View Full Version : Chilling out in Competition

Oct. 14, 2009, 12:07 AM
How do you all do it? I just got pix from the last two horse trials, and I'm stiff and tight....and I'm NOT that way at home.

I had someone tell me (who saw me ride at home, then coached me at the events) "why don't you ride at the events like you do at home? You ride beautifully there!"

I have a really hard time not tensing up....so how do YOU guys deal with pressure? How do you focus? Esp. in dressage, though I could use a bit of relaxation in SJ, too. XC I'm focused and good. :-)

Oct. 14, 2009, 12:21 AM
I believe Blutto Blutarski said it best, "My advice. Start drinking heavily."

Oct. 14, 2009, 12:49 AM
I read a book by Jane Savoie when I was younger, think it was called 'It's not just about the ribbons' but she has written several... it's all about positive thinking and visualization to help you relax. I don't know if you're into that sort of thinking, but maybe give it a try?

I guess the first step would be figuring out why you get so tense at shows in dressage and show jumping...

I used to get really nervous before cross country, I was fine on course, but before was awful. I did loads of xc schoolings, clinics and hunter trials until it finally clicked in my head that hey, I can do this and I'm good at this... maybe you could try doing dressage schooling shows so you get more relaxed in the 'dressage atmosphere'?

Anyway, if you figure out the secret to chilling out, let me know please! :)

Oct. 14, 2009, 09:06 AM
Compete more. The more you do it, the less tense you get - or the more you're able to channel that tension/nerves into something useful. Watch some of the pros amble around the start box - they are loose and comfortable and their horses look soft and happy. Keeping your body soft (think of trigger words or calming your breathing or consciously loosening your reins or whatever works for you) will improve your riding and your horse when under pressure, and the more you're able to put yourself into a situation that has the potential to ramp you up, the better you'll be at dealing with it. I love schooling shows or H/J shows for that reason - you go out and do 3-5 rounds on a Saturday for not alot of money and it helps take the edge off.

But if you don't have that opportunity to get in the ring more, I think just practicing having to be "on" is a helpful skill set. Figure out what gets you tense: is it fear of falling or getting hurt? Worried about judgment by others? Concern about not doing well? Worried about not being prepared? Then figure out how to recreate those triggers in your lessons or at home. If you're not feeling prepared, can you school more? Maybe put a few more courses together? If being watched makes you nervous, can you arrange to have folks watch your lessons? Or take lessons with a new coach?

If those don't work for you, you might consider talking with a sports psych about how to put together a good competition plan. Managing the mental side of competing is just as much a part of the sport as the physical, and if you're tense, it's just no fun.

Oct. 14, 2009, 09:21 AM
Like Reed said. I do know of a couple of folks who have some wine, a wine cooler or rum and coke, before they ride dressage. :eek: They say that it really helps to "sooth the nerves". I've never tried it, but have thought seriously about doing so.

Oct. 14, 2009, 09:23 AM
I agree with GotSpots, compete more. Even at schooling shows, prepare and ride them like a "big show" to test yourself and your horse. Or, set up questions at home or when schooling XC that mimic shows. Ride your dressage test start to finish as if you were at a show, same for a SJ round. Go XC schooling and jump 5-10 fences in a row, as if on course.

I find a big factor is preperation, down to having all of your stuff organized, labeled, clean and easily accessible. Also, for XC, know your pace! Set up markers at home and learn how to feel your speed. Even at the lower levels this is benifical.

Have "backup plans" for when you get in the ring and freeze up. I make it simple in my mind if I start to panic. For example, in SJ if it all starts happening to quick and getting sloppy I literally tell myself in my head, "start breathing, count your canter rythym (this will help you 9times out of 10), relax your elbows, shoulders up, and close your leg". For me, from there I can handle most anything.

I love Jane Savoi's book "That Winning Feeling". Touches base on what a lot of sport psychologists teach about visualization and how our bodies don't respond to the word don't or can't. Instead of thinking "don't freeze up" think "relax my hips".

Last thing, develop a routine that works for you on show day. Listening to music, taking a nap, walking, whatever works for you, figure it out. All other athletes do, why not riders!?


Oct. 14, 2009, 09:49 AM
Let me add a bit on a more serious note, of course years ago I did ascribe to the drinking to relax method.

Remember the adage, practice like you show and show like you practice.

In other words, when I school dressage, I NEVER let myself think, "Ah, I made a mistake and I can go back and work on it." I make myself think that every move during a lesson is being judged and must be the absolute best I can make it from the very first.

