Technical training and physical conditioning for both dog and human are pretty much ubiquitous these days at most, if not all, levels of agility. Working on the dog's focus and partnership with us is also fairly standard in agility training. However, mindset training for the human member of the team is not as well explored or understood by many, and it can have a very big impact on our agility performance since our mindset often affects our teammate on the other end of the leash.
Do any of these sound familiar?
• What's wrong with you? You'll never get this right.
• You can't handle this course. You're too slow / broken / old / fat / short-legged / inexperienced / [insert insult here].
• You're just going to let your dog down again.
Those voices that whisper doubts, tell you how stupid you'll look when things go wrong, say you can't be successful, and remind you of past failures, are "mindset gremlins." They are unhelpful, negative, doubt- and fear-inflicting thoughts.
Mindset gremlins disrupt your focus, encourage you to play it safe (and then berate you if you do), distract you, and invite you to focus on everything that could go wrong. They make you feel powerless, but that's another gremlin lie. Research shows you can retrain your mind at any age. By identifying your thoughts as living, breathing entities that you are in a relationship with, you are not only empowered to decide the terms of that relationship, you can decide to end it.
Strategies for Start-Line Confidence includes practical exercises that will help you learn how to get the gremlins out of your way. It's only fair that if you're going to train your dog's mind to focus and work optimally, you should do the same for yourself. Because there is no better feeling than stepping up to the start line feeling energized and connected with your dog, and knowing you're ready to give your best—ready to run the course like you own it!
This DVD is an edited version of a 2-day seminar that was filmed at Clean Run.
Dr. Kathrine McAleese is a qualified systemic psychotherapist and is trained in using multiple theories of therapy (Narrative, Solution-Focused, TF-CBT, etc.). She works with clients from all over the world, from beginner competitors to world class, in multiple sports. You can learn more about her online classes through her website: www.mindtowin.co.uk.