To Succeed in Show Jumping You Must Learn To Let Go

To Succeed in Show Jumping You Must Learn To Let Go

By Jim Hickey | General

Confident, Consistent, Clears

Join International sports psychologist for show jumpers Jim Hickey on a journey to exceed your expectations in the ring.

Sep 23

The sports psychology behind show jumping has so much to do with mindset. A professional show jumper MUST know when they need control and when they need to let go.

Today I have 2 tips which can help show jumpers at any level

  • Tip 1. It’s all about letting go.
  • Tip 2. Learning to focus on what we can control.

Tip 1. Letting Go of What We Can’t Control

How many of us are guilty of being worried and upset about things we cannot control.

  • Will we be first to go at the event
  • What a parent or friend might have said
  • What a sponsor might have said
  • What an owner might have said
  • Elements to do with the course builder


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Video Transcript

Hi, you’re very welcome. Jim Hickey here, peak performance coach for jumpers. Today, I would like to talk to you about today one word which affects everybody in showjumping – fear.

My guess is, there is not one person out there, including myself that has not experienced the debilitating power of fear.

So today I want to talk to you about three things in relation to fear.

1. Understand Your Show Jumping Fear

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Fear is an emotion that takes us over. It can be something that is absolutely scary and can effect us all in so many ways.

  • Some of us want to freeze
  • Some of us want to run
  • Some of us want to fight

But to overcome these emotions you first must understand them and acknowledge them. You must know you are in the emotional state of fear. Only then can you do something about it.

Because the feeling of fear is simply in relation to a story not yet told

2. Fear is a story not yet told

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Fear is an unknown story about the future that can overcome us in so many different ways.

  • It could be about the height of the course
  • It could be about our opposition
  • Who is also at the competition
  • It could be about a future qualifier or final you’re preparing for
  • Some of us want to run
  • Some of us want to fight

These fears are stories not yet told and so we must learn to control the story.

We must learn to become storytellers of her fate. The story has to change – the fear of the heights – the fear of the people – the fear of our competitors – the fear of our qualifiers – all of these fears that build up in your mind we need to change.

How? We focus on what we want – not what we don’t want

Once you focus on your fears and change the story in your mind, focusing on the positive outcome that will happen, and not what could happen, we regain control.

3. Embrace the Realisation That Your Fears Are Helpful

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Fear is scary but it also makes you realise what is important.

Use your fear to help you focus. You are scared because it matters.
You are scared because this is what you have been working towards
You are scared because this is what you are passionate about.

Your fear lets you know feel the importance – embrace it.

Embrace the feeling of fear and let it become apart of you.
Allow the fear to focus your mind and make you truly aware that this is something you want

  • Your fear reminds you that this is something you are passionate about.
  • Your fear reminds you to let go.
  • Your fear reminds you to focus NOT on the negatives but on the positives

So there we go folks, lessons 1, 2 and 3 with relation to fear.

If you remember these points when in competition it will help you every time.

In Conclusion

  • Feel it
  • Overcome it

Allow it to take you to that next level.

Thank you so much for watching and I look forward to sharing my next tips.

Jim Hickey

These are things we cannot control. You must learn to let the go and not dwell on them. You must remove that which you have no control over from your thoughts and focus.

Tip 2. Focusing On What We Can Control

The one element of show jumping we can control is




This is the main aspect of what you can control on the day and so you must bring your thoughts and attention to this and only this.

In Conclusion

As a rider you must learn to know what is effecting you and break each of these factors down to their basic level of:

Is a factor one I can control

Or not 

1) If you have no influence over a factor which is effecting you, you must learn to let it go. You must remove it from your thoughts - completely.

2) Put your energy and focus into where it should be - your riding. Love your and enjoy every moment.

Show Jumping Coach | Show Jumping Tips | Show Jumping Sports Psychologist

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About the Author

Jim Hickey is an author, business mentor and international peak performance for show jumpers.