Have you ever been to a party where there are games? You get divided into teams, it is a relay, you’re doing fun things and it’s all laughter and not serious. Or there’s a game of croquet or something like that. Have you ever seen that person that kind of gets a bit too involved? Who steals the kiddy version of the game for their team in order for it to do better, who cheers their teammates on a bit too cheerily while ignoring the opposing team’s successes, trying quietly to make them fail?

Then you’ve met me. 🙂 From behaving decently throughout the party, to turning into a devil… I’m deadly serious too – a bit on the hysterical side ;), but still.

I just love competing, it doesn’t really matter in what. And the bigger the competition, the better! National Championships, big well-attended fairs with big crowds and lots of noise and stuff going on. The more flags and balloons the better! I love the atmosphere – the slightly quivering, focused, somewhat nervous, expectant mood.
I’ve been a competitor for most of my life. First with horses, and then dogs.

But over the years I have learned something important about competing. The moment I begin focusing on the result, all my skills disappear, and I become really bad at the task at hand. This applies not least to dog training. I CAN’T begin to think about the result, it ruins everything. I leave my plan, stop listening to my intuition; I no longer hold up my end of the bargain.

There is no exception when it comes to trialing with the cocker spaniels. My focus must be on the task at hand. And my task is to enable the dog to do its best. I think about curling. I’m the sweeper, Tassla is the stone. It is my responsibility to ensure that she can perform at the top of her abilities. And here’s the magical part: If I focus on that and take care of my part of the agreement, then everything will be fine.
Well, on principle – I can’t influence certain circumstances, but there rarely is anyone or anything else to blame.

If you’re experienced enough, you can, when you know that you’re doing your part, just push it a bit more, and all of sudden you’ll be at your max and everything will just be perfect and everything goes like smothered. It is a wonderful feeling and with a bit of luck, it leads to a good performance that gives some kind of price. But that’s not your focus! I should just focus on doing my job. Isn’t it amazing?

What kind of competitor are you?

 

 

 

 


Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training
Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training

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