Emilie Chandler is one of our most prominent up and coming GB event riders. She was a successful medalist at Junior level and has since continued to climb the ranks as a Senior International Rider having produced consistent 3* results with both Coopers Law and Gino Royale over the last two seasons. 2015 has seen Emilie establish herself as a valued member of the World Class Development Squad, earn a reserve place for Team GB European Championships and make a convincing return to 4* level international competition at Burghley with Coopers Law.
Our Work with Emilie
Like many of our successful riders, Emilie already demonstrates very strong mental skills and an ability to focus on well defined outcomes and clear measures of performance. We began working with her in 2012 at a point when she was becoming noted for her consistent progression and success at 2* level. Whilst Emilie has always demonstrated drive, clarity, commitment and belief in her own athletic abilities, she was keen to learn how to organise these better and apply her strengths in a more structured way that was linked to her performance outcomes. Building Emilie's self-awareness around her thinking processes, triggers and emotional responses was a key element. As with many talented riders, she understood her strengths but could not consciously articulate HOW her brain generated them. Another area which has helped her manage her consistency is transparency. Encouraging her to unlock her thoughts from her head and share them with others means that her support team are much clearer on what is important to her and how she needs to structure herself. Expressing her thinking more outwardly also means that she is able to organise herself more effectively and ensure her strengths are channelled in the most efficient way possible.
Structure, Structure, Structure!! Emilie has never been in any doubt that a sound business model is required to underpin her success in competition. Whilst she has always had a very clear brand consistent with her personal values and business priorities, these have not always been clearly aligned to her day to day operational processes, particularly during the season when her focus is elsewhere. We have worked with Emilie to create greater clarity and visibility of her business model particularly in the way she communicates with others and structures her core business processes. As a result, she has created more efficient strategies that help her communicate with staff, owners, clients and other key stakeholders much more effectively. She is also far more aware of what is happening within her business which allows her to plan and manage the level of external support she needs rather than trying to do it all herself.
Gemma Paternoster is one of Great Britain's top international show jumpers. She was the Young Rider European Champion (2006) and was victorious in 2010 as part of the British Nations Cup Team on her horse Osiris in Linz, Austria. Gemma competes for Great Britain in team and individual events. Gemma is now based in the States and continues to produce consistent results at Grand Prix level with Osiris and a string of younger horses coming through.
Our Work with Gemma
Gemma has enjoyed terrific success over the last few years and was keen to create a more structured approach to preparing for top level competition in a way that would better support her continued development as a senior international rider. To achieve this, we adapted her preparation routine to include some specific techniques such as mental rehearsal, emotional state management and the creation of a performance profile unique to Gemma that would enable her to repeat her best performances more frequently. These techniques have provided her with a more robust framework to improve her focus and concentration, deal with pressure and create a positive 'mental map' of what she wants to deliver.
"Working with Dani has helped me understand how I operate when under pressure at major international competitions. In particular, she has given me ways to improve my focus and concentration and techniques that help me ride to plan in the ring. This year has been a particularly critical year for me having been selected to ride in 5* super league competitions and on the Nations Cup team. Dani's help and support has been invaluable in helping me get the best out of myself, riding against the best riders in the world. Next year will be an exciting year!". Gemma Paternoster
Gemma was keen that her ongoing sporting success was underpinned by a healthy business and has worked with us to ensure that her business model reflects her professional goals and aspirations. To accomplish this, we identified what Gemma wanted from the business and which values and priorities were most important to her. We worked together to develop a flexible business model that would allow her to create a sustainable business and spend time away competing internationally. This has enabled her to create opportunities for greater financial security and leverage new streams of talented horses for the future.
"Putting together a new business model was really exciting. We now have a sound business strategy which has enabled me to invest more in future competition horses and allows me to concentrate fully while away competing, knowing the the business is running effectively at home. It has been hard work but we are currently on track for our financial targets this year. I am looking forward to working with Dani to develop the business further next year". Gemma Paternoster
Amy Stovold is one of the country’s leading dressage riders. She is an established rider on the World Class (2009-2014) Development Programme with MacBrian at top international competition. Amy is based in West Sussex and has developed a strong reputation for consistency and as a producer of young horses. She has a wide client base and is in high demand as a trainer. Amy is supported by an extensive professional team including her grooms, business manager, sponsors, renowned trainers, equine vets, equine dentist, sports psychologist, chiropractor and physiotherapist, farriers and owners. She also has the full support of the British Equestrian Federation World Class Professionals.
