What goes through your mind on the start line?
During great seminar out East I found myself addressing my views on mental preparation for big events. There is no doubt in my mind that being mentally strong is a huge component of consistently doing your best in a competition setting. Do I get nervous before my run at a big event? Of course! But for me, that’s the fun part. Because its not the kind of nervous that hinders your performance, it’s the kind of nervous that brings an intense adrenaline rush. The kind that makes you feel like you can take on the world.
The moment I step in the ring everything else fades away and it’s just my dog and I looking to have the best performance of our lives. This level of confidence in your ability is often mistaken for arrogance and does not by any means guarantee a winning run, but when my dog and I enter that ring there is no doubt in my mind that we go to push as hard as we can. There is no “I hope I don’t go off course” or worrying other things that may go wrong. I look to handle every obstacle and stay in the moment throughout the entire course. To me, this is confidence not arrogance.
I am not going to win every class or have every run go flawlessly but how can I be successful if I’ve given up before I even begin? I hear people telling themselves that “its just another run” or “I’m just going out to have fun,” at a big event to relieve the stress. Can you really convince yourself that this is the case? Stop running away from the pressure and avoiding it! You know that you don’t really believe that anyways, you’re just trying to avoid dealing with the pressure of an important run. Try instead to embrace that pressure with a “bring it on” attitude and let it make you a stronger competitor. If you are already a winner in your own mind it will show in your performance
Happy Training and don’t forget to BRING IT!!
Jess Martin of Agile Dog Training
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