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Chi-Ann's Mom

New program by Susan Garrett

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I don't feel like I'm the type of person who would benefit from a program like this, and I'm not able to risk the $200 to find out if I'm wrong.

 

Thanks to my years of showing horses prior to starting agility, I rarely experience any sort of nerves prior to the average agility run. When big titles are on the line I do tend to want to wet myself during the walk-through, but when it's time for the run I'm generally okay.

 

What I get upset about are the stupid moments DURING my runs, where I do something completely backwards from how I walked/planned it and for reasons that are completely unbeknownst to me... There have been several times when I cannot explain why I did something the way I did. It's a recent trend and it needs to stop. lol

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I've had some exposure to mental management type programs from Freestyle and I have mixed feelings about them.

 

On one hand, there are some excellent tips that I have gleaned that have helped me. One was practice cueing ahead of time so it is second nature during the performance and I don't have to think about it. Another was to be sure to think back about good things that happened during a performance (or run in another sport) that was a mess for one reason or another and to view all performances as a learning experience.

 

On the other hand, I've found that those programs have a lot of limitations. They often don't take into account that the needs of individual dogs may vary, and that different people define success in different ways. Those programs tend to focus on "winning" and not so much on making sure that even a poor performance, or run, is a meaningful experience for the dog and handler.

 

Personally, I've found that cultivating an attitude that holds my dog's well being as my highest priority has been the single most help to me in becoming more consistent, cutting down on nerves, and keeping my head in the right place when things go wrong in performance and competition. And my dogs themselves have taught me that lesson.

 

However, these programs do some people a lot of good and I believe that these kinds of programs are highly beneficial to certain types of people. And that some other types of people can pull a lot of good out of them by tailoring the principles to their own training/competition/performance style. And there are others who actually find them more stressful than not.

 

So, for those who benefit from such programs, this will probably help a lot. For those who can pull good out of it and use it to suit their own needs. And those who find such programs stressful should probably save their money.

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It didn't seem to work for her at Worlds, since she ran the course incorrectly with not one but two dogs.

 

RDM

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Well I'm just sayin' ...

 

I like a lot of her philosophies and I am so grateful for the 2X2s, for example, but I think $200 for a video telling someone to "not be nervous before competition" is a giant money grab. I wouldn't shell out that kinda coin for that kinda advice!

 

RDM

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FWIW, from what I understand that had more to do with a learning disability she has (impeded her course map reading) and not with mental game...but maybe that is part of the point, to try and overcome those things? Haven't taken that course so I don't know.

 

Root Beer, I like your point about different people defining success in different ways.

 

B.

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but I think $200 for a video telling someone to "not be nervous before competition" is a giant money grab. I wouldn't shell out that kinda coin for that kinda advice!

 

RDM

 

 

Admittedly, I don't really know anything about the program, but that was my thought as well.

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Well, after reading your thoughts, I went into my stash of books I had bought and never read....why do I do that? One of the books I am referring to is "It's Not Just About the Ribbons", by Jane Savoie. It is about enriching your riding and life with innovative tools and winning strategies. It is about using mental training to enhance horseback riding, and in life in general. She also wrote "That Winning Feeling", which I also purchased, no haven't read it either! :lol: This book was recommended on another board and I purchased it on Amazon, a great place for books at much more reasonable prices. Anyway, it is on this very same subject for hardly any money. So I will read it and see if it helps my nerves and performance.

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Admittedly, I don't really know anything about the program, but that was my thought as well.

My thoughts as well, I just watched her video on her blog and thought it silly to compare her USDAA run in 96 to her run 14 years later. Of course her mental prep is better she has won many high level events now, and has nothing to prove. I am sure she wants to win but once you know you can you are in a different place.

 

I have been playing agility for 2 years and I am in a much better place than I was the first few runs, and can support my dog better. My young dog is going to have a very different first trial than Brody, when I was scarred to death and had no clue what I was doing. No amount of mental prep can prepare you for the unknown - the more you do anything the more comfortable you are.