Our Work with Amy
Amy is a consummate professional who performs well in a competitive environment and demonstrates great 'stage presence'. As with all professional riders at her level, consistency of performance is important and Amy wanted to ensure that she was able to produce consistent performances both here and abroad. This involved being able to put any disappointing results behind her and re-focus quickly on what she wanted to happen in a test.
We used a variety of techniques to help us with this. Firstly, we created a high performance profile that would identify exactly what emotional states or characteristics she demonstrates when riding at her best. Once we were able to recognise these, we were able to map them across and 're-create' them in other contexts so that she could access these states whenever she needed them. Self-awareness in an elite athlete is one of the most valuable attributes in regenerating high performance consistently. It can take many years to develop, therefore having a 'map' to work to enables Amy to measure her mental state at each and every competition, making adjustments as necessary to ensure she is in the correct frame of mind to ride at her best, every time out.
Additional to this, we used techniques for helping her deal with distractions more effectively, and techniques such as mental rehearsal to enhance her performance further through creating positive muscle memory. Through this, Amy is able to rehearse the exact feelings and reactions she needs to create for specific movements long before she goes into the arena.
From a close-knit farming family in Lincolnshire, Susanna Wade was always passionate about her horses. In September 1991 she was involved in a car accident resulting in catastrophic injuries and permanent paralysis. Due to the break in her neck, she was not expected to regain the use of either her arms or legs, however after seven months in hospital she began to make impressive progress to become an outpatient and begin her incredible journey of convalescence and rehabilitation from home.
Years later and Susanna became a regular fixture at major International Paralympic Competitions with the fabulous Lambrusco. Over the last five years she has gone from strength to strength and now has her sights firmly fixed on her ambition to ride for team GB.
Our Work with Susanna
Susanna contacted us in 2010 as she felt she had begun to plateau and was feeling 'stuck' in terms of her general progress. Closer evaluation began to reveal some cracks in Susanna's confidence particularly as she began competing on the international stage with elite, world class riders. Despite the fact that her training with her coach appeared to be going well, Susanna felt that she was not getting as much out of herself or her horse as she might but could not quite put her finger on what the problem was.
Further discussions with Susanna revealed that she would often get frustrated with herself for not riding 'like she used to'. She was comparing her riding and performance against the 'old Susanna' and way she perceived she used to be prior to the accident. This is despite the fact that she has developed very sophisticated behaviours in her riding as a result of her physical challenges. A further concern was the fact that Susanna found herself getting distracted by focusing on what she thought other people might be thinking rather than than actually concentrating on the job in hand.
To help with this, we did a number of techniques to narrow down Susanna’s sphere of attention so that she was better able to focus on specific aspects of her performance and what was actually going on underneath her. We mapped out what ‘good riding' looked like for Susanna when she was at her best so that she was able to focus more on what was right for her now rather than comparing herself to how she rode before the accident. This provided her with a new ‘map’ to ride to and a more realistic method of measuring her progress. Susanna now has a very exciting new horse for 2016 and we are all looking forward to a great season ahead.
"My trainer suggested that I contact Danielle after reaching a certain point in training and competing, to help with the mind which plays a major part in sport. I had quite a number of issues but couldn’t understand where they were coming from and what a large impact they had. Danielle worked out very quickly that having had a traumatic experience; it is likely to have been the main factor. She took me back to the time of the accident to work out what was blocking me from moving forward. Danielle skilfully tapped into the way my mind was interfering with my sport and everyday life and worked through a number of exercises to put strategies in place that would fix into my subconscious. These included visualising success, goal and outcome setting.
For me it is not a quick-fix process but it started working almost immediately and we are adding to this session by session. I have had new challenges coming along during the time I have seen Danielle and she has made these possible for me to cope with. I can now plan ahead and believe in my new changed ability which will in turn achieve my goal." Susanna Wade