April 25, 2019

Episode 219: Eight Ways You Can Improve Your Agility Attitude

In this episode (43:55)

In this episode, Sarah, Esteban and Jennifer share how they are using 8 tips to improve their attitudes in agility!

You Will Learn

  • Which specific actions to take when you’re having a bad day.
  • Why you should surround yourself with positive people.
  • The value of complimenting a stranger.
  • Why it’s important to give your instructor feedback.


You're listening to bad dog agility, You training tips, interviews and news about the great sport of dog agility. I'm Jennifer and I'm Sarah. And this is episode 219 Today's podcast is brought to you by one tdc.com. Are you looking for a competitive edge? Try one TVC one Tetra deck. All complex is a blend of unique fatty acid oils designed to safely and effectively.

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We're going to talk about eight ways. You can improve your agility attitude, and we're going to take these eight ways straight from an article that we found from Harris school of business on how to improve your attitude towards school and work. We'll put a link to that in the show notes, but we kind of wanted to go through each of these items and talk about how we see that in agility and kind of our own personal experiences.

Well, I think we were starting with students and what does it take to be a good student and dealing with negative attitudes that a lot of people have in many different aspects of agility. And then in kind of researching for that topic, I came across this article. I'm not familiar with Harris school of business. Apparently as some online school, they have several campuses throughout the Northeast.

I don't know what kind of degree you can get there. I just liked the article. It was very short, but it listed out these eight areas. And as I read through each area, I thought, you know, this is really relevant to agility. The is already here. So as Sarah mentioned, we're going to get you that link to this article and let's just dive right in.

And so why is it so important? Let's, let's start there. And I want to start by asking Jennifer because Jennifer teaches live and online, right? And she's been doing it for two decades. Why is it so important for people to have a positive attitude instead of a negative attitude? What was what's wrong with having a negative attitude as a student or a competitor and agility?

It's easy and in today's society too, a lot, a lot of times want to look at the negative. You know, you're at a restaurant and the manager gets called over. I guarantee you, the manager is expecting something bad, something food wasn't cooked. Service was bad, but that's so easily rubs off on everyone you're around. I think that's what I see so much in agility classes.

And at trials is all it takes is one person to start. I can't do this. This course is ugly. I don't like this approach, you know, whatever. And, and just everyone they're kind of around, you know, starts to kind of kind of fall into that and feed into that. And next thing you know, the whole atmosphere is bad and you know,

it's kind of that whole self fulfilling prophecy thing. If you keep saying, I can't do this, I hate doing this. You're going to end up feeling that way and, and leading in and believing that, you know, your subconscious will start, start believing that. So I think, you know, what we really gotta do is we gotta use positive words.

You got to think about not, I can't do this, but what I can do, what's good about the course. Yeah. There might be a part you don't like, you might not like that tunnel discrimination, but don't walk around going, Oh, this is ugly. Say, you know, Ooh, this is a really nice we full entry.

This is a good challenge that we've been practicing in class. And now we get to showcase. I think that's such a great point. And I think that might that number one, I'm glad that it's the first thing in this article, because I feel like that might be the most important thing there because it's the thing that all of us can control the most.

We can't really control the courses. You can't control your friends' attitudes. Certainly you might have some influence on both of those things, but not as much as you can for your own mindset and the words that are coming out of your own mouth. And so let's say I see something that I don't like, and I'm going to set myself up as an example of,

you know, be like me, all right, this is why I'm good at agility. Okay. So I'll see a challenge. I don't like it. And I can say it. I say, you know, I don't really like the spacing here between these two jumps is creating this problem or this high risk bar. Now I don't stop there because that's where a lot of people are going to stop.

They gonna throw their hands up. They're going to complain about it. They're gonna walk the course a couple more times, complain about it again. They're going to tell their friends, they're gonna tell their other friends, they're going to try and talk loudly and within earshot of the judge. So maybe the judge can hear them complain about it. But once I,

once I identify that, okay, I don't like this. I'm not going to say I can't do this. I'm gonna say, okay, well, here's a spot where I don't want to come in here for fun cross. I don't think there's enough space. There's not enough room here for me and my dog. That's gonna increase the risk of a bar.

