Mistakes are "sticky!" mental skills Apr 06, 2021

Get over it.
You’ve just got to let go.
It’s time to move on.

I’ve got platitudes for days when it comes to helping all of us to let go of a “mistake” or NQ that still haunts us. But they are all useless if we’re not ready to hear them. Sometimes we just aren’t done beating ourselves up.

Letting go,...

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Where oh where did the stamina go? dog training mental skills Feb 04, 2021

I get hung up on words or concepts periodically. “Curiosity” was my word pre-2020. I was trying to get myself and others to look at training challenges with openness and wonder instead of judgment and failure. I still love curiosity and it has shifted my training and feedback habit,...

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Buck-Up Buttercup (Or Not) anxiety & fear mental skills Nov 20, 2020

It’s not okay to be afraid.

At least, that’s what we’re taught. By parents, and teachers, and coaches … all working to make us better, tougher, more resilient.

Yet adulthood can be even scarier than those monsters under the bed or taking that first “leap” in...

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Your beliefs are getting in your way. mental skills Oct 09, 2019

In talking to a client the other day, I compared limiting beliefs to a giant suitcase we insist on dragging around. It’s heavy, the wheels face different directions and we don’t even know how it got this way. All we know is, we can’t put it down and it impacts where we can go.

...

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What my 10 days on the road teaches us about protecting our rituals. mental skills Oct 03, 2019
Photo by Kim Perry

I recently took about 10 days and drove back to Virginia from Colorado to judge. While it was a quick trip, I was floored with how much I was thrown off my routine. From what I ate to how I spent my days to working the dogs … it all seemed to go to hell!

It got me...

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Borrowing from Teddy & Brene mental skills Aug 20, 2019

I recently shared one of my all-time favorite quotes with the handlers in the  Q-Confidence Masterclass. I consider it a sports quote, but really it’s an excerpt from a speech given by former President Teddy Roosevelt in Paris in 1910 following a year of travel:

“It is...

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Get off the strugglebus. mental skills Aug 06, 2019

People love an underdog. In movies, in books, on the small screen … we cheer for the little guy or the girl in the back of the room to finally get the glory they deserve.

We love this archetype because it’s rooted in fairness, in being able to believe that it all works out in the...

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A tale of two migraines. best of the blog mental skills Jul 30, 2019
Photo Ruth Nielsen

Once upon a time my beloved “Novice A” dog, Karma, got invited to the AKC Agility Invitational the same year we also finished third in the inaugural AKC Rally National Championship – we were having quite the year! Karma was running well, feeling well and we...

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3 steps to tame pressure. confidence mental skills Jul 10, 2019
Photo Chris Stefanac

In the first of our blog series on gaining confidence, we started with ring nerves and their tie to the fears we take with us into the ring. This time we are going to look at pressure, where it comes from and how we can tackle it for what it really is.

“Pressure”...

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Ever get nervous before you walk into the ring? confidence mental skills Jun 11, 2019
Photo of Indie and me on the start line by Rich Knecht.

Some amount of heightened energy is a good thing, but when your nerves get in the way of you being able to perform at your best, it’s a problem that deserves attention. 

One night in my group obedience class, my instructor was...

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Dear stupidity, thank you next! mental skills Jan 15, 2019
Photo by Rich Knecht

I knew the moment I looked at the clock, with those seconds converted to points, Indie qualified for the 2019 AKC Agility Nationals! I was ecstatic and near tears as this was yet another unexpected dream realized. We both ran back to her crate for her jackpot, bouncing for...

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Superstition or intention? mental skills May 17, 2018

I’ve always considered myself a superstitious person. I’ve also never felt alone in this as pretty much everyone I know who competes in anything has objects or behaviors they believe bring them luck. Recently, however, I was at my week-long national and I started wondering, is it...

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