I often hear it said that the World Championships are very exciting and amazing to watch the top handlers in the world, but it only affects a handful of top handlers and it doesn't apply to our day-to-day agility does it. On the face of it I can understand that view. However, we need to think more deeply about the effects of sending handlers to these top international events.
The majority of this years FCI team run their own training schools, train other handlers, run training days and camps etc. so they are regularly sharing their agility knowledge with many other handlers.
At the world championships these same handlers will have seen the latest handling techniques, amazing skill fullness on the courses, fast footwork and running styles, leading edge dog training and had an opportunity to watch the top dogs and handlers from around the world in action. I can guarantee they and anyone watching there will have come away feeling motivated, inspired and full of ideas.
One of the ways we learn is by practicing, talking about the subject, demonstrating and experimenting. By doing this we cement our learning and reinforce our habits. So by taking ideas and observations from the world championships, putting them into practice on themselves and others, the top handlers improve, the people they train improve and therefore the overall standard of the sport improves. So it is important for the overall development of the sport that we continue sending handlers to these international events and that they share their knowledge and skills with the wider agility community.
I hope you've enjoyed reading these last few blogs, this has been my first 'proper' year as the Team Manager and I'm very pleased how it has gone. I have a couple of tasks left to do as part of the de-brief and then that's it for Agility Team GB 2014. Work has already started on the 2015 team...