Thursday, December 5, 2013

the Mental Game

So, apparently there is the agility dog blog day every once in a while. I don’t know exactly the details, but every so often someone comes up with a dog blog theme of the day. And anyone with a dog blog should write about that theme. This week it was “The Mental Game” or some such thing. I read some blogs. People really write well. And about the mental game, they get all analytical and theoretical and psychological. Poignant and some even manage to write what could be called prose.

So, when my dog rolls in shit I can maybe practice my mental game and pretend to be happy?

Me? I just can’t even think of what to write about the mental game of working with dogs in agility. Yes, there is the mental aspect, for sure. Agility is a sport. So much is known and studied about sport’s psychology. We know that in competitive sports one must clear the mind and use our thoughts to our advantage. Positive reinforcement and such, right? OK, I get that. I get that one has to be positive or the negative takes over. So simple. Really????


I sometimes think what is REALLY needed are acting classes. Because I can try clearing my mind, being positive, thinking only about my relationship with my dog and how fun the game is and how unimportant what everyone else thinks is and how the Q’s don’t matter, yadda, yadda, yadda. NO I CAN’T!!! I can’t do that!!! I can’t clear my mind.

He is SO cute………the leaf is stuck to him with shit cement!!! awesome!!!!

One top instructor even wrote a booklet called “Clear Mind”. It is her motto. Hmmm, OK, SHE can do that. She even teaches classes on mental management. Oh dear, really? I now need to take mental classes???? One other named her business “Say Yes”. Really!!!! Oh how positive can that be!!! Just saying the name of her business makes one happy and feel good. Clearly an amazing marketing scheme. But, now I am being cynical. I named my business Amy’s Animal Care. Damn it, I am married to a marketing guru. I should have named it something like Amy’s Happy Dog/Cat Play Time. Really??? Some others have great names…….My Wonderful Dog……Dances With Dogs……The Furry Godmother. All great names, for sure!!!!

I LOVE my dog today……….

For me, I seem to fail at the mental marketing, the mental clarity, the mental game. I am NOT an actor. The Q’s matter to me. My dog’s happiness doing the sport that I chose matters to me. When Spur starts to look worried and scared I get unhappy. My mind isn’t clear, or positive, or happy. I don’t know how one does that. I am thankful he is now happy, but I can not admit it was mental management. We just persevered!!!

I resorted to drugs to get on a plane. My therapist said to practice by putting myself in uncomfortable crowded situations like walking around the mall during a busy time. I took drugs. I don’t seem to have that ability to work on my mental game. All I can work on is practice, practice, practice. Train happy, and go to trials and hope for the best. That is all I can do. I have no secret mental work I do. I let things get to me when they go bad and I am happy when they go well. No words of wisdom here.

I get pissed, no matter how hard I work on my mental game, when the fucking dog rolls in the most disgusting shit EVER!!! I failed at The Mental Game. I am not sure how one would even start to act happy about that. I just don't get the mental game.