What Football and Horse Racing Have in Common

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One is a sport involving teams of people running around a pitch and the other is a jockey riding a 4-legged creature around a track – so you might assume that the list of things they have in common is minimal. However, actually when you break down the sports and what is needed if you wish to be involved at a professional level you’ll find that the two sports have more in common than you think. Recently Betway got together West Ham players Jarrod Bowen, Aaron Cresswell and Mark Noble with champion Jockey Katie Walsh to discuss what it’s like being a jockey at events such as Cheltenham and whether the football stars could relate.

Passion For The Game

Katie talked about the passion that riders feel before a game and that when all of the competing jockeys meet in the dressing rooms before a race people can become quick-tempered – largely down to the adrenaline they’re all feeling and the need to do well when the race happens. We know that the same thing can happen in football dressing rooms, especially if the two teams competing cross paths before the match takes place.

Lively Fans

Whether it’s fans of the sport, those taking part or even the sports commentators, you’ll tend to find that people are really passionate about their chosen sport. We’re used to seeing groups of football fans cheering on their team so it’s easy to assume that compared to horse racing it is those fans that are most lively. However, Day One at Cheltenham had record numbers of people in attendance this year; which just goes to show there are plenty of passionate sports fans out there.

The Need For Preparation

If there is one thing that the two sports have in common, it is the dedication that is needed to take part in any level, but especially if you want to complete professionally. We’re used to seeing football stars training as newspapers and social media start to talk about how our favourite teams are preparing for big matches – and horse racing is really no exception. With horse racing, it is important to remember that the horse does a majority of the work and therefore it is important that both the horse and the jockey prepare in advance of any races; which for something like Cheltenham usually starts a few weeks before the event.

Tactics & Training

When it comes to getting ready for any big event, but sports will involve discussions with teams of people about what tactics to use and what might work well for a particular event. West Ham will work closely with their football manager and coach, whereas Katie Walsh will work with the horse trainer as well as the owner. With any sport, there is no set training regime or set of skills needed that suits everyone, so it’s a matter of approaching everything on an individual basis and doing what’s best for the person (or horse) involved and that is something both sports more definitely share common ground with. 

 

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