The biggest obstacle between a mediocre run and an awesome run, unfortunately is . . . me. Why does it seem so much easier to train the dogs than it is to train me. Although I have much to learn, and I am still very green when it comes to competing, I think that I am a decent handler. I have a desire to learn and to be better. However, the biggest obstacle that I need to overcome is - ring nerves. Ring nerves suck! They sap all the energy out of both me and my dogs.
-verb (used with object)
definition - to gain a victory over; surmount; master; overcome: to conquer ring nerves
Ring nerves are the biggest obstacle that I need to conquer before I can compete with any great success.
Bosley can't do the dogwalk. Why? Because I am terrified he will fall off and get hurt.
Maggie tears up the agility course in practice, but is as slow as molasses in trials. Why? Because I get nervous.
Maggie has great weave poles, but in a trial she pops poles and goes very slow. Why? Because I worry she will pop poles and be slow.
Maggie has a bad case of "coming home syndrome" at a trial, where suddenly in the last third of the course she runs as fast as can. Why? Because I am glad we are almost done and I start to relax.
Don't even get me started about obedience trials. I always say that Maggie has obedience ring nerves, but that is because she gets it from me.
My poor dogs! They don't even have a chance :(
The weird thing is that I like to go to trials and compete. My nerves are getting better (really), but I really need to work at being more confident and less nervous at trials. I know, I know . . . what's the worst that can happen? Logically, my brain tells me that it is just a trial and that if we NQ, it is not a big deal. I have NQ'd plenty of times and the sky doesn't fall. No one even cares. The dogs don't care and I know there will be plenty more trials to enter. So what is the big deal? I wish I knew. Ring nerves suck!