Sport psychology experts Centre10 have kicked off 2020 naming Sarah their first coach of the month. Having completed their Applied Psychology for Equestrian Coaches (APEC) Advanced course last year, Sarah continues her development with Centre10 as a member of their Coaching Hub. Centre10 provide great support to Sarah to enable her to be the best #coach she can for her clients and their #horses.
As part of being ‘Coach of the Month’ Sarah was interviewed by Centre10. Here’s what she had to say:
1. What do you like most about being a coach?
As a coach, I get to have a shotgun position on a wide variety of different journeys in one if the most amazing sports/hobbies/passions in the world. I get to influence the way to help my athletes take a more direct route than they may have done on their own. I also get to learn in turn from their path to improve my own map. I also love analogies, which comes in useful while coaching. Car-driving ones are a particular favourite! I get to deeply know people I may otherwise have never even met. Plus I literally spend the whole day talking about and playing with horses!
2. What has been your biggest blunder as a coach?
I have a long list of blunders having to do with speaking quickly without thought for my choice of words and their potential impact. Many of these moments are still uncomfortable for me to reflect on. I am a work in progress. In listening more, and also in allowing myself the time to find the words that more truly represent my meaning, I am having more genuine connections with people. I find I am much more able to have the positive impact I have always intended.
3. What has been your best moment as a coach?
Happily this is another one that is impossible to pick out. Anytime a horse or rider has a breakthrough moment it is a total high. Competition success is great fun, but seeing someone confidently do something on their own that they never thought they would makes any number of months of standing in freezing horizontal rain worthwhile. Best job ever.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Stop and listen. This one really struck home during my Centre10 journey, and has been transformative. It is truly amazing how many of the best solutions are available if you ask the right questions and leave the space for answers.
5. Tell us something we don’t already know about you!
As I would prefer to keep my secrets secret, I am choosing to answer this one with a personal insight. My whole life changed in 2013 with the birth of my daughter. I went from running a training yard and competing internationally to coaching part time and squeezing in schooling my own horse. I lost my higher profile athletes (both horses and riders) and most of my identity. It has been the making of me. To be a better mother, I have had to do the work on me. That I probably would always have run from. A lot of that introspection has not been fun. However, from it, I am stronger, happier, self confident and more balanced and still growing. I have no doubt that I am a much better coach than I ever was, and that if (or hopefully when!) I get back to my previous level competitively, I will be all the better there as well.