Is wanting to win a negative thing? Inspired by Silvia Trkman’s “Set your goals? Or just enjoy the moment?”

August 27, 2013 at 1:23 am 3 comments

When I woke up this morning to find that a link had been shared to Siliva Trkman’s Blog post, “Set your goals?? Or just enjoy the moment?” I was excited and more than a little bit intrigued. I mean who doesn’t enjoy watching Siliva train and run her dogs? I’m always inspired by how simple her approach is, how much fun she and the dogs seem to be having, and of course how effortlessly she handle’s what most of us consider to be very challenging courses.

 I’ll admit that I’ve purchased every one of her videos over the past couple of years!

In this particular post, Silvia writes, “I don’t train to win. I train because I love it and because my dogs love it. And I try to train better and to get better because I love to learn, to progress, to improve.”

Again the simplicity of it is amazing.

For me personally, the drive to win in the sport of agility came as soon as my dog progressed to the point of being capable of doing so. I was always motivated to push myself to do better. When things were tough, it was the love of working with my dog that kept me in the sport of dog agility, but deep down I wanted to win.

Recently though, I’ve been finding myself more frustrated with my sessions and the performances of my dogs. After reading this post, it got me thinking that perhaps this is due to too much pressure of wanting to win.

So is wanting to win a negative thing?

No, but having your sole motivation based around winning certainly adds a lot of pressure, and will likely hold you back.

The basis of agility has and always will be teamwork between dog and handler. The most outstanding agility handlers are typically the ones who seem to have amazing teamwork and connection with their canine partners.

When I think about all of the top handlers I admire, this quality stands out first and foremost.

Here’s a video of Lisa Frick and Hoss competing in final round of the 2011 WC.

For me, the part of this run that gained me incredible respect for Lisa, is the sportsmanship she demonstrates when her dog knocks the first bar then goes on to fault the weave poles. The crowd immediately reacted with a disappointing “aww”. Lisa was having none of that! She gets the crowd back to cheering her and Hoss on!

How many of us would run just as hard after faulting as we would have before hand? How many of us would cross the finish line with excitement and enthusiasm? I can tell you right now that I’d be hard pressed to handle the situation in the same way.

Did Lisa want to win the 2011 WC? I’m sure part of her did, but it obviously wasn’t her main motivation or focus.

Just as Silvia states in her blog post,

“Don’t worry – when you learn enough, the results will come. Don’t rush it because trust me – it’s not the podium on World Championship that is worth remembering. It’s the way there. So just enjoy the moment. Remember to play rather [than] work hard!”

Remember…don’t let the desire to win cloud your reasons for why you’re here.

Happy Training,

Jess Martin

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michelle  |  August 27, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Wow I had tingles watching that run. That is so inspiring, what a team and what a great handler, thanks for sharing this!!

  • 2. Kathryn  |  August 27, 2013 at 2:28 am

    “How many of us would run just as hard after faulting as we would have before hand? How many of us would cross the finish line with excitement and enthusiasm? I can tell you right now that I’d be hard pressed to handle the situation in the same way.”

    But Jess, you DID run hard after faulting — one of the prettiest runs ever, as I recall. Dice never knew about that stupid table and ran like a superstar because YOU ran like a superstar.

    • 3. agiledogtraining  |  October 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      Something that has gotten better with practice for sure! With Dice I had a choice to make, I could either run each event with unbridled enthusiasm or I could accept that she didn’t really want to do agility. It truly made me appreciate that her running for me is a gift 🙂


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