The key to keeping your focus on competition days: four tips

We cannot compete for a while now and despite the fact that we’re all dying to get back in the ring, this may be the perfect moment to work on your mental skills. We all love to compete but we also noticed that it’s very hard to keep your focus on the competition itself since there are a lot of distractions. We all have specific distractions that can keep us us off our game. We listed up the most important distractors and give a few tips on how to keep your focus on the competition.


We already wrote it in one of our previous blogs and we will do it once again, but it’s just one of the most important things to keep your focus: focus on your course and on your course only. Your own thoughts can be a massive distraction, specially when you have thousands of thoughts going through your mind Try to ‘clear your mind’ at least once a day and take the time to ‘observe your thoughts’. Encourage useful thoughts and let go of negative or distracting ones. If you keep thinking about a fight you had last week, you will not be able to focus on your competition. Over time, you will realize it isn’t very difficult to control your thoughts and it will become easier for you to ‘clear your head’ when you’re riding a competition and to focus on that competition only.


It is great if you can compete with your best friends and family watching but you also have to realize that your friends and family can be a great distraction. When your friends and family are coming to watch, they will demand some of your time and energy. Therefore it can be a good idea to make it clear to your family and friends when you are ‘available’ for chatting and when you need to focus on your course. It can, for example, be a good idea to invite your family and friends to come and watch and to ask them to let you focus on your course and not to disturb you when your are preparing. You can make them clear that you will be free for chatting after your course. You just need to tell them how they can ‘help’ you and how to best support you.


Perhaps one of the biggest distraction for riders is people watching. It seems innocent but many riders are becoming more nervous when they see who’s watching. Many riders feel more pressure in this case to prove themselves. Therefore it can be a good tip not to watch ringside when you are in the arena. You also have to realize that you are riding because you like it, not to please other people. So just keep your focus on you and your horse. Forget all the people judging and ride the course you want to ride.


Many studies have been done about what happens to our brains when we are working on our smartphones. In general is concluded that phones distract us since our brain has to focus on more than one activity at once. Try not to use your phone too much and train your brain to stay focused on one thing: your competition in this case. Each time you find yourself being distracted, just go back to your focus point.

Source: NF/ Adjusted by Equlifestyle