So I want to put it in a rear cross. And if I'm going to do a rear cross, then I need to set up and be close to this wing. This is the diagonal path that I want to run. This is where I want to end up on that maneuver. So suddenly I'm thinking about it that way as a challenge, that can be overcome,

you know, this is going to be hard, but I can do it, right. It says right there in the article is going to give you a way to move forward. And so I really liked the opening here that Jen has given us. Right? And for those who are not following along with the article, that number one point is to use positive words.

So to, you know, pay attention to the attitudes that you have, but also the way that you phrase them. Alright, and right onto number two, think about your friends' attitudes. And I think Jen, again, has already talked a little bit about this, how she, she talked about how one person can almost like a virus, infect a group and kind of create an atmosphere.

That's not conducive to learning. And I think that's especially tough for people who are otherwise neutral. You know, if I come and I'm a new beginner in the sport, and I'm with five people who have been doing this sport for 10 years and they all have bad attitude, what kind of attitude do you think I'm going to develop as a beginner? What impression do you think I'm going to have about the sport of dog?

Usually it's going to be a negative one, this kind of negative culture, this losing culture. It happens in professional sports, right franchises that are at the bottom of the league and have been at the bottom for two or three years. There are young players in particular pick up bad habits. That's why it's so important for teams to bring in veteran leadership.

People who can show the, the rookies, how to train, how to be a professional. How do you go to bed? When you need to go to bed, get the sleep. You need to do the right diet in all ways to improve their chances of being a great player in their particular sport. And that's what we need to do in agility.

And when you're hanging out with people, who've got these bad attitudes, it's going to have a big effect on you. So what are some solutions here? If you happen to be, let's say you, you're not inherently a negative person, but you're around negative people. Like what are some things do you think that you can do? Well? I think one of the big ones is that,

especially the kind of the gossip or the talking bad about the course, that can be something where you may not naturally start it, but once somebody else starts talking about it, it's really easy to get sucked into the drama, you know, kind of watching the train wreck, so to speak. And I think that one of the things that we can do is just remove ourselves from that feedback loop.

So don't engage when people want to talk in a negative way and to, to at least not be making the whole thing, worse, My personal experience. One of the things that I have found on both ends of, you know, hanging out with people with negative attitudes, both kind of contributed to it and being a victim to it is In the moment.

I don't know, even know that sometimes you realize it happens, right? You go to dinner after the dog show, you're out, everybody grabs a drink, you're eating Mexican, whatever. And you sit around and you talk about the judges course. Or did you see this person's run? And in the moment you're just having a dinner and you're just talking and you're just being that person.

But for me, it always like that night, you know, I'm getting ready for bed and back in my hotel room or back at home by myself. And I'm like, man, you know, all I did at dinner was he was talking negatively about this or, or gossip about this. And in the moment you don't even realize you do it.

So it's hard to do anything about it, but what you have to do is you then have to say, okay, well, what does that say about, you know, the people that I'm going to dinner with or the people that I'm creating near. And I know for me, and this has happened in the last 12 months, there's been a couple of people that then I just,

I, I basically just try to separate myself from, you know, in the moment I couldn't do anything. I was there. I was stuck dinner. What was I going to do? Walk out of dinner before my meal arrived. But then those are the people that I maybe try to shy away from, or aren't on the top of my list of inviting out to dinner.

So you kind of have to look at it in the short-term. What do I do in the moment when people were talking or being a negative, but also then, okay, big picture. Maybe I need to reevaluate the people that I'm creating next to. And I know my rule for, for going to dinner, which I got from my husband is I try to go to dinner after the show and not talk dogs.

It's a lot easier to not be negative if you're not talking about the show. So you talk about game of Thrones, or you talk about your recent shoe purchase, and it's a lot easier to stay positive when avoiding the topic of, you know, agility after having been there all day, you're at the show for eight hours and you go to dinner or you still want to talk dogs.

And you're out of the good stuff to talk about. So you get into the negatives and the, and the gossip. So, you know, watch who you spend your time with, you know, in kind of the big picture, but also in the short term, you know, gently changed the topics so that you don't get sucked in. And as you said,

watch the, watch the train crash. That's crazy because the thing that I want to highlight here for the listeners is how important this aspect of how you approach agility is when you hear somebody like Jennifer saying, it can affect who I spend my time with. So if you are one of those negative people, you have to realize that there are people who are literally going to avoid you because of your negative attitudes.

