Wednesday, July 3, 2013

You think you have it?

Share it Please
So this week our team (the IHSA equestrian team I coach for) has been hosting a Pre Collegiate Camp; AKA a bunch of high schoolers that think they want to ride in college. Honestly I have not seen any of the riders, so I am not going to judge their ability. However I am told none have ridden western, lord help me when I coach them.... Butt that's a whole other bag of cats!

Basically tomorrow, being the resident college equestrian expert, and the youngest (theoretically most relatable, though that's questionable) Coach I will be giving a talk on IHSA vs NCAA equestrian. Hypothetically one would figure I am perfect for this role! However they neglected to realize that the same coach who makes beginners cry (stirrups are not required) is the one tasked with fostering collegiate dreams. 

Sooooooo ya, about that. I am still working on how to tactfully explain this topic to them, but I figure I still have a whole 14 hours so I'm good. The whole idea is to explain collegiate equestrian and the differences, pros/cons of each, how hard can that be. 

So here goes, if you are thinking you are cut out for collegiate equestrian........ You're probably not, 99% of this game is confidence. People don't make it to the QH congress, WEF or the Derby because they think they're good. They know it in their head and there's no other answer. 

I'm not saying people with less confidence won't make it, but in a sport that's based largely on money and confidence, you're fighting an uphill battle. It's kinda like boys being clueless; can they be smart yes, will they be probably not. That being said no need to make you feel poorly about yourself. 

Your best weapon in any battle is education, if you know the girl stalled one row down is crazy superstitious, and hypothetically you just accidentally hide her lucky gloves. Anyway, Im not condoning any illegal or immoral behavior; no matter how fun it might be. I'm just saying do your research, about colleges, coaches and what you are planning to get into. 

If the school you want is NCAA and you've only ever shown open, probably better keep your eyes open, look at try outs and backup plans. If you are used to always showing the same horse with an hour of warm up, any collegiate equestrian is going to be tough; and IHSA where you aren't allowed to warm up might be a real stretch. 

There are tons of opportunities in the collegiate equestrian field, the trick is finding the right fit. Explore each school athletically and academically until you find the right fit. I mean your are actually supposed to get an education or some nonsense like that.... I'm still trying to figure how that super expensive paper helps me when playing with ponies, but hey I got it!

The teammates and I back during my NCAA glory days.

Love ya, 


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