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A Rehash of Why I Like the QQ

For DABAD (http://dogagilityblogevents.wordpress.com/the-mental-game/), here is the link back to the post I wrote in October about the QQ.

http://loralei913.livejournal.com/178756.html

I'm not really sure what to add. Maybe that even if you don't like math, you don't have to be a QQ hater. For most dogs, training the obstacles and getting the basics of handling down all come eventually. As long as the handler is putting in the time and effort required (and not getting hung up on things like QQ's before those skills are fluent). Once those skills are acquired, what is left? It then comes down to execution. And the ability to execute consistently. That is what the mental game is about in my opinion. The ability to repeat a performance consistently. Running a baby dog, I know that sometimes you can get through a course (cleanly or no at the Novice level) and Q almost by accident sometimes. But being able to do it repeatedly shows that your performance was no accident, that you are truly worthy of a title.

I guess that's another topic to touch on. The mental game with a baby dog. Even the most brilliant baby dog is still a baby dog. They could do anything out there on course. Heck, they might even poop in a tunnel (been there, done that, all too recently). It's something that I've been struggling with a little bit lately. I like Lanny Basham's three mental components: the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, and the self image. I'm trying to figure out which of the three is out of balance and keeping us from getting to the level I want to be at. From day one, I have held to the practice of treating my baby dog like the National finalist I hope he will someday be. I think our self image is good. The conscious mind, I think as long as I am not picturing him pooping in tunnels, I am doing ok. I have a plan, I have a good warm up routine, I know what I want from him for the most part (eh, guess I should decide on that teeter criteria eh?) The subconscious mind is probably where things are lacking, which is probably normal at this stage of the game. The physical skills at this point take active thought on both our parts rather than being controlled by the subconscious part of the mind. It's probably a good thing my older dogs were out of commission for the Thanksgiving Cluster (though I hadn't entered either of them even before I knew they would be on the IR list). Allowed me to focus just on him. And probably a good thing that my older two will come back one at a time, which should allow me make those mental adjustments more gradually. That is my next mental challenge: running three dogs who are all quite different. I don't have the answer to how to make those adjustments smoothly. It's something I'm making up as I go along.

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