Thursday, December 20, 2012

I laughed, I learned ...

Yesterday morning I read a book. A non fiction book I blasted through quickly knowing I will return to it time and time again. Trials Without Tribulations, authored by Kathryn Harvey. Good read for everybody no matter where you are at on your competitive spectrum and no matter your dog sport.

I recognized myself, and many other dog sport people in the book. Not specifically necessarily, I have no way to know if the author had the same people in mind as I did but great handlers, word class handlers, right through to the person first stepping on a start line will find themselves here. It's an E book, which is relatively new to me, a print bibliophile if ever there was one. For this book and this topic the format worked just fine!
I wondered what I would get out of the book specifically as I am a pretty relaxed competitor with decent mental management strategies generally, and, let's be honest, I'm very happy at my level of competition without great aspirations for expansion.

What I loved most? The focus on team ... rather than putting all the work of running on the dog and the thinking on the handler and simply focusing on the handler Kathyrn has made sure that the dog's role in the game is lauded and recognized. "How many athletes routinely get to sleep with their teammates?"  A thought that I had never considered in terms of it's impact on us as a team. (Amazing as I look at 3 dogs in the chair with me, another at my feet, and another in the chair beside me!)

Do you know what the The Dunning-Kruger effect is? I didn't either. Worth a read for that alone.

She echos and reinforces some of the things I have long believed about the cost of competition on our dogs but she goes much further than that, offering specific strategies to build resilience in the whole team and improve performance. I cannot think of one person who won't get something of value from the book. I know I will read it again and again. Even if you are competing but work with sporting dogs in any way you may find  this book a good one for your virtual bookshelf (I know it will influence a couple of details in the way I structure class set ups).

My biggest concern? It ended! Looking forward to a sequel!

Do yourself and your dog(s) a favour - order your copy today!

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