Goal Setting With Billy Bank

  • Post category:News
You are currently viewing Goal Setting With Billy Bank
Top of the Morning to you,
And I hope you are all keeping well and you are keeping your spirits up despite the lockdown. Christmas came and went in a flash with The Old Girl determined to get us out to some parties. Obviously, these were within the Covid restrictions and before the latest lockdown. The Young Master and I had a trip over the Lincolnshire Wolds, with Lacey Long Legs also on board, to visit Ros Canter for an arena eventing clinic. Despite leaving in thick fog that hardly lifted all day we had a great time and picked up some useful tips. It was also good to see some of our friends who we hadn’t seen in a while and catch up in a socially distanced way.
I also had a couple of sessions with ‘He who must be obeyed’ with Minnie Haha picking up the reins. “Is this because the Young Master has injured himself?” The Legend asked when I returned after a particularly strenuous flat lesson. This may have been the case in the past but not on this occasion, ironically the Lad was on a First Aid at Work course (Physician heal thy self ). It was more to do with The Old Girl’s goal setting strategy and long term plan. Lacey Long Legs beguiling flashed her eyelashes at me, asking “You have plans and goals here?” She was clearly flummoxed by the mere suggestion and had never heard of the SMART CLOCK theory that The Old Girl adheres to.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish,” Alfie the yard cat told her. He is somewhat of an authority on many matters due to his position from in front of the living room fire where he watches the news and more importantly listens to human conversation. Naturally she was keen to hear more so between us. The Legend and I tried to explain using examples from last season.
“So, The Old Girl and Minnie Haha set the long term goal for us to qualify for the BE 80 final which was originally to be hosted at Burghley but due to Covid it didn’t and ran at Norton Disney instead. That would be S, a specific aim clearly defined.”
“M is for measurable”, The Legend continued, “so when the pair came 3rd in a qualifying class and got a ticket to the final they could measure their progress in a positive way.”
“A stands for achievable or attainable,” purred Alfie, with ‘R’ being realistic or relevant. You must ask yourself are you physically capable of achieving your goal and do you have the necessary resources. However much Billy might want to win The Derby it’s never going to happen.” I thought I heard The Legend mutter, “Unless it’s a Donkey Derby,” but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
“T stands for time, how long will it take? ” added The Legend, “And allow a time frame with a bit of wiggle room because sometimes things happen that are outside your control.” “Like the weather meaning events are cancelled?” suggested Lacey Long Legs who despite her appearance is not just a pretty face and was clearly catching on.”
But what about CLOCK ?

CLOCK is an acronym that The OLd Girl invented to help her pupils. I have often heard her saying lots of them when asked about their plans haven’t really given it much thought other than wanting to have fun with their horses. Nothing wrong with having fun, and after all that is the main reason us amateurs take part, but let’s be honest it is a whole lot more enjoyable when you put up a good performance or achieve a personal best at whatever level you compete, and the journey home is always much shorter if you haven’t been eliminated!
C – Communication/clarity. Discuss with your coach/trainer/parent what your goals might be and make a plan. Write out your plan but remember it is not set in stone.
L – Listen to advice from your trusted sources. Learn from mistakes but don’t overly dwell on things. Look at what works for you and what doesn’t.
O – Observe /open-minded. While it is not a good idea to change for change sake sometimes a new approach will be needed if old methods are not working. This might be an exercise programme or an element of a diet but it is important to be observant and notice any little change that might be affecting you and your horse. If you feel unhappy about something remember to communicate and maybe have a chat with your coach or mentor. Your horse will communicate with you so make sure you observe what he is saying!
C – Consolidate for confidence. You won’t produce a virtuoso performance in the ring if you can’t do the arpeggios at home. While we all need to move out of our comfort zones try to be realistic about your current ability. Confidence is fragile and continual mishaps can quickly destroy an aspiring partnership so consolidate at your level before moving up.
K – Kick on and give it a go, procrastination is the thief of time. It can be daunting taking a young or new horse out for the first time to a competition or moving into a higher-class bracket in your chosen discipline but take the plunge – the clock is ticking.
At the moment given the uncertainty of Covid-19 and which events will run planning and goal setting can be tricky. Revelling or reminiscing over past events can be a really good way to help stay positive and set new goals. It is important to enjoy successes and analyse what gave you the edge on that occasion so it can be replicated again while at the same time questioning where we can improve. So, on that note I shall sign off as there will be further discussion in the barn on our plans and goals for 2021. One thing I can say for certain that won’t be changing is our Fibre-Beet and Cooked Linseed meals, they are paramount to the success of us all here at Team Billy Bank.
Stay alert and keep safe,
Love Billy Bank x