The use of Pre-Performance Routines in Equestrian Athletes.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this qualitative investigation was to explore the use of Pre- Performance Routines (PPR) in non-elite Equestrian athletes. Six female equestrian athletes were purposely selected based on their reported use of PPRs prior to competitive performance. Semi-structured interviews were conducted which discussed the participants’ use of PPRs in the week leading up to competition, and the perceived impact of PPRs on the rider-horse relationship. All interviews lasted approximately 30 minutes. Both inductive and deductive approaches were adopted, allowing for the recognition of recurring patterns (e.g., psychological skill usage) and the emergence of new themes (e.g., the rider-horse relationship). Findings demonstrated that the riders primarily used organisational preparation, imagery, selftalk and various multimodal strategies within their PPRs. In addition, each individual reported using a variety of different strategies over the week leading up to competition. Finally, the rider-horse relationship was proposed to be influenced by the PPR, as the behaviour of the rider effects the behaviour of the horse, which in turn affected performance. Consequently, the study illustrated the importance of individually tailored PPRs and the recognition of the impact of PPRs on the riderhorse relationship and subsequent effect on performance.
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