If that's how you are all the time, if it's, you know, like a hundred percent of the words coming out of your mouth. So I think that that gives us a lot of reason to change our attitudes, besides all the things about we're going to enjoy the sport more, we're actually going to do better. We're going to improve faster, but you want to be a person that people want to be around,

not a person that people avoid. And I think about I'm probably a couple of years ago and you know, we love the internet obviously, and we love some of the aspects of Facebook, but there's a lot of negativity there. And I think it was a couple of years ago that I basically adopted a policy of not posting anything that wasn't helpful in some way,

even if it was just neutral or definitely if it was negative in any way, sometimes I might even end up typing it out and then go, you know, what, what am I or anybody else gaining from posting this? And if it's just, well, I feel a little bit better because I got to get it off my chest. Like that's not usually a good enough reason.

I agree with all of that. I think social media is a big one there. I think the problem with people who are negative all the time, they don't have very good self-awareness so hopefully when you're listening to this, we're kind of catching the in-between people. You're not negative all the time because you have no self-awareness, but maybe you can see that you're around a lot of negative people.

You have a lot of gripe sessions and then you need to step back and think, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, okay. Everyone I know is negative mind, negative two. And once you can ask yourself that question, you have a little bit of self-awareness. Now you can try and change that pattern. All right. Number three,

make a list of things you are grateful for. And I think some people are very good at this and some people never, ever, ever do it. And I think I'm one of those people that never ever, ever do it. This is an area that I definitely want to improve on because it does make you feel better. Instead of focusing on the negative,

focusing on the positive, like it's a, it's something that you have to actively do. Like if I'm a negative person, I stopped being negative. I'm just kind of blah, nothing I'm neutral. But if you actively go out and look for the positive, I think that can make you feel a lot better about things. You know what I mean?

And I think that especially applies in training. So let's say you're learning to do blind crosses and you don't do blind crosses very well. This kind of goes back to number one, the positive words you can say, Oh man, I hate doing blind crosses. I can't, I'm never going to get it right. Instead you want to say, okay,

you know, we're doing better today was better than yesterday. And I'm grateful for the opportunity to be working with my dog because my other dog is injured or sick or, or, you know, retired from agility. And you know, when you, I think you take a step back and you think about all those things that you're lucky to have, it gives you that sense of perspective.

I think that can often be missing when you're in that negative, like a vortex of bad feelings. I think this idea of being grateful for things, I think that it can work at a couple of different levels. So I think one level is what are you grateful for in your life that maybe has nothing to do with agility, your family, you know,

both us and Jennifer have talked about how our families keep us a little bit more grounded, but I think you can also be, it can also be very agility specific. So like Jennifer talked about at the very beginning, you can be grateful for this really nice section of the course, even if there's another section that you don't like, you can be grateful for your dog's speed,

even though it's what caused it's causing all of your problems with blind crosses, you can't get to them because your dog is so fast. So you can take a step back and say, you know what, I'm glad my dog is fast. That's a good thing. And let's figure out where these blind crosses might or might not fit into our handling. So you can make it very agility specific or you can make it very globally life specific.

Absolutely. We had an incident recently that this reminds me of a dog split it's toenail, and she had to miss like two weeks of class. And in there she had a private lesson and she was so good about not only being, you know, yes, of course she was slightly bummed, Oh, I'm going to miss two weeks of class and my private.

But she, she told me all the things that she benefited from. So she came to the class and audited both weeks and she said, wow, it was great to audit because I, I just got to sit there with my notebook and I got to take good notes. And I got to kind of focus in on class a little bit more than I would have if I was trying to manage and control my dog.

I got to spend that time during the private, instead of coming to the building, she got online and, you know, watch some videos of a recent event. And she got to kind of learn through, you know, watching some other handlers and watching some videos there and really focusing on kind of basically kind of turning that negative into the positive and you know,

yeah. She was out for two weeks. It didn't change that. It didn't all of a sudden make the toenail better, but she went at it with a really solid attitude and turned it into how those events gave her something grateful to, to, to look at. That's awesome. I think people need to do more of that and by people, I mean me.

