Build a Pre-Trials Routine!
Building a Pre-Trials Routine, what do you mean?
Most of us started the journey of picking up a Sport, be a Dog Sports, we all started from the following phases.
The Hobby – an activity that someone does for pleasure when they are not working.
The Amateur - a person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid rather than a professional basis.
The Professional - engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as an amateur.
We started to enjoy the games, love the challenges and eventually, we want to prove a point that we have what it take to be very good at it and we can build a business based on our hobby.
Some of us will lose some money, whereas some of us, lost a lot of money, and this is called a HOBBY. Some of us, make good money such as a Professional.
Today, I am not talking about how to build a Dog Training Business, but rather how to build a Pre-Trials routine if you want to do well in Competition or Trials.
What Dog Sport are you thinking of competing? Competitive Dog Obedience? Competitive Dog Agility?
Below are the trail of events or activities leads up to the Competition.
The weeks before Competition The Ride to Trials Venue Set Up for Success The Warm Up Actual Competition
The Warm Down Reconnect with the Fun The Wind-down The Journey home Follow up the training routine
As we are focusing on the Pre-Trials Routine, we will not touch on the events or activity after the Actual Competition, which is highlighted in BLUE.
The weeks before Competition
As soon as I submitted and paid for the upcoming Competition, I am fully aware of what am I getting into. And how can I prepare for the BIG DAY! If I have well trained dog, my dog already know what he should know and by drilling what he doesn’t know, will NOT ONLY discourage my dog, it will set us up on the wrong foot as we make preparations. At this stage, I want my dog to enjoy every training sessions, it will build confidence and make our Team Performances better.
In the weeks leading to the actual Competition, I sometimes adopt ONE DAY train and the OTHER DAY just simply having fun, walking, swimming, grooming, my aim is to relax both my dog and myself.
Alternate days dog training, I have found effective, as my boy enjoys every part of the training and building bonds sessions. I will keep myself very positive, work on what my dog is good at, gets loads of reinforcement and fine tune some weak points and looking forward positively. My attitude, my mood and my body language will tell my dog if we will have the chance to WIN this round.
The Ride to Trials Venue
Riding to the trials ground is an important preparation as I gather my inner beliefs for the Competition. Remember NOT to travel with negative people. It’s better to travel alone than to bring along negative energy that will influence and affect your mental preparation.
Set Up for Success
I always like to go early to the trials ground. So that I can choose the crating area, away from the mainstream of activity. I need a crating area where I can put my dog into to rest and re-focus off the surrounding. Being early, always provide my team with an opportunity to explore the trials environment, the hypes, the energy and intensity. Some dogs will need more time to settle in, being there early gives is an edge. Parking nearer to the trail ground will also help us to better move our belongings and dogs, avoiding unnecessary conflict.
The Warm Up
Here comes the most important aspect of preparation before trailing. I will at all means, avoid letting my dog plays, greets other or fellow Competition Dogs. I need absolutely attention from my dog and I have the responsibility to ensure, I’m the ONLY interest my dog needs. Bringing my dog to warm up is a skill. Under warm up and over warm-up is detrimental to the Team Performances. Under warm up, I will not be able to connect with my dog positively and over warm up, I might leave the best performance on the warm-up routine.
Stay ready, watch the running sequences as in Dog Agility and look at where the start point of every exercise as in Dog Obedience is vital for success. As I move my dog along the trials routine, I am prepared as my dog will depend upon me to provide the constant feedback and reinforcement through the competition.
Once you are on the start line, stick to your plan and run like a PRO, your team will outperform yourself which is the best yardstick of comparisons. There’s no turning back, work as a team, as you need your dog to make you a Perfect Performance and a Perfect Team.
Have fun and enjoy the competition.
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