When I jump, there are no pull-ups, turnouts or do overs. I get only one course to get everything right.

In other words, make every lesson and training situation, such as a clinic, a show situation. Don't let yourself think that there are "do-overs" or that it is not serious.

You will find initially that you will mess up more but in time, you can develop the mental aspects needed during competition.


Oct. 14, 2009, 10:06 AM
I find the most effective way is to compete more. But that usually isn't in the cards for most.

Listen to music - find really catchy songs that have meaning to you or you just love and listen to them before you get on. I always visualize my round going flawlessly and every detail is taken in (she may spook at dressage booth - lift inside hand leg yield feeling through the corner, half-halt, straighten, forward trot, big step etc. - basically prepare for the worst, but visualize the best) Just focus your mind before you go in take really big, deep breaths - it helps when I feel I'm getting nervous. If your tense - think loose. Go for a walk around, chat with familiar faces and do anything to get your mind off the task at hand after you have visualized your perfect round and you know the test like the back of your hand. I love watching the upper level riders ride the night before I compete too. I go on youtube and watch all their tests, watching what they do in each situation. They make it look so easy and it makes me feel more confident. I also try to 'shut down' and stop thinking and just rely on my riding and instincts to get me through. It seems to work well for me, may work for you too if you get nervous in front of crowds :D

Best of luck and I hope this helps!

Oct. 14, 2009, 10:23 AM

read all her books! i also listen to her abridged tapes of 'that winning feeling' (there are two) non-stop for a couple days before I compete.

They have TOTALLY changed my attitude and nerves!!

Then, go to the show, and SMILE (another HUGE help in relaxing your body!)

Oct. 14, 2009, 11:37 AM
Becky - were we talking to the same person?? I had someone point out to me that I ride so nicely at home but basically look like sh!t in dressage at a show. I get tense, I pitch forward, I lock up... and Joy responds the only way he can, which is to lock up as well!

I am order Jane Savoie's newest audio/video package on overcoming fear (I think it's called Freedom from Fear).

But for now I'm just going to drink heavily ;)

Oct. 14, 2009, 12:27 PM
I do agree about reading the Jane Savoie book - and I have read it, actually ... but the killer for me is that I need to be allowed to be left alone when I'm riding, and when I'm preparing my stuff, else I forget important things. (Like legs, ferinstance). I just can't have someone popping up every 2 seconds jabbering at me irrelevantly about their own stuff, or asking me what the time is because they didn't bring a watch or whatever. It totally ruins my focus.

One year I went to a few shows with a trainer together with a nice little girl, and her entourage. They're real nice people, but have a 'cheerleader' mentality, and when I needed to get serious and concentrate, they'd insist on running up to me constantly and saying 'Ooh, cheer up Kate' and 'You need to be less serious' and other such vacuous remarks.... and then going on and on about it if I didn't immediatly leap about in a similarly cheerleady manner (and if you've ever met a miserable Brit, you will know that we ust don't do dappy-cheerleader all that gracefully). I found that all very stressful, because what I needed to do, actually, was figure out how much time I had left until warm-up, and where my armband was. As you do, at your first event.

For a while there, I was getting a reputation for being very stressed and snappy at shows.... however, when I was ready to be a big girl and start going alone, everything improved hugely ! Every picture of me at this summer has been happy, smiley - dressage results have gone up and up....

For me it is ALL about making sure I am not cooped up with the sort of people who do not know when to be calm, and do not know when to not give unaskedFor advice.

Oct. 14, 2009, 12:58 PM
Thanks, everyone. I've read both Janie Savoie books (That Winning Feeling and It's Not About the Ribbons), and I *try* to visualize...but it's really hard for me. I get distracted easily during the visualizations (which is probably part of my problem "in real life"). I do end up visualizing the SJ and Dressage several times over, but then I get to the "real" situation, and I end up tensing up, making my horse hollow, and trying too hard/trying to "do it for him" (thus the jumping ahead).

Reed, I DO need to practice better (as JW, sez, practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect). But it's hard; I live soooo far from anyone, and usually ride on my own. And then I'm listening for kiddos, thinking about work, etc.

"Miles" have helped me a lot, as has trying things here like shortening stirrups and doing LOTS of two point (that's helped my XC). But I realize I'm not demanding enough in dressage and jumping at home because...well, I just don't know what I should be expecting, I think, if that makes sense. (I don't jump alone at home, though maybe I should start--so not jumping is probably part of my problem there).

