Clean Run - November 2012 - (Page 5)

Sportsmanship Is Not Just About Being Nice By Tori Self An editorial on attitude could go many ways. Attitude, eh? I have gotten to the point where the word actually sounds funny to say, or think about. Yes, I’ve thought on it for that long. at·ti·tude, noun manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind Then I decided to pick a different word, too—don’t worry, it isn’t banana or turtle or deciduous or anything random like that—it’s actually sportsmanship. But I liked’s definition for sportsman better. sportsman, noun a person who exhibits qualities highly regarded in sport, such as fairness, generosity, observance of the rules, and good humor when losing I often hear people talking about agility in this vein: “I hate when people take our sport too far. It’s not about winning; it’s just about having fun. People get too competitive in the sport and it isn’t fair to the dogs, and it isn’t fun anymore.” These concerns make sense, but the semantics are wrong. It is actually okay for people to be competitive. I know that. But in the past I was confused, too, because it was as though there existed a sort of poisoned version of competitiveness, in addition to the “rainbows/butterflies/fierce” version I always have in my head. But that, too, isn’t quite right. So we break it down. A friend sent me a quote. It reads: Sportsmanship is not just about being nice. It is much more important than that. It’s about realizing that you could not compete without an opponent, and that she has the same goals as you. ̶ Stephanie Deibler That quote hit me hard. Sportsmanship is not just about being nice. It is about respect for your fellow game players. And, in our sport, it is also about respect for your dog. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Sing it, Aretha. I think it is important to remember that competition can’t poison our sport, but our actions can, and do. Whether you choose to demonstrate good sportsmanship out on the field, under the tent (our version of the locker room, I suppose), sitting behind your computer as you type away on Facebook, or anywhere else, that is up to you; it is your responsibility. It has nothing to do with whether we win or we lose; whether we are beaten by a good friend or by someone who maybe rubs us the wrong way; or whether our opponent appears to have any respect for us at all. It has everything to do with how we choose to represent ourselves; how we choose to treat our dogs; how we choose to utilize the experiences thrown our way; and how we choose to treat our fellow competitors. Attitude, it is a form of power. You can use it to demolish everything and everyone in your path, or build the most beautiful landscapes. It is all up to you. Tori Self Tori Self is a 20-year-old student at the University of Florida who has been involved in the sport of dog agility for eight years. Tori started agility with Labrador Retrievers and a Border Collie, and now primarily runs her young Border Collie, Revolution (Rev). Tori and Rev are five time AKC National Finalists, two time National Champions, two-time AKC/USA World Team Members, and 2012 Crufts USA agility representatives. Tori is also a frequent blogger, writing about her adventures with Rev at as they journey through competitions in the United States and around the world together. November 12 | Clean Run 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - November 2012

Clean Run - November 2012
Editorializing: Sportsmanship Is Not Just About Being Nice
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility...
Backyard Dogs
The Four Agreements
Power Paws Drills: Working Opposites
Training with the Stars: Jeannette Hutchison
What’s in Your Toolbox?
Being a Good Student, Part 1
Analyze This!
Tips for Weave Pole Entries
Not a Practice Dog Anymore
The 2-Minute Warm-up
The Worrier: Solutions for the Dog That Is Worried or Afraid
What Is a Ketschker Turn?
Agility Mind Gym: Persistence and Determination
Building Blocks: Building a Better Lead-out

Clean Run - November 2012