how she was getting in her own way. She then learned from me how to shift and to stay in belief about herself even when she didn't REALLY believe. And she kept learning from me, applying the pattern interrupt techniques, working on all the customized strategies I created just for her, trusting me show after show and continuing to move forward ... jumping over the hurdles and bouncing back from all the defeats.
But soon, instead of her old habits of becoming dis-empowered and wanting to give up when she didn't win, she found the "pearls' of what she did wrong, and she applied her new feedback to her next trip. She started seeing how she performed well with my strategies and then fell back again when she got off her mental program.
She learned inner strength and resilience. She learned how to become more patient with herself and her new mounts. She learned how to work with her trainers instead of allowing them to intimidate her. She got her voice and started to use it; becoming more assertive ... with everyone (and in her usual respectful way).
She transitioned from the rider she used to be when she first met me into this person you see in the photo. But first, she had to believe it even when she didn't really believe it. Then she had to stay committed to the process.
When it isn't happening fast enough, when you feel you are trying your best, take a look at that "story" you are telling yourself. Is it really true? Are you really doing all you can?
Or are you procrastinating on the things you don't want to do? Are you ALL in and committed to doing whatever it takes? Are you willing to fill in the holes?
If you are a parent reading this, ask yourself the same question; what are you not doing that you need to do? You have more control over your child than you believe that you do.
Either you are running the ship or your child is. Set them up for success. You wouldn't allow them to stay home from school or to do not study for an exam or do their homework, right? Riding is no different.
And if you are yelling at your child when they don't win, or if you are allowing them to have bad attitudes or to walk all over you without consequences, then THAT has to change.
It is from watching YOU that they learn how to become good leaders. You can't ride successfully unless you are a good leader for your horse ..
Lili had her fair share of excuses along the way that were tripping her up ... just like we all do. It takes strength to look at ourselves in the mirror and to own up to what our "truth" is. Then we have to understand the secondary gain from our excuses that is keeping us imprisoned in our old behaviors.
Remember, we are only as strong as our weakest link. What is your weakest link? What are you not doing? If you are willing to do everything except that ONE difficult thing that you don't want to look at, admit or deal with ... THAT is what will hold you back and keep you from your dream.
Success is a decision. We would all love to have success without doing those things we really don't want to do. That our dreams will come true doing it our preferred, half-assed way ...
THAT is the story we have to let go of before we can move into and own our new story and our new destiny.
Enjoy your day off!
Breakthrough Equestrian Mental Skills Coach
Emotional Strength & Resiliency Trainer
Elite Lifestyle Transformations, LLC
11924 Forest Hill Blvd., Ste 10A-211
Wellington, Florida 33414
United States of America