I KNOW it's all about relaxation in dressage, because my best test was when I was on oxycodone for an abscessed root canal....! I was just in it for "miles" because I figured we didn't have a chance (we ended up winning our division).

Someone suggested I videotape myself and give myself a little lesson at home twice a week. I might try that. In the mean time, keep the suggestions coming! :D

Oct. 14, 2009, 01:08 PM
Okay besides the cooler (they sell nice Pinot Grigio in little plastic bottles, so you can even drink away your nerves with some good stuff, LOL),

Show, show, show. Do a lot of little unrecongized things, dressage & H/J, not just events. Good for your horse too, if he's green at all!

Have a ritual - an exact schedule and order in which you prepare for a class. I have a minute by minute "play by play" pinned to the wall inside my dressing room, when I stick to that exactly I feel fairly calm by the time I mount (you may be able to leave out my step, "time to put down the Pinot" GRIN)

Along with Savoie, I am just getting into the books by George Leonard - finished "Mastery" and am into "The Way of Aikido" and it's GREAT STUFF. Already has me going about day to day activities calmer, not getting stressed at work or in traffic, for example. Think it will help riding & showing though won't find that out next year!

As you should figure out by now, you are NOT ALONE, lol. I have a lot of secret stories about ULR's and how they "calm" down - it doesn't actually all involve alcohol either, haha. But helps me to know even the best have nerves to deal with.

Oct. 14, 2009, 01:24 PM
As you should figure out by now, you are NOT ALONE, lol. I have a lot of secret stories about ULR's and how they "calm" down - it doesn't actually all involve alcohol either, haha. But helps me to know even the best have nerves to deal with.

First, thanks for the Leonard info...I'll get that. I read a LOT. Perhaps that's part of the problem--all that stuff is floating around in my head until I "feel" it. I just "felt", for instance, what it means to have my new horse in front of my leg. I sort of knew that feeling from my old horse, but didn't know how to "get" it w/ the new guy. Still working on getting it consistently (esp. in dressage!), but now that I've felt it, it's better.

BUT...any chance you could (anonymously, of course) share some of these stories? When I teach writing, I talk a lot about imitation, and I bet we could all learn something from these stories...!

If not, that's cool. But anyone else who wants to share, feel free!

Oct. 14, 2009, 04:27 PM
BUT...any chance you could (anonymously, of course) share some of these stories? When I teach writing, I talk a lot about imitation, and I bet we could all learn something from these stories...!If not, that's cool. But anyone else who wants to share, feel free!

Well, I'd have to check on a few to see if I'm at liberty to share, lol. For now, others have actually been recorded in books - check out 'Visions of Eventing' and Lucinda Green's 'Four Square' for some!

For now, several of these methods involve getting over natural reluctance to enter a porta-potty and instead finding it as something of a sanctuary, LOLOL

Oct. 14, 2009, 06:00 PM
Maybe it is a sign of the times, you used to always see a porta-john next to the start box on XC. Today, not so much.


Oct. 14, 2009, 06:40 PM
Compete more. Dressage shows have helped me relax a lot, and are in themselves a form of relaxation--they're about as ho-hum as a horse show can get! :lol: (no offense to serious dressage competitors, but what is there to get anxious about?) ;)

The only time I really feel anxious/nervous at shows is walking over to XC warmup--that's when my jitters get to be uncomfortable, if I have them. Sometimes I don't, say if I know the course is going to be really easy. But if it's a step up for me or my horse, if the footing is iffy, etc. I can really get the butterflies going. Playing my favorite raucous music on my iPod right up until the time I'm putting the saddle on helps. :D

Oct. 14, 2009, 09:03 PM
A book I have used that is helpful is PSYCHING FOR SPORT by Terry Orlick (http://www.amazon.com/Psyching-Sport-Mental-Training-Athletes/dp/0880112735/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255568290&sr=1-1). It just happens to be the one that my OH (a retired elite athlete) recommended, though I am sure it is not the only one that is good. It is out of print but there are lots of used copies for sale on the internet. The book's strength is in helping you get to know your competitive self so you can deal with whatever comes up psychologically. As a result of paying more attention to my reactions, I have begun to notice the times when I get the most anxious before performing, and then I can tell myself, "you always get anxious when x happens, but you have always overcome the anxiety in the past."