So I think that would be very helpful for me. Number four, think before you speak, and I'm going to modify this one a little bit and say, not just think before you speak in any context, but thinking about your audience and this, I think comes from social media. So for example, let's say you have a very bad day at work.

You know, you can tell your spouse or significant other, do you do your kids need to know about it? Do your neighbors need to know about it? Do you, does your best friend need to know about it? It's just something that you're going to go until your mom or your mom, maybe your mom's, your close friend. Is this something that needs to go on social media on Facebook?

Right. So a lot of people in agility you'll have hundreds or thousands of friends who aren't really your friends. Right. And remember everything that you put out on Facebook, everybody's gonna get to hear about that. And so, you know, when you have a lot of negative thoughts and negative words and things like that, and then you're blasting it out to everyone you possibly know,

you know, mostly to social media, I think that can be a bad day. So I'm not saying, you know, never be negative. I, I personally believe that that's impossible and probably not healthy. Right. Because a lot of people are gonna immediately bark back right here at us and say, well, you know, that's not, that's not healthy and it's my right and this,

that, or the other. Okay, sure. It is. But you just want to think about how you want to exercise that, right. Are you going to stand up in the middle of a movie theater and tell us about what a bum your bosses, right? Are you going to go up to a five-year-old at the park and explain to them,

you know, how much it sucks that you didn't get this promotion? You know, you want to consider your audience. And I think that's where a lot of people kind of don't consider the impact of social media. So you want to think before you speak, that's how I think about it in the context of agility. So if you have something to say,

say about a course, right? A lot of people want to do what they want to complain to all of their friends. If you have an issue with the course or, or you want to impact other people, I don't like to go with the approach of avoid that. Judge. I want to go with the attitude of, maybe I can point this out to the judge and maybe they won't do it again in the future.

Or once they hear two or three people complain about it over a couple different trials, then it's something that comes out of their arsenal of course design. And oftentimes when you talk to a judge, they're very well aware of that issue. Like you go over there and you're like, Hey, this there's only five feet between the end of this triple, which is the last obstacle and the ring gate,

you know, can we do something about it? And he's like, yeah, yeah. You know, I already, I already see that that's an issue. Let me, I'm glad you said something. Let me see what I can do, but it was already on their mind or something. Right. And that's very different from just complaining about it.

One of the things that I want to say about this is the thing that has helped me most with this because I am someone who can be prone to outbursts in a competitive sports environment. I know that from basketball and water polo and football and volleyball, I mean, there's no sport that I play, that I would start computer games, poker, any of those things,

I can be prone to outbursts for any number of reasons. But I think what has helped me the most specifically in dog agility is doing our before and after courses because we, we basically do them right after the runs, right. We finished the runs. We go, we call down the dog or put them away or whatever, whatever, Sarah, hands us an iPad.

And then we have to analyze what has happened. And before video review came before there was the coaches eye, before there was slow motion and all that stuff. So often people and myself, you blame the dog, right? Well, she dropped a bar, she did this, we messed up this time. She went off course. And then with the coaches I,

you came to see, I came to see even with very experienced dogs, even with years of teamwork together, the handler was almost always making a mistake. Right? There's always something that you could have done a little bit better or something that you did incorrectly Or something that was not, that was an honest mistake on the dog's fault. You see them literally slipped.

Yeah, exactly. And you just couldn't see it live. You didn't see what had happened. And so that immediately cools the anger because you have no reason to be angry. And so I think that's something that all of us can do in agility. Right? You can all review your runs immediately afterwards and just say, Hey, I'm gonna, I'm going to try and be calm.

And then let me review this run and, and go from there. All right. Number five, make a list of what you have learned. I think this is pretty cool. And Jennifer's story about her student definitely is something that I think about here because people don't often take the time to kind of document what they're doing with their dogs. And it's something that everybody says,

right? Oh, journal, keep a journal, write it down. This happens even in the medical field, right. As a physician, you come in, someone comes in and they have a problem. And the first thing I want to know is, okay, your blood pressure is high here in the office, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure.

The first thing I'm gonna ask you to do is to measure your blood pressure every day for like a month, and then come back with a piece of paper with all the data here for me. Right? And so that's information that you're learning about yourself and your own health, and then we can go from there and you can do the same thing with agility.

