Dr. Robert Schinke joins Hitting Your Stride for the latest episode, and we hit some new heights in our quest to engage the equestrian world with information that will help them see goal-setting in a whole new way. Robert has a long history with elite-level equestrian competition, peaking with back-to-back appearances on the Canadian Pan Am team in the discipline of eventing.

Robert went from riding right into academics, where he drew on his experiences as a rider to fuel his passion for learning about the athlete’s psyche ‒ his struggles with consistent performance spurred him to learn what it was that was stopping him from succeeding, which he now helps other athletes identify and correct. He mentions ‘slicing the pie in half’ and how tricky it can be to manage, talking about how support teams around an athlete can help shoulder various responsibilities to enhance their chances for success.

Tracey and Robert spend considerable time during their chat on the topic of flow state and how it might go by another name now but still remains integral for competitors; comparison-itis comes up, to which Robert makes the simple point of how each athlete and each horse are a unique ’boutique operation’ and how they should be focused on their unique selves.

As the conversation winds down, Robert is asked about mental preparation; he sees it more as development or evolution within the athlete and is all-encompassing in their life, not just athletic performance.

Robert Schinke is the current president of the International Society of Sport Psychology and a Laurentian University Teaching Fellow in Graduate Student Mentoring. He’s a published author several times over as well as having co-authored more than 170 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He also practices what he preaches, having been the sport psychologist with Canada’s boxing contingent at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. Also, he maintains a foothold in the equestrian world working with a number of high-performance athletes and their horses.

Listen to the episode here: