Clean Run - July 2013 - 16

F CUS
in the Ring Is Not Just for Dogs!
By Juliet Franzen, photos by Donna Hedrick
Focus is something we
expect from our dogs in
agility, but what about us?
Don’t we need focus in
the ring to be successful
in competition? What happens if we let our mind
wander for a split second?
Oops! Our dog doesn’t get
the cue he needed and
either barks, makes up his
own course or knocks a
bar. Is this the difference
between the consistent
qualifier and the talented
person who seems to always have one glitch in her
run? Can we improve our
focus and therefore increase our qualifying rate?
Or will we naturally improve
by training harder and
becoming better at doing
agility? Are “ring nerves”
one of the causes of lack of
focus in the ring?
As someone who has
trained for several years to
become proficient at agility,
I am amazed at how often
I don’t qualify because I let
my mind wander in competition. In discussing this
with others, I see this is a
problem shared by most
competitors to a greater
or lesser degree. We seek
16

excellent training to learn
how to direct our dogs and
then shoot ourselves in
the foot by zoning out for a
nanosecond in the middle
of a great run. This is not a
problem that is addressed
by most trainers, yet it is
an important component of
success in the ring.
After running Marcel for a
couple of years, a PBGV
that I could easily keep
up with, I started running
Kai, a very fast, motivated
Australian Shepherd. All
of a sudden I didn’t have
time to think or react. The
result was a frustrated Aussie that either jumped high
in the air barking at me or
jumped over every jump on
the course. My training for
agility had to reach a much
higher level. I needed to
become a much better
handler who could “think
on my feet.”
In fact, I found that “thinking” got in the way once I
was running the course.
The time for thinking
and planning was while
I walked the course and
once I released Kai for
the run, I needed to be on

automatic pilot. In a way it
was like learning to drive a
car; first you use your conscious mind then once you
become proficient, you stop
thinking about every move
of the steering wheel. I had
become proficient at agility
and yet still found myself
making mistakes or losing
focus in the ring. I became
one of the handlers who
always seemed to have
that one error resulting in
a low qualifying rate. Despite realizing I needed to
relax and focus on my run,
I found my nervousness or
ring nerves were causing
me to make mistakes in
competition.
Becoming proficient in agility was indeed important to
success, but I found that
no amount of training was
preparing me for what happened in competition. Kai
picked up on the excitement of the trial and also
on my nervousness and
ran faster than in practice.
He is a focused dog and if
I hesitated anywhere in the
ring, he would go over the
closest obstacle. I needed
to find ways to calm my ring
nerves and be able to “trust

my dog and myself” to do
the right thing in the ring.
Lanny Bassham, the gold
medalist rifle shooter who
wrote the
book With
Winning in
Mind and
founded
Mental
Management Systems, has
worked with many
athletes, including agility
handlers, to help them improve their performance. He
says that our self -image is
very important for success.
Do we see ourselves as
competent and successful?
When we enter the ring, do
we expect we will do well?
When we leave the ring,
do we focus on what we
did right and things we can
improve rather than focus
on what went wrong? How
many times do we leave the
ring and the first thing we
think or say is, “I messed up
that front cross” or whatever
we did wrong? According to
Lanny, what you say to yourself or others when you finish competition is the most
important part of improving
Clean Run | July 13



Clean Run - July 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - July 2013

