“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.” ― Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
I had few thoughts while driving to the barn today, listening to the book this quote is from. A excellent trainer I know recommended this book to me and I wanted to share a few thoughts it has helped catalyze.
As our Austin Eventing Team continues to grow and solidify, one of the major things that impresses me on a continual basis is the the growth mindset that our riders embody. Their eagerness to learn, to experience, to grow and process this crazy sport we participate in is inspiring. They (we) get frustrated, scared, hurt, nervous, excited, worried, over whelmed, etc just like everyone does. They are allowed to cry, to swear, and to take a minute. They are not allowed to apologize for it. Their (our) emotions are real. We must honor them, accept them, and move on. They feel all the emotions, then immediately start focusing on the process to work through it.
Now, not all the riders I have coached are like that. The ones that stick around our team, however, they are the ones that embody this ideal and welcome it.
They are super eager to learn, to expand their understanding, to develop their feel. These guys want a partnership with their equine friends. They want the entire experience and to understand that when they make a mistake and miss the distance, it felt crappy. The next time they feel that mistake happening, they will get closer to correcting/preventing it sooner. And so it goes.
Here's the ironic part, for a long time, I think we all saw (or still see) ourselves as the Champion of the Underdogs. Historically, Central Texas hasn't been the strongest area of Texas in Eventing. Many of our horses are self-made, slowly developed, strange crosses (Selkie), and such. Many of our riders are working extra hours, extra jobs, extra hard to make all the financial ends meet for the sport.... underdogs.
Yet, because of their mindset, their willingness to show up over and over again, to focus on the process, to take a breather and just be in the moment... they are becoming champions.
"Mia Hamm tells us, "After every game or practice, if you walk off the field knowing you gave everything you had, you will always be a winner." Why did the country fall in love with her team? "They saw that we truly love what we do and that we gave everything we had to each other and to each game."
― Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Thank you to our coaches, teammates, sponsors, and supporters for being part of this crazy journey. Great things are happening. Cheers to what this coming season will bring!