Also, I agree that showing more helps. And I also use visualization. :D

Oct. 14, 2009, 09:12 PM
i deff think that when you have a problem with being tense the more competition the better then u start 2 think tht the show ring is your second home!!! but iff u cant do tht then another good idea is picturing ur self at home just practicing, also if u didnt have such a good round, and you have another one 2 go just remember, tht one round wontt make or break ur entire riding career!!! there will always b another show and u will always get another chance to practice. if u try all this stuff and it doesnt work, u can always do wht i do and take more serious measures. i had a horrible problem with beating myself up after evry round, and i always got nervous, try a sports psycholigist! itt rreally helps
iff u have any questions msg me and ill b glad 2 help :)

Oct. 14, 2009, 09:50 PM
itt sunds lik u r used 2 msging pnycrzy nd i cnt understand u very well u hav 2 realiz dat sum of uz r 2 old 2 lern yr nU spelin.

Oct. 16, 2009, 08:54 AM
Some good ideas here. One more: stop trying not to be nervous. Anxiety is your body's fight-or-flight mechanism telling you to sharpen up and pay attention because there's danger in the area (it just doesn't know that the danger is only a 20x40 white box and a dressage judge, so it acts like there's a saber-toothed tiger out there waiting to eat you for lunch). Your heart rate increases, muscles tense, stress hormones get released, etc., all prepping you to run or fight. If you try to fight your anxiety, you will....activate your fight-or-flight response. It's a never-ending feedback loop. I've found it more helpful to acknowledge and accept the anxiety and just let it be there rather than trying to make it go away (this is in a situation where you can't use breathing exercises etc or they're not working). In your head it sounds something like this: "Oh look, there's me getting really nervous. Yeah, I get that way before dressage. It's okay if I'm nervous, it doesn't mean anything bad is going to happen, it's just part of the drill." It doesn't make the nerves go away, but it makes them a mildly irritating but normal part of the process, like a coworker that natters on while you're trying to concentrate on something. This has helped me bigtime in xc warmup--I think "oh hell, there's my stomach clenching, but that always happens and it's fine" instead of "OMG I can't DO this!"

Oct. 16, 2009, 09:41 AM
This thread could not be more timely. I'm returning to competition after a two year hiatus (pregnancy, baby, lame horse, etc.) and just seeing my name on the entry list makes me want to hurl.

It's all completely irrational because when I look at it objectively...

1) I have a fabulous new horse who is an honest jumper.
2) Even though our dressage will leave much to be desired, I'd rather have a crappy dressage score and finish, than have a great dressage score and get eliminated on XC (the usual MO with my other horse).
3) This is a move-up, schooling type event - relaxed and inviting. I will be braiding, though. I need every advantage! ;-)
4) I'm not alone - I'm going with two dear friends in the exact same boat. We will be supporting each other - not competing with each other.
5) I CAN ride! This isn't exactly my first "rodeo" and I've been doing this for 30+ years.
6) I'm grateful just to be doing it!

I keep repeating this to myself. Every. Single. Day.

Oct. 16, 2009, 09:47 PM
I don't feel nervous at shows. I think I just focuse on our partnership. It probably doesn't hurt that I'm a lawyer and am used to having people judge me. :lol:

Oct. 16, 2009, 11:00 PM
I get nervous with my show clothes on. Could you do a lesson with your coat and boots, etc. on? I've also braided my horse for dressage lessons to, just to simulate a show feel.

Oct. 17, 2009, 09:59 AM
I'm going to go way out on a limb and suggest self hypnosis (http://www.lauraking.net/). I am just like you - if I could ride the way I do at home, and in a lesson, I'd be winning the dressage (well, I'd like to think so, anyway). My trainer has mentioned to me so many times that I'm a different person at a show, even though I think I'm riding the same way. You're one up on me - I didn't even realize I was tense or nervous, but it shows in my riding. I tried everything - reading Jane Savoie's books, Dr. Janet Edgette's books, all sorts of sports psycho-babble, drinking a glass before entering the dressage arena (I just get red and sloppy), listening to music, etc. I even tried getting to as many shows as humanly possible, but I can't afford to show every single weekend. The only thing that worked for me was self-hypnosis. I downloaded a self-hypnosis MP3 from Laura King's website, and listen to it before bed every single night (at first, I was listening to it twice a day - the more you listen in the beginning, the faster the ideas take root in your subconscious brain). You can even listen to it before bed because your subconscious won't fall truly asleep until about half an hour after you think you're asleep, so the suggestions will still "take root". It takes about a month for the suggestions to become truly automatic, so regular listening is key.

