Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Mental Game

Todays post is part of

Dog Agility Blog Events

Please visit to see all the other blogs who have posted on this subject as well.

Quite alot I am getting comments from my pupils about how on earth you can remember a course of up to 21 obstacles for you and your dog to get round.

Now I know at shows in many countries you get course diagrams to be able to read and think out in your head where you are going. In Scottish shows that is not the case. I do love looking at course diagrams from other places and imagining in my head where I am going to go, what type of crosses and what position I will be in

Although when you get things on the ground it sometimes really changes what you think as you can possibly see different lines or there is more or less room than you imagined.

In Scotland we get to walk the courses once they are built, and actually last year I had the crazy moment where 3 rings opened up at almost exactly the same time, I walked 2 in a row and had to try and keep they both in my mind - then on the 3rd I didnt even get the chance to walk it, I had to try and learn it from watching others run it.

Have I got a super memory?? Very much not! In the past I have been stuck in the middle of courses trying to remember where to go (even had a couple of judges giving me a sneaky point in the right direction)
What has changed
Over time my memory has improved - thats right - agility improves your memory :) there is a benefit I never expected! And the other thing is you get to learn patterns

Have a look at some of the course diagrams posted here.
There are setups that repeat themselves straight lines to obstacles and recognisable shapes.
So instead of remembering 20 things remember a pattern
Look at the course to the left

From jump one slalom 3 jumps, up the centre to the tunnel , down 2 round the star, up 2, in the tunnel bottom, outside ark till before the weaves, loop round then jump weave jump

OK it may sound daft but that is the thoughts that are going round my head - instead of 20 obstacles to remember there are about 6 points to remember.

Yes you get more difficult courses sometimes with more things to remember, but your memory has improved by the time you get there and you recognise the patterns more

Thats not to say you will never see me in the middle of the course with a blank look on my face :D but hopefully that happens much less now.

Thankyou for reading - now get back and support all the other blogs out there

1 comment:

  1. I try to remember patterns too. And the order of the "big" obstacles! :)



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