I had the pleasure last week of carrying out an Agility1st practical assessment for two instructors who have recently completed all their module work. It was great to see four well organised lessons where the instructors had lesson plans, their pupils knew what the objectives of the lesson were, the purposes of the exercises were explained, constructive feedback was given and everyone and their dogs enjoyed themselves.
One of Agility1st's objectives is to increase the professionalism of agility instruction. This doesn't mean we all need to be professionals, but we do want to increase professional practice. I certainly saw evidence of that last week.
On my trip home I reflected back to the early days of agility classes when as a handler you turned up to training not really knowing what you were going to do that evening. The instructor would design sequences, or mostly whole courses, around what equipment they happened to have out. If there were only a few people there it would often be no contact equipment that night! When I think back it was mainly self-service, we did what we thought we should do or wanted to do with very little instruction.
Thank goodness agility instruction has moved on....