It WORKS. It really does. My trainer notices a difference, even in my lessons from week to week, and at the very next show (about a month after I started listening), I scored a 27 - about a 10 point drop from the previous show. My stadium rounds have smoothed out, and the best thing (for me) is that my chronic insomnia has been cured. Seriously! I've been fighting insomnia for about 5 years now, and these MP3s help me relax enough so that I can go to sleep. So, there were numerous benefits for me. THey're not expensive - about $17 for one MP3 download - and I'd start with one at a time.

If you're interested in hearing more, PM me. I used to be just like you, and the only thing that has worked for me was this.

Oct. 17, 2009, 10:19 AM
It's all about getting the experience. We've all been there. We've all been sick to our stomachs nervous at one point or another, but it's completely mental. If it takes you doing three beginner novice events to just relax and become really adapted to the system and realize that its not remotely a big deal you'll be fine. It gets much better in time. Something that always helps me, especially in dressage is to just almost picture and feel yourself melt into the horse. So all your muscles relax and it helps you move with your horse, not tense and against your horse. Good luck!! :]

Oct. 28, 2009, 11:58 PM
Well, at the last competition, I thought I'd try the "take a sip of some sort of adult beverage" before dressage.

BIG mistake!

My ride was 8:30 am, and so I took TWO SIPS (that's it, I swear) of some very nice bourbon I bought for a friend. They weren't gulps. They were very, very small sips.

I could barely stay on my horse! I'm such a friggin' lightweight!

By the time my test rolled around, I was better, but the ground was so slippery and my horse slipped several times so that I ended up messing with him too much, and we weren't very balanced/forward.

But I'll never do that again--when I first got on, I thought I was going to slide right off. I almost had horse spins!

Again, I'm a lightweight. And apparently, early in the AM is NOT a good time for me to drink. Even a sip!


I did order the cds that eventer_mi spoke about. We'll see how that works out. But I think I'll leave the adult beverages until AFTER the competition!

Oct. 29, 2009, 11:05 AM
Oh, dear. Well, at least you did not have an experience that you could have posted on the infamous vomiting thread. :cool:

Oct. 29, 2009, 02:12 PM
I'm going to put in a vote for the Jane Savory book- "That Winning Feeling" as well! I used to be a complete stress case at shows and it REALLY helped me!

Oct. 30, 2009, 02:14 PM
I'm going to put in a vote for the Jane Savory book- "That Winning Feeling" as well! I used to be a complete stress case at shows and it REALLY helped me!

Have to correct name as the wonderful Ms. Savoie does post on here - it's Jane SAVOIE, and yes all her books are great, buy them!

LOL OP re: the bourbon. Maybe you need to experiment what concoction works at HOME first, LOL.

FWIW I'm going to try the self hypnosis stuff myself.

Long Shadow Farm
Oct. 30, 2009, 02:21 PM
I downloaded the first session of the self hypnosis last night. Pretty cool stuff..... now to see if it works.


Oct. 30, 2009, 02:47 PM
I downloaded the self-hypnosis, and I'm sorry to say it didn't work for me at all. I'm afraid I was bored rather than hypnotised. Is there a trick to it ? I did everything she said to.

Oct. 30, 2009, 04:04 PM
Self-hypnosis is very difficult. One way to think about it is that it is similar to active, or dynamic, dreaming where you can consciously affect your dreams while they happen. The trick is to stop trying to consciously think that something will happen. There will be no bells, no singing angels and voices from high. The world will not suddenly open up.

What I work on is consciously recognizing various physical things happening such as my breathing, e.g. how deep is my breath, can I feel the air passing though my nose, can I feel salivation in my mouth, are my arms tense, my lower back, my ankles,....

I worked with 2 sports psychologists to really get a hang of it. It was actually to a point where I could do a self-hypnosis in the middle of a 3 stride line to settle my mind on course.


Oct. 30, 2009, 04:39 PM
KateWooten - how long did you do it for? Laura King recommends that you dedicate 20 minutes a day for 20 days AT LEAST before you notice anything different. Plus, as Rayers said, you're not suddently going to notice being all loosey-goosey and relaxed and win the dressage the next time out - it's more subtle than that.

I've been doing it since the beginning of August, and my trainer says that she has seen leaps and bounds of improvement in my riding. At the last two shows, I dropped my dressage score by 10 points into the 20s, where I was used to scoring in the mid to high 30s (even 40s). Dressage is my nemesis - it's where the nerves are the most obvious. My stadium round was almost huntery, which is a huge improvement for me, and it was a TOUGH course - very hilly, lots of rollback turns. I usually have only one or two GOOD fences - this time, there was only one icky spot that I can remember.

