Today’s Dog Agility Bloggers Action Day topic is “The Mental Game”
First of all, I truly believe that the mental part of any game is just as, if not more, important than any skills required to play the game.
That being said, I really don’t believe you have to take any “courses” or go to any lectures to learn about the mental part of sports. There are myriad books written on the topic . Here are just a few:
In addition to all the great advice that can be gleaned from these books, I believe that to be a strong competitor one has to first be a strong team mate.
So, when I watch people compete in agility at a high level I look not only at how they handle their dogs but how they handle their mistakes. Do they have a melt down when they make a mistake? Do they blame their dog? Or do they just carry on and have fun with their dogs in the face of a fault?
These people who seem just as happy fault or no fault – these are the people I admire. These are the people and runs that take my breath away.
So, for me, my mental game preparation includes reminding myself every single time I step to the line that my dog is depending on me to be a good partner, that she is doing her best and that you never know when it will be the last time you step to the line together.
So, my “mental game” includes a lot of gratitude to my dog for wanting to play this game with me and a lot of reminding myself why I wanted to learn how to play this game with my dog in the first place. It should be all about FUN!