Sunday, 15 April 2012

A day in Sunny Scunny...

Our trip to Scunthorpe for the championship show was a very successful one. We had some quite clear aims for the weekend; if you're travelling that far for a day show I think that's important. We really enjoyed ourselves at a well run show.

Devo won his last Grade 6 agility class taking him to Grade 7; Kodi had two respectable clear runs in the Champ class, qualifying him for the final on the day, where he got another clear run; Torro also made the ticket final with two very quick qualifying rounds; and young Rhyme produced two very grown up runs for his first ever time in the competition ring.

Devo had a number of top five places last year in the G6 agility classes I needed to win in order to move up. Not loads of places probably 4-5, enough though to start bringing additional pressure on every time I stood on the start line "could this be the one", "this could be my winning run" etc... It was over the xmas break that I realised I needed to practice what I preach, take some of my own medicine.

If I was coaching myself I would have told myself. 'Mark - stop focusing on the goal you've almost achieved (3 out of 4 wins) and start focusing on your next goal'. This approach takes the pressure off. As soon as I adopted this tactic I stood on the start line with a different attitude.

'I'm going to run this like a G7 handler in the Champ class', not ..
'I'm going for it, I want / need to win this class'.

To achieve our goals we need a certain amount of self-induced pressure. Too much and the goal appears too far away to be achievable. Too little, then the pressure either goes away i.e. you get bored with that goal or, the healthy self-induced pressure turns to unhealthy stress (every time you stand on the start line you think this is it).

This approach certain helped me take the pressure of winning and focused myself on producing accurate, quick, clear rounds - just what was needed.

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