"A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others"

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I found this quote quite by chance when looking for a funny saying about marriage - today is our 8th Wedding anniversary - how time flies!
But this quote jumped out at me. It goes  back to a similar theme I blogged about earlier in the year, so I guess its something I must feel passionately about.
I have 'concerns' for some of the goal setting that occurs within agility. I suspectcould probably broaden that to life in general but I won't! I hear people say that their goal for the next season is to get to grade ?. get to the ????? finals and so on. On the face of it maybe they are perfectly acceptable goals - but they are actually not just dependent on ourselves and our dogs. Because to go up a grade we don't just have to do 'our job', ie go clear as fast as we can, we also need there to be no-one else faster. And we can't control that.
I can't control what the course is like, how consistent the judge is, and what other dogs are in my class - and if they are on form and go clear. So i could do the best run of my life and still not win! I find the desire to get a certain win / go up a grade can become all consuming for some people which usuallyresults in them putting too much pressure on themselves - thus making it so much harder. Yes - I have definitely done this in the past!
So goal setting has a very different theme for me - what do i need to improve on for each of my individual dogs - ie tighter turns, faster contacts, independent weaves etc...... My aim at shows is to have these things that i have been working on. Strangely enough, when that happens - i usually win :-) And if i don't I still feel elated as my training has worked!
I can have a winning run and still be annoyed with myself as there were wide turns, dodgy contacts etc.....
So think about what you really want next season, and aim for specifics that you and your dog can control, and train accordingly.
T xx

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