 

If you haven't guessed I think it is a little bit of hokem. I have learned a lot by reading her blog, but I am turned of by the informercial type promotion for an expensive on line course.

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My thoughts as well, I just watched her video on her blog and thought it silly to compare her USDAA run in 96 to her run 14 years later. Of course her mental prep is better she has won many high level events now, and has nothing to prove. I am sure she wants to win but once you know you can you are in a different place.

 

I have been playing agility for 2 years and I am in a much better place than I was the first few runs, and can support my dog better. My young dog is going to have a very different first trial than Brody, when I was scarred to death and had no clue what I was doing. No amount of mental prep can prepare you for the unknown - the more you do anything the more comfortable you are.

 

 

These are my thoughts exactly.

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Of course her mental prep is better she has won many high level events now, and has nothing to prove. I am sure she wants to win but once you know you can you are in a different place.

 

Well to be fair I actually think she has more to prove than the rest of us ... after all, when you make a name for yourself as an expert or a pro, you have expectations to live up to. People care how well she does and let's face it - not too many people care how well the rest of us do ;-)

 

Having said that, it's also one of the reasons why I doubt her competition prep video instructions apply to most anyone else. There are very few people that compete at her level and I would hope that most people competing would be having fun more than anything else.

 

My mental prep with my young dogs is "nobody gives a crap what I'm doing out there except a handful of friends and my instructor." Granted, I've been playing for a very long time so nerves aren't really an issue for me anymore. Besides, it's just a game ;-)

 

RDM

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You mean you have to have a plan for mental prep?!?!?

 

At the end of the day will you take your dog home and love him/her? If not, then why do you have your dog? Is it to stroke your ego?

 

Get focused on you and your dog having a great time, doing the best you can do and living with the results good bad or indifferent.

 

but then, maybe I am an old codger

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I did the free assessment thing on that mental guy's website and it was all common sense. Can't say I learned anything from it.

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I have read "That Winning Feeling" by Jane Savoie and it's worth the time to read it. It was inspiring and motivating and put competing into even more perspective for me.

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I will definitely put that book, "That Winning Feeling", at the top of my huge pile of books to read. I am glad to know it is worth the read. Motivation is a good thing.

I read all of the other posts on this topic and, at the end of my day, I always love my girl no matter what. It is all about being with my best friend doing something fun together, and for me, not letting her down. She works so hard to please me, I would feel terrible to not do my part for our team of "us".

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<snip> but I think $200 for a video telling someone to "not be nervous before competition" is a giant money grab. I wouldn't shell out that kinda coin for that kinda advice!

 

RDM

 

Agreed! That's like me paying for a semi private lesson with our local "big wig" agility trainer (couldn't afford a private), only to have her tell me I need to relax, calm down and stop putting pressure on my dog in the ring. As if I didn't know that! However, easy to tell me to do those things, not so easy to make it happen. The only thing that's helped me is experience. *shrugs*

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You mean you have to have a plan for mental prep?!?!?

 

At the end of the day will you take your dog home and love him/her? If not, then why do you have your dog? Is it to stroke your ego?

 

Get focused on you and your dog having a great time, doing the best you can do and living with the results good bad or indifferent.

 

but then, maybe I am an old codger

 

Of course that makes sense, and I know we all love the dog we take home at the end of the trial. However, the mental aspect of the game is an issue for those of us who are struck with nerves. It's not an "ego" thing at all, or caring how we do out there, it's nerves, plain and simple. If you've never struggled with that, I'm happy for you, but plenty of us have and still do. I'm not advocating a $200 program to help, because I don't really believe it would, but we all have stuff to work through, and it's not as simple for everyone as what you've posted above.

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Of course that makes sense, and I know we all love the dog we take home at the end of the trial. However, the mental aspect of the game is an issue for those of us who are struck with nerves. It's not an "ego" thing at all, or caring how we do out there, it's nerves, plain and simple. If you've never struggled with that, I'm happy for you, but plenty of us have and still do. I'm not advocating a $200 program to help, because I don't really believe it would, but we all have stuff to work through, and it's not as simple for everyone as what you've posted above.

