Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 59

CONQUERING RING NERVES By Diane Peters Mayer BigSmall Steps Lead Goals? to Big Victories Roberta runs two dogs in agility—her Beagle Benny and her Sheltie Moxie. When Roberta runs with Benny she’s completely relaxed, enjoys challenging him and herself, and over time he graduated to Advanced-level courses. Roberta’s goals with Benny are simple: exercise and fun together. But when Roberta runs Moxie she is tense and anxious and is developing a bad case of ring nerves, which negatively affects their performance. So, what is the difference? At a trial with Moxie, winning and titles are a must. Before each run with Moxie, Roberta carries onto the course goals that are so big they are crushing not only her ability to do well, but also the fun of competing in a great dog sport. The team’s poor Feeling Overwhelmed by performances have nothing to do with Moxie, because it is Roberta who obsesses about the next leg, the next title, every time she steps to the line. When Roberta realizes that it is her own stress, tension, and anxiety that is sabotaging her team she begins to work on her ring nerves. Roberta learns how to calm herself before and during runs with breathing exercises and other techniques. When she starts breaking down her big goals into small pieces, she feels better almost immediately. With practice their runs get better and the legs and titles come. Dreams and Big Goals Are Important It all begins with our dreams. To have dreams, to turn those dreams into big goals, and to eventually make those goals your reality is important. Working toward goals gives us a zest for living, adding excitement and purpose to our lives. Training a dog to compete in agility is a great adventure that takes determination, patience, and drive. By undermining your confidence, ring nerves can steamroll your dreams and goals, and can make you feel that no matter how hard you work, those dreams are out of reach. If you are struggling with ring nerves, you may have put your goals aside because of the frustration of chronic failure; every failed run makes you feel worse and worse about your ability to succeed. Rather than putting your goals aside, you need to learn how to break down big goals into small manageable steps to help cure your ring nerves. Words can be so powerful that they can affect the expectations of an upcoming experience, and even influence our perceptions of reality. For example, let’s say you are waiting for your turn and a competitor who has run the course says to you, “That was a tough course.” Though you initially thought the course was moderately difficult you may now perceive it to be harder than it is and begin to worry. Or suppose your dog runs off course and you say to yourself, “How humiliating—I’m sure other handlers must think I don’t know what I’m doing.” In actuality, other handlers don’t think that at all—they are too busy thinking about their own runs. December 08 | Clean Run 59

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

Clean Run Magazine - December 2008
Think Outside the Box (and the Ring)
Editorializing: Just One More Run
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Trainer’s Forum
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Treadmill Walking
Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style, Part 9: Common Sequences
Agility Class Etiquette
K9 Kudos: Seeing Spots
Foundation Fundamentals: Flatwork Skills Wrap-up
So You Want to Raise an Agility Star
Canine Health Care: FAQs
Conquering Ring Nerves: Feeling Overwhelmed by Big Goals?
Retraining Agility Skills
Skill of the Month
Walking the Course…Backward?
Agility Organization Update
Using Silent Running to Improve Body Language
Letter to the Editor
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - December 2008
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 3
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Editorializing: Just One More Run
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 11
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 14
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Treadmill Walking
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 18
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style, Part 9: Common Sequences
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 25
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 29
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Agility Class Etiquette
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 33
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 36
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 38
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - K9 Kudos: Seeing Spots
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 43
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Flatwork Skills Wrap-up
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 46
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 50
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - So You Want to Raise an Agility Star
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 56
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Canine Health Care: FAQs
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Conquering Ring Nerves: Feeling Overwhelmed by Big Goals?
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 63
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Retraining Agility Skills
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 69
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Walking the Course…Backward?
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 73
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 74
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Agility Organization Update
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 77
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Using Silent Running to Improve Body Language
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 81
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 84
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