Our Badminton Grassroots Blogs this year are brought to you by our Supporter Gemosi. For more information please see the bottom of this post.
As our first blog served as an introduction into who we are and how we’ve got here, I figured I should probably give an update on what we’ve actually been doing to prepare for the Grassroots Champs, which are approaching at an alarming rate now…9 weeks & counting!
January was quiet for Tally as he had his late Christmas holiday and as well as all his pre season checks from various professionals. Pleased to report everything is in good working order…except my bank balance!
Our first outing was BE Jump Training at Moreton Morrell. As a JT first timer I was impressed with the relaxed feel and support available from the trainers. Although Tally jumped very well in a new indoor they commented that he looked rather hard work and could do with being more off the leg – story of my life! In contrast to this, the following week we went to Aston le Walls to hire their fantastic arena XC fences. Tally was super and popped everything like a pro – he was much braver than last time we went and I think he was definitely happy to be jumping something other than coloured poles!
Last weekend we had our first taste of XC on actual grass, when we travelled to Swalcliffe for a clinic with Bill Levett. I’d never had a lesson with Bill before, but he was highly recommended and he didn’t disappoint. He was really clear about how he wanted horses to approach the fences and where the best take off points should be – as Tally needs to be ridden so forward I often think we should be taking the forward stride each time, but it was refreshing to hear that we were allowed to get in closer and horses should be comfortable doing it too. My friend and I both got loads out of it and our horses managed not to embarrass us in front of a 4* rider – bonus!
Out of the saddle I attended a really interesting talk by Sports Psychology expert Charlie Unwin, on how to ‘Compete at your best’. I’ve always been fascinated by psychology, and Charlie had some brilliant examples from all over the sporting world, on how the professional athletes go about preparing for their competitions, getting in the zone, and most importantly, analysing and learning afterwards. I was the nerd at the front writing pages of notes so I have plenty to work on – this season I will be found only in my ‘bubble’ at competitions, focusing solely on what I can control…or at least that’s the aim!! I strongly recommend anybody interested in improving to go and have a listen to him and be inspired.
I’ve also tried to focus hard on both mine and Tally’s fitness. Tally is interval training every 5 days, varying between the fields and the arena. I’m trying my hardest to fall in love with running (even though it’s safe to say I’m not a natural!)…I don’t enjoy it but I’m just aiming to finish an XC course without being out of breath. My last run at the weekend did bring on a migraine though so I think I may need to re-evaluate my diet! Sadly this put paid to my plans of show jumping at Addington on Sunday, so true to form we head to Isleham this weekend not quite as prepared as I’d like, but very excited all the same…fingers crossed!!
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