 

I certainly haven't found it to be quite that simple. I struggle with nerves in competition. Not so much in Agility, but that's probably because Agility is my second love in dog sports, not my first. :) It has gotten a lot better through experience, but there is still room for improvement!

 

This past summer I got to attend a phenomenal Freestyle workshop where the focus was on handler preparation. It wasn't "Mental Management" per se, but strategies to become a more confident handler were discussed. The thing I loved most about it was that it didn't set one up to strive for, or expect, perfection. The goal of this program is improvement and realizing potential.

 

I realized through this particular seminar that the things that I get most nervous about before competition are things that I have no control over. That was helpful information, although it only gets me so far because the things I can't control can still happen and I still can't control them. :)

 

But I did learn some things in the seminar that are helping me to reframe the picture (to borrow some CU language) while remaining focused on what counts. Which, for me, is fully appreciating what my dog and I are doing together in the moment. Whether that moment be the time just before we go into the ring, the time in the ring itself, or the time immediately following our time in the ring.

 

I think with the Susan Garrett thing, the price is what stops me from having any interest whatsoever. For $35.00 I would probably be interested in hearing what she has to say and I would be willing to wager that I would find a tip or two that I would find very helpful. $200.00 seems excessive to me for this type of program.

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I havent seen Susans video, and yes I think that a pro of any kind is held to much higher standards than the rest of us. That said I've been doing agaility for 16 years now and when it comes to running in a tournament, ie DAM, Grand Prix or Steeplechase in front of friends - trainer I stress. Regular classes Im fine, its something that happens to me Im aware of it and have learned to try and find that zen place before stepping to the line. Once Im running Im fine but its the waiting that kills me

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Interestingly, I find class much more stressful than competition - our class is small and intimate and we are all friends and we are - by agreement - extremely critical of one another. It's not at all uncommon for us to yell out errors at the person running or point out handling flaws ;-) I find myself getting a lot more flustered in class as a result than I ever do on a course in a trial. In trials, nobody really cares how I do and so I have no concerns that my performance is being judged by anyone except for me, and that's the only person I really want to please anyway.

 

Staying focused is a bigger challenge for me, especially if the competition is an important one, because I like to socialize too much at trials ;-) And my two dogs run so differently and have to be handled so differently, that it can be somewhat of a challenge to adjust my mental handling style between dogs.

 

My best advice for border collie handlers who suffer from nerves in agility competition is to spend a couple years handling an Aussie. The damn things humble you mercilessly; you have to develop a sense of humour and you lose all self conciousness because just getting through the course unscathed is an accomplishment, clean run or not! (*gives Tweed the hairy eyeball*).

 

That'll be $200 please!

 

RDM

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Try a big cup of coffee and Bailey's - that's good for taking the edge off! :lol:

 

For realz! :lol:

 

I have thought many times of resorting to liquid courage. I may yet.

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My best advice for border collie handlers who suffer from nerves in agility competition is to spend a couple years handling an Aussie. The damn things humble you mercilessly; you have to develop a sense of humour and you lose all self conciousness because just getting through the course unscathed is an accomplishment, clean run or not! (*gives Tweed the hairy eyeball*).

 

That'll be $200 please!

 

RDM

 

This gave me a good chuckle :lol:

What made me laugh was that I am now running a dog, a border collie no less, where I pray before each run that I get through the course staying on 2 feet and unscathed. Oh yes, I do lose all self consciousness. What's so wrong about that is the aussie I ran before getting Chase was darn near perfect, made me look so good, made me think agility was so easy and made me think I was a really good handler. She ruined me :lol:

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I agree with nearly everything that has been said. I think it is the price that makes me so cynical, it is online course so you can have lots of people sign up, I respect paying that sort of money for a seminar in person as it is a fixed # of people participating. I also felt her recallers class was expensive for an online affair.

 

As a comparison I have been looking at a 6 week on line class for SEO optimization through my local Community College that is $100.00. and hopefully it will add to my skill set for my very part time side gig of building websites.

 

Or I can take part in a weekends worth of seminars with my agility club for $140.00 with presenters like Debi Hutchinson.

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