What self-hypnosis did for me was to help me relax and concentrate better, instead of letting my brain wander all over the place - I swear, I'm ADD at times. It also helped me to retain what I learned from one lesson to the next, and just helped me to focus. Sure, I probably could have gotten the same results from showing weekend after weekend, but I can't afford to do that. THis was cheaper, and since Laura King offered a 100% money back guarantee, I took the chance. I'm so relieved I did. I'm in the process of downloading my third - COnquering Fear in the Eventer. Although I'm not exactly fearful, I am nervous and get a serious case of stage fright whenever I think anybody's watching me (and that includes the jump judges!), so this might help. I still listen to my first two, and alternate which one I listen to at night, right before bed. Give it a try, if the self-help books don't work for you and you're easily distracted, like I am.

You DO have to be open minded about it. If you're constantly telling yourself "this won't work", then it probably WON'T.

Oct. 30, 2009, 04:43 PM
I am keen on it - and I have exactly the same issues - in fact, that's the issue I have with the tape, my mind is all over the place and unfocused.... I'll keep at it.

Oct. 30, 2009, 10:21 PM
oh Kate! You just make me laugh out loud! that is great! (AND I AGREE!)

Oct. 31, 2009, 10:55 AM
I am keen on it - and I have exactly the same issues - in fact, that's the issue I have with the tape, my mind is all over the place and unfocused.... I'll keep at it.

That happens to me, too, when I listen to it. My mind starts thinking about other things...and then I fall asleep, only to wake up when she says, "Your relaxation session is almost over". However, she states that your brain doesn't truly fall asleep for another 1/2 hour after your body does, so that the messages in the CD/MP3 will still be "heard" by your subconscious brain, even if you don't remember a thing. She actually explains how it works in her book, which I bought and that book caused me to find out more and download the sessions.

I'd keep up with it for at least 20 days. You have 60 days for a refund, so it can't hurt. Remember, you're not trying to achieve this imaginary state of hypnosis - you're relaxing and letting your subconcious brain take in the information in, so that it doesn't take over when you don't want it to.

Nov. 1, 2009, 09:02 PM
If self hypnosis doesn't work, you could try regular hypnosis.


Nov. 2, 2009, 12:34 PM
Hypnosis is merely a heightened state of suggestion. Not everyone is able to be hypnotized. Unfortunately, the more tightly wound you are (like myself) the less able you are to be hypnotized (which is the root of our problem to begin with!). We tried it in one of my pysch classes and maybe 40% of the class experienced any degree of hypnosis, which I think is generally the average. There are also degrees of hypnosis and the likelihood to attain this decreases as the immersion in the hypnotic state increases.

Dr. Mybelle - out!

PS: Awesome thread. I suck at visualization as well. I have the same problem where I'm too easily distractable to fully visualize whole courses in a meaningful way. We did not cover this in pysch class unfortunately. *sigh* I'll be buying some of the books recommended - I have heard the Savoie books are helpful

Nov. 2, 2009, 12:45 PM
As I recall, the Savoie books talk about visualizing in detail (which I tried...honestly!), but a friend who's done lots of competing suggested I needed to focus my visualizations.....

Do any of you have experience with "focused" visualization? For instance, if I want my heels to stay DOWN, I visualize JUST that.....


Nov. 3, 2009, 09:52 AM
If you can have someone there to help you, I like to take a nap right before my test. When ever I get stress out I usually fall asleep. It might sound counter productive, but it's pretty difficult to get tense when you're still trying to figure out where you are....:)
On a more serious note, experience is probably one of the best solutions.
Good luck.

Nov. 3, 2009, 09:48 PM
I do visualise just one thing at a time, yes, but it's like spinning the plates in a Chinese circus act, isn't it ? As soon as the heels are down, the eyes are joining them. Once the eyes have returned to smiling at the horizon, the hands are in the crotch. No sooner are the hands gently caressing their two canaries, the flippin heels are up again !

Incidentally, I have now had a little more success with the self-hypnosis whatsits on the iPod. I think that one of the things that didn't help was 4 tiny kittens practising River Dance on my torso, in spiky clogs. Now that three of them have been relocated, it is a LOT easier to focus. Handy hint of the day. No need to thank me :D