Clean Run - July 2013
Contents
Editorializing: “Internationalization” and Course Design Trends
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Backyard Dogs
Knowledge Equals Speed! Handling Positions: What Do They Mean to the Dog
Focus in the Ring Is Not Just for Dogs!
The 10-Minute Trainer
Power Paws Drills: Serp City
Thermal Imaging for the Agility Dog
Trainer/Student, Coach/Athlete
Channel Weaves Modified
The Judge’s Debriefing
Training with the Stars: Jenn Crank
The Construction Zone: Weatherproof 2x2 Weave Pole Bases
Look! Teaching Dogs Where to Focus
Busting the Myths: You Can Talk, You Can Smile, You Can Have Fun!
Out Spot Out! Teaching Independent Obstacle Performance, Part 4
Clean Run - July 2013 - Clean Run - July 2013
Clean Run - July 2013 - 2
Clean Run - July 2013 - Contents
Clean Run - July 2013 - 4
Clean Run - July 2013 - Editorializing: “Internationalization” and Course Design Trends
Clean Run - July 2013 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run - July 2013 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Clean Run - July 2013 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run - July 2013 - 9
Clean Run - July 2013 - 10
Clean Run - July 2013 - Knowledge Equals Speed! Handling Positions: What Do They Mean to the Dog
Clean Run - July 2013 - 12
Clean Run - July 2013 - 13
Clean Run - July 2013 - 14
Clean Run - July 2013 - 15
Clean Run - July 2013 - Focus in the Ring Is Not Just for Dogs!
Clean Run - July 2013 - 17
Clean Run - July 2013 - 18
Clean Run - July 2013 - 19
Clean Run - July 2013 - The 10-Minute Trainer
Clean Run - July 2013 - 21
Clean Run - July 2013 - 22
Clean Run - July 2013 - 23
Clean Run - July 2013 - Power Paws Drills: Serp City
Clean Run - July 2013 - 25
Clean Run - July 2013 - 26
Clean Run - July 2013 - 27
Clean Run - July 2013 - 28
Clean Run - July 2013 - 29
Clean Run - July 2013 - Thermal Imaging for the Agility Dog
Clean Run - July 2013 - 31
Clean Run - July 2013 - 32
Clean Run - July 2013 - 33
Clean Run - July 2013 - 34
Clean Run - July 2013 - Trainer/Student, Coach/Athlete
Clean Run - July 2013 - 36
Clean Run - July 2013 - 37
Clean Run - July 2013 - 38
Clean Run - July 2013 - 39
Clean Run - July 2013 - Channel Weaves Modified
Clean Run - July 2013 - 41
Clean Run - July 2013 - 42
Clean Run - July 2013 - 43
Clean Run - July 2013 - 44
Clean Run - July 2013 - 45
Clean Run - July 2013 - 46
Clean Run - July 2013 - The Judge’s Debriefing
Clean Run - July 2013 - 48
Clean Run - July 2013 - Training with the Stars: Jenn Crank
Clean Run - July 2013 - 50
Clean Run - July 2013 - 51
Clean Run - July 2013 - 52
Clean Run - July 2013 - The Construction Zone: Weatherproof 2x2 Weave Pole Bases
Clean Run - July 2013 - 54
Clean Run - July 2013 - Look! Teaching Dogs Where to Focus
Clean Run - July 2013 - 56
Clean Run - July 2013 - 57
Clean Run - July 2013 - 58
Clean Run - July 2013 - Busting the Myths: You Can Talk, You Can Smile, You Can Have Fun!
Clean Run - July 2013 - 60
Clean Run - July 2013 - 61
Clean Run - July 2013 - Out Spot Out! Teaching Independent Obstacle Performance, Part 4
Clean Run - July 2013 - 63
Clean Run - July 2013 - 64
Clean Run - July 2013 - 65
Clean Run - July 2013 - 66
Clean Run - July 2013 - 67
Clean Run - July 2013 - 68
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0920
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0820
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0720
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0620
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0520
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0420
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0320
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0220
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0120
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1219
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1119
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0919
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0819
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0719
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0619
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0519
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0419
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0319
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0219
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0119
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1218
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1118
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0918
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0818
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0718
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0618
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0518
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0418
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1217
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1117
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0917
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0817
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0717
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0617
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0517
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1216
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1116
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0916
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0816
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0716
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0616
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0516
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1215
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1115
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0915
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0815
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0715
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0615
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0515
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0115
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1214
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1114
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0914
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0814
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0714
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0614
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0514
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0414
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0314
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0214
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0114
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0913
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0813
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0713
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0613
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0513
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0413
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0313
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/comp-demo
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0106
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com