Dressage Dreams and a Goalkeeper’s Regime- #10

I am feeling very optimistic that spring must certainly be around the corner now we have passed the first half term of the year. I know Asmir and I, after a long winter of training outdoors in all weathers, are ready for some respite from the elements. I am sure that can be said of the fans who have braved the weather all winter to support their teams.

 

Oscar Inspiration

I love the Oscars! One of my favourite television events of the year as throughout my childhood I was nurtured on great movies.  I was recently inspired by the film The Theory Of Everything, the biography of Professor Stephen Hawking’s struggle after his diagnosis at the young age of 21 with motor neurone diseases (or ALS- yes, that’s the one that everyone did the ice bucket challenge for last year to raise awareness). It was really sad and difficult to watch the physical and financial struggle, for such an academic of the highest caliber. Although Stephen’s diagnosis was bleak with only two years to live, he never gave up fighting. He has defied all odds and although his body may have all but given up, his mind was and still is to this very day brilliant.

It was interesting to note that there wasn’t (and I believe still isn’t) the level of financial reward or recognition for such academically talented individuals, yet in today’s celebrity obsessed culture, people are reaping financial reward and fame without having any actual ‘talent’. I was glad to see Eddie Redmayne win the Oscar for best actor, as he was truly remarkable as Stephen Hawking. He gave us a glimpse into his life as he was before we knew of him, as he is today, wheelchair bound and mostly succumb to the physical effects of the disease.

It is always nice to lose yourself in a good movie, something Asmir and I look forward to when it has been a busy few days or weeks. With that being said- both Asmir and I joined the masses, as the worldwide movie phenomenon, Fifty Shades Of Grey, premiered after years of anticipation. I can admit that Asmir took very little persuasion to see the film as he actually suggested we see it. Having read the trilogy when it was all the rage and every woman everywhere had a Fifty Shades book firmly in her hand, intrigued by the infamous fictional character Christian Grey, I knew what to expect and Asmir had no idea! I can’t say this was of quite the caliber of The Theory If Everything but was worth seeing what all the hype was about. Interestingly enough, it was one of the few films that Asmir DIDN’T fall asleep in- I wonder why that was? ;-)

 

The Psychology Of Sport

This is a topic that dominates most conversations in the Begovic household. For years, Asmir and I have exchanged views and discussed opinions we hold with regards to our psychological approaches and beliefs with our respective sports. It is one of the fundamental foundations that run parallel to the talent either possessed or required for success in any sport. We are both very interested how our psychology can positively influence our athletic performance. I have worked with a sports psychologist for a few years now and found this to be an invaluable asset to my mental development for me in my sport. I believe that any success in any career is highly relative to ones mental approach. Here is one of my favourite quotes:

 

“Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen”- Michael Jordan

 

Although it is important to be consistent in my competitions and results, sometimes there are days where things just don’t go your way. Whether it was due to events in and around the competition environment that proved as unexpected challenges, being hampered by weather changes, behavioural changes in your horse and so on. Much of my work with the psychologist is learning to use these adverse conditions and mistakes as a result to my benefit. A recent outing presented me with many unforeseen challenges that at the time were frustrating, however on reflection, were incredibly valuable to me from an educational point of view. It is with these mistakes, that we learn the most and I have learnt not to be afraid of making mistakes. As a goalkeeper, Asmir admits much of their learning, especially from a young age, is from making mistakes. However the key to becoming a great goalkeeper, is learning from them and not making the same mistake twice.

Competition for Asmir has not been limited to the turf this month, proving to be a popular contestant with his recent fourth appearance on A Question of Sport. His current record stands at 1-2, so he will be happy to even the record. You will have to tune in to see if he manages it this time. I heard that even Dressage made it into the famous sports quiz show and proud that my husband got that question right straight away- I would have been bitterly disappointed if he hadn’t! Here’s to three points today with a busy week ahead as Stoke welcomes Everton next week for a late night battle on Wednesday.

 

Nicolle x

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James Keir

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