Playing agility with our dogs is not only physical, but it is also a mental game. In the agility world I don’t think enough attention is paid to our mental game plan when training and competing with our dogs.
I can speak from experience when it comes to the mental game of agility, I have a tendency to let things get to me and then stay there. It is a part of my personality and I am now almost 30 years old and learning to work through these tendencies, it is a hard road and something I will probably never fully get over.
If I say that enough times it has to be true!
I have a lack of self confidence when it comes to weave poles, and kid you not I think ( read: stress, fret, over think, curl up in a corner and mumble) about weave poles and how to train them almost every day.
Because I tend to not let things go I have let issues I have had in the past with weave poles overtake the way I feel about them today.
I see this happen a lot with many handlers in agility, an issue arises with an obstacle or maybe a skill and they let that influence how they train their future dogs.
I taught Nargles different from how I trained Try how to weave, I wanted to do something completely different to help my mental state when it comes to teaching weave poles.
There are things I love about the way Nargles weaves and things I don’t like as much.
I have spent the last few weeks going through my videos of Nargles and Try, watching as they progressed through their training and then through their trialing.
And I have come to this conclusion, I regret nothing with the way I trained either one of them.
Yes, both have little things that could be improved or changed, but every dog I train will probably have those.
That is how we learn, that is how we become better trainers, better handlers, better team mates.
I don’t know how I am going to teach my upcoming puppy to weave, I will take what I have learned from Try and Nargles and make it into a method that works for the puppy, because each dog is different, the method will be a bit different with each dog.
It’s hard to let go, it’s hard to move past issues or problems we have had. And no matter how much our friends say that it is okay or to let it go, sometimes it doesn’t work like that, we have to move on in our own time, we have to finally reach that point where we say “I regret nothing”, and the only way to get there is to let yourself.
Be happy, be shiny. That’s what it’s all about.