Friday, January 21, 2011

Its more than agility....

Three of my agility "kidz" made their trial debuts a couple of weekends ago - given the timing (January in New Hampshire) it was a trial debut, a hotel debut, a road-trip with dogs debut- many firsts! I've had so much fun these past few months watching their process of figuring out the game - they all worked very hard to prepare for the event and when trial weekend arrived all that preparation showed.

Sure there are the base agility skills (contacts, weaves, the tire, front-cross, etc) - but there's more to it - they learned the rules of the game that they were going to play (in this case AKC agility rules), they familiarized themselves with the trial process, they figured out strategy (and how that related to their dogs) and they were honest with themselves about their goals. - and most importantly honest with themselves about their dogs.

I think the best part - and this comes from the coach's point of view as I transition a bit from teacher/instructor to coach/cheerleader - is how confidently they all handled their first trial. Whether it was because they went into the trial well armed with information or if it was the moral support they had from each other, they all stepped into that first briefing knowing they belonged there. They earned the right to play the game and any Novice A butterflies were kept well under wraps.

All three had some pretty major successes (and a couple of surprises) and I think all three may have been bitten by the trial bug - as if agility hadn't pretty much taken over their lives already :-)

More to come from the "Terrific Three" in the form of guest blogger posts on what it was like to go to that FIRST trial!

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