Samantha Wright is a driven and determined sportswomen who was missing one or two pieces in her high performance skillset. These missing pieces were stopping her moving towards her true potential. This is the story of finding those pieces and what happened next -in her own words. Thank you Sam for sharing your inspiring story (so far).
Can you share a bit of background on your situation and how things were for you before you started using some of the Raising Talent principles and techniques?
I have been horse riding for many years but only recently (over the past two years) became competitive and moved up the showjumping grades. It was a very quick ascent and I hit a mental block mid-2013.
While I’m a competitive showjumper I also work full time and freelance as well. I started to feel completely out of my depth when competing. I have fantastic horses, an amazing team backing me and I was at the stables every morning before work, come rain or shine, to put in the work required. Yet, when I went to a show I’d fall to pieces. I began to get frustrated in my training and doubting myself. Showjumping is about a partnership. My partner is also an athlete but he can’t talk and tell me when something doesn’t feel right. At times I started doubting my judgement on his wellbeing as well. It became a vicious circle and I began to find the exercise mentally exhausting. Before a competition I would psyche myself out completely and have no focus when going into the ring. I was an insecure, overanalysing and doubting mess.
Before Tim I did try two sessions with a sports psychologist. I found that I didn’t get any techniques but rather started talking about my life and issues that I didn’t think was related to my sport. If anything it made me doubt myself more and start over analysing more so than I already was.
What was the most valuable thing you got/experienced from using the techniques?
The most valuable thing that I’ve been able to get from implementing the Raising Talent techniques is to control my mind. I still have insecurities, I can still overanalyse and there are doubts – but I find it somewhat easier to control this now. I’m able to “block out” the insecurities when the need arises and silence doubts that are possibly unfounded. I’ve become better at asking myself “Is this important? “ “Is this relevant?” “Do you need to deal with this right now?” I’m able to now identify when a doubt or concern is a valid one that needs to be dealt with immediately, one that can wait or one that isn’t so much a concern but rather an insecurity that needs to be removed from my thought patterns.
It’s a far more logical way of handling the pressure and optimising my performance. I’ve realised that pressure I feel comes from me and without it I wouldn’t perform at the level I need to. I’ve been able identify good and bad pressure and where to target my focus. The pressure I put on myself helps me perform at my optimal level, pressure I perceive to be from outside sources actually isn’t there and I’m not learning how to remove focus from it. Its almost like now that I understand the structure of pressure and how performance works, I always know in what direction to focus to start working through my internal interferences.
Specifically what techniques did you use and how did they help you?
Tim introduced me to a technique that involves “listening to your body”. I have small tell-tale signs that occur in certain situations. When I’m confident and “on form” my hands get a bit of a shake, when I’m nervous or doubting my shoulders lift slightly. There are similar signs for when I’m focused, tired etc. I’ve been able to pinpoint the important ones and am now able to convince my mind to think a particular way by changing my body position or encouraging it to behave a certain way. I haven’t nailed this one down fully but focusing on what my body does when it is confident whenever I’m feeling nervous has helped tremendously.
I have a very stressful job, so when I feel tired I employ the above technique to ensure I still remain as focused as possible in training. It’s a work in progress though.
I’ve also used the regression technique to determine the root cause of a particular issue. This is sometimes difficult to do without having Tim to push me but for smaller issues I’m able to employ the technique rather successfully. Most of our self-doubts, insecurities or issues have a very basic root cause. Finding the cause allows me to determine if I should pay attention or let go of the nagging voice in my head.
Can you share a short testimonial on the impact of using these techniques for you in your life?
I started seeing Tim towards the end of 2013. The competition season, at that point, was over. I started competing again mid-February on a new horse while employing the techniques taught to me. In four months we have risen to the number 1 ranked pair in South Africa at our level. I never featured on any rankings before this. While I obtained the necessary points to rise up the grades I was always in the middle of the field. We’ve also placed in the top 4 in every show we’ve competed in so far. A lot of this rests on the fact that she is a very good horse but I do think Tim’s techniques have helped me be a better rider. More importantly I’ve also employed the techniques in my business dealings and life in general. I’ve seen positive results across the board.
Thank you Sam for sharing your story. Its awesome to see all the hard work paying off.