Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 81

When you try to push anxiety away, you push everything that is happening in the moment away—that is your dog and your run. In essence you have left your teammate to make yourself feel better. And who can blame you? Anxiety symptoms are powerfully disturbing and make you feel out of control. But you can’t be a good leader for your dog if you feel like you are falling apart. So how do you take control and fix all your attention on your event and channel those nerves into a blue-ribbon performance? By learning how to be “in the moment” you’ll be able to increase your concentration and focus tenfold in pressured situations. How Can You Channel Your Nerves and Increase Concentration? Being in the moment is stepping on a path that not only stops ring nerves, but also can lead to optimal performance. Learning how to be “present” from moment to moment will help in the following ways: ease or stop the iron grip of anxiety on your mind and body, help to build your confidence so that you can take control of anxiety instead of its taking control of you, keep you alert and focused instead of feeling mentally scattered and fatigued, and enable you to stay connected to your dog and event in any circumstance. And how does this technique accomplish all of the above? When you live in the here and now, in each moment, the past and future cease to exist. That means that you stop obsessing about past negative experiences and can turn off worry about the future. Imagine, not having to think about the possibility of disaster at a trial, being able to turn off the anxiety-producing what-ifs. Right now, this moment, this trial, is where everything unfolds: being here and present with your dog, experiencing the run, no matter the outcome, is being connected to life. This technique will also make the environment, including the timer, judges, and your competitors, drop away. When you can do that, then you will be able to be present with your dog—you’re not only back on the team, but now you’re also a confident leader. Use Body Awareness to Be in the Here and Now Try this exercise for two to three minutes: 1. Fix all of your attention on the Clean Run magazine you hold in your hands. 2. Use all of your senses to focus on the magazine. 3. How does the paper feel? Is it smooth or rough? Look at the colors, typefaces, photos. Feel the weight of it. 4. As you focus on Clean Run, random thoughts will run through your mind. Don’t fight the thoughts; instead, look at them for a second then gently refocus on the magazine. 5. Keep directing all of your thoughts, senses, and energy on to Clean Run. 6. When time is up, think about what occurred. Even if you were able to focus on CR for only a few seconds at a time, in those moments, the past and future disappeared, and you were living in the moment. Think about how that felt. That feeling is what we are after when you are at a trial, but on a larger scale; and we want to teach you to focus intently when the pressure is on. Learn to Focus on Your Feet Learning to focus intensely and for long periods of time will take disciplined practice. Don’t force the exercise; be patient and relax into it and you’ll be successful. Set an alarm clock for two to three minutes for each exercise and gradually extend practice time to five minutes or more. Standing 1. Stand still, distributing your weight on both legs. 2. Relax your head, neck, and shoulders. 3. Focus on how your feet feel in your shoes, how it feels to stand. 4. Don’t fight random thoughts; look at them and gently refocus on your feet. 5. Continue to put all of your focus on your feet until time is up. 6. Take a moment to see how you feel. Walking/Running 1. Repeat the exercise above from #1 to #3 for about one minute. 2. Then begin to walk slowly. Be aware of each step— each step is one moment in time. 3. Continue focusing on how it feels to walk, increasing the pace until you are running. 4. Stay focused on how it feels to walk fast and run. 5. When time is up, see how you feel. Did focusing on your feet erase the past and future? Practice the focus on your feet exercise each time you train your dog, to prepare for actual trials. At shows focus on your feet as you walk to the show site, walk around the site, while waiting your turn for your run. Be sure to practice transitioning quickly and smoothly from standing, to walking, and then running. Make a conscious effort to focus on your feet throughout your regular day; for example, standing doing dishes, walking around your house, walking at work, jogging or running for exercise. Novices: incorporate the above body awareness exercise now as you train yourself and your dog to prevent ring nerves from starting. More experienced competitors: slowly add the exercise to your existing program and practice until it becomes an intrinsic part of your competition preparation. D Diane Peters Mayer, M.S.W. is a psychotherapist and performance anxiety coach who has practiced in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, for 17 years. In 2000, she created a “ring nerves” program for competitive dog handlers and has presented seminars throughout the U.S. Her book Conquering Ring Nerves was published by Howell in 2004. The ring nerves program is for handlers, but dogs are the beneficiaries. Contact her at Dpetersmayer@aol.com or visit her website: www.conqueringringnerves.com. April 08 | Clean Run 81
http://www.conqueringringnerves.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - April 2008

Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Contents
Editorializing: Dog Friends Are the Best Friends
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Starting Your Pup Off on the “Right” Foot for Jumping
Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 2
Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style: Direction Cues
Trainer’s Forum
Tent Ownership Dos and Don’ts
Foundation Fundamentals: Teaching Agility Cues
Skill of the Month
Say Yes to the Learning Curve: Starting as a Team, Part 1
Classes Gone Wild
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Powering Up the Rear Legs
Spy Kids: Rules for Access and Off-Leash Control
When Pigs Fly: How to Use Your Dog’s Natural Behaviors to Train Him
Shelter Champs: Reno
The Art of Electronic Timing
Power Paws Patterns: Number Four
Jump Down Syndrome Traumatic fragmented Medial
Conquering Ring Nerves: Want to Remember the Course? Focus!
In Cider
Agility Organization Update
Letter to the Editor
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Editorializing: Dog Friends Are the Best Friends
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 11
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 12
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Starting Your Pup Off on the “Right” Foot for Jumping
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 2
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 22
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style: Direction Cues
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 25
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 29
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 31
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 33
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Tent Ownership Dos and Don’ts
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 36
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Teaching Agility Cues
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 43
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Say Yes to the Learning Curve: Starting as a Team, Part 1
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 46
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Classes Gone Wild
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 52
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Powering Up the Rear Legs
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Spy Kids: Rules for Access and Off-Leash Control
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 56
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 57
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - When Pigs Fly: How to Use Your Dog’s Natural Behaviors to Train Him
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 63
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Shelter Champs: Reno
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - The Art of Electronic Timing
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 69
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Power Paws Patterns: Number Four
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 74
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 75
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Jump Down Syndrome Traumatic fragmented Medial
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 77
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 79
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Conquering Ring Nerves: Want to Remember the Course? Focus!
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 81
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 82
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - In Cider
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 84
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 85
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 86
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Agility Organization Update
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 88
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 89
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 91
Clean Run Magazine - April 2008 - 92
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