The great thing about doing this, taking this step is suddenly you're going to start to feel good about yourself. When you think about all the things that your dog can do or does well, even for an area that you're really struggling. So let's say it's, we've pull entries and your dog has one problem with one particular entry. If you kind of take a step back and you list all the different entries that your dog can do and all the different skills that they have around that you can see,

okay, well, you know, this really is just this one thing. And you can just, it kind of changes your attitude toward that problem. You know, it gives you that sense of pride, which is going to balance against that sense of frustration that you're having with that issue. So anytime you run into a problem or an issue, I think it's really nice to list out all the things that you've learned that you're good at.

I think that's a pretty important, I feel like everybody has the experience one time with each dog where all of the sudden they realize how much their dog knows. And a lot of times there'll be some precipitating event. It might be you handle somebody else's dog, or you get a new puppy. And then all of a sudden you're like, Holy smokes,

buddy. You know, a lot of agility, great job. And so I think making this list is a way to put yourself in that frame of mind and use it to your advantage rather than waiting for that one moment where you have an epiphany of how much your dog knows and agility. Yeah, I agree. And this is, I think kind of will help with that whole,

I call it perfection paralysis where you're trying so hard to be perfect. And so nothing seems good enough, the turn wasn't tight enough, the weeds weren't fast enough, take the time to make a list of what you've learned, what your dog is good at and congratulate yourself. Feel good about your accomplishments. You know, again, we're always trying to,

whenever you go into kind of a learning environment, like a class or a private, you know, you're always thinking about, well, what can be better? Right. You're trying to learn, you're trying to improve. You're trying to make it better. So you kind of often go into it with that mindset of, well, it's not good enough.

It's gotta be better, but sit back and feel good about the journey you've had up to this point. And I think, you know, doing that really changes a lot of the things already in the four elements we've talked about before, this changes your attitude, which can change your friends, you know, staying in a positive way, all of this,

all of those things Completely agree. Number six, find the good in everyone. And I think this is very important for people who can be a judgemental or overly competitive. And I think I definitely fall into this category because I will often look at things just in terms of pure training and competition and people don't take it that way. Right. So if I'm going to say,

for example, let's say someone's struggling with a fun cross. I'm going to be like, you know, your footwork, wasn't good. It was in the wrong place. So let's go ahead and do it again. And let's try and do X, Y, and Z. Okay. And some people might find that acceptable or neutral. Sure. But what's missing there is finding the good and what they did.

Right. And so it's, it's a better approach. I think, as a, an instructor, a student, just a person in life to kind of pair that with something positive. Okay. So I might say those exact words, but the sentence before that is going to be, that was much better than the one you just did. Okay. Your footwork was a little bit better instead of eight step front cross,

it was a six different front cross. We're going to shoot for a four step front cross this time, you know, let's work on it. Or at the end of a tough session, you want to say, I know that was really tough. We're all tired and exhausted. It's really hot out here, but this was so much better than a month ago.

You know, you were, you weren't even coming close to getting through this novice course. And today you remembered where all the obstacles were or whatever. Right. You're looking for that positive stuff. If this has even affected the way that I do feedback analysis, right. Because in my mind I used to assume, well, whatever they do well, they know they did well.

And I'm just here to point out all the errors. Right. And I was even worse with high level competitors. Right? So you have these, a national international level people, they come to you, they want their stuff like that. And I would just assume that they knew what they were doing well, all right. And I would just say,

okay, here are the primaries. This is where you lost some time compared to so-and-so. And you know, this is where you need to improve. But one people don't always know where they did well, but two, even if they do know that, right, it just makes them feel better. And they take that information better for whatever reason. And I know that I appreciate it for myself.

And so, you know, I don't, I don't see any harm in this. And I see a lot of benefit here. And so find the good in everyone. Doesn't just apply to life. But I think is very relevant in how we present feedback in agility. And I give you one more, Jennifer, what do you think about this? Find the good in your organizations.

So if you're going to complain about changes that are happening or things that are going on, as they relate to an organization or rules, why don't you preface your comments with what's good about that organization? Yeah. If I have some feedback to give or something, for sake of a better word, negative, whether it be to a student, whether it be to a colleague,

