Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Mental Game

Today is another Dog Agility Blog Event Day - December 4, 2013.  Please visit all the blogs at: ( and please leave comments, we all enjoy hearing what you have to say.

This is one subject which has become important to me not only agility but other aspects of my life too. Mental attitude can dictate success or failure in my endeavors and by teaching myself to look at the positive rather than the negative helps me in training especially for my sensitive dogs.

I never really thought about how much of agility is really a mental game until a friend introduced me to Lanny Bassham's  "With Winning in Mind"  and "What Every Dog Agility Competitor Should Know First about the Mental Game" series of CD's.  After listening to those I thought more about not focusing so much on what we were doing wrong but what was right. To tell the truth I haven't mastered what I really would like to accomplish in my mental game but I am making strides and by the time my puppy is ready to run agility and confirmation I hope to have a more positive, focused mental game.

I know one of my biggest problems and have heard from others is thinking about getting that "Q" while running the course. Instead I should be thinking of running the course giving my dog the best ques so they can be successful and have fun. A "Q" should mean we were a great team, we had a fun and we communicated well.
How can you not fail if your mind is on something else and aren't thinking about running the course.

An affirmative statement is one thing that Lanny Bassham talks about in his book and my friend suggested I do this for building weave speed with my dogs.  You create an affirmative statement, post it around your house where you will see it often, leave it up for 21 days and keep repeating it to yourself.  This was my affirmative statement for the weaves "I have conquered the 5 second weaves with Kiah and Keegan.  September Dobe trial I run 5 second weaves with Kiah and Keegan easily and we have fun while we run.  I relax and do not stress while I run my mental program before stepping to the line.  I enjoy classes, work hard to learn to bring the best out of Kiah and Keegan while they have fun.  I am able to run 5 second weaves with Kiah and Keegan".  I found this really helped me stay positive, I trained more and we made it a game.  It was fun and I found it really helped.

My goal for my mental game is to stay as positive as I can, not dwell on the mistakes, make playing with me the most fun my dogs can possibly have, to stay focused on the course and not worry about the outcome of the run.

I look forward to reading all the other posts from the group and the comments that readers leave.  Have fun and run clean!!!


  1. I also read "With Winning In Mind", (great inspirational book) and developed this affirmation, so simple I didn't need to post it anywhere: "We run as one." I found that more than Q'ing, what satisfies me most is feeling really connected with my dogs. When they look into my eyes with that total focus and trust that only dogs seem able to freely offer, and follow me around the course, and do their best to take my directions, I'm already a winner!

  2. I agree with you that thinking in positive ways leads to positive outcomes. A lovely post. Plus, you love Boxers, which automatically qualifies you for rock star status in my book! (as a lover of two big boys myself!)

    1. LOL, rock star....I have a sweatshirt from the rescue where I got Kiah and the logo says "be a Rock Star and adopt a boxer". I have to admit all 3 of mine have stolen my heart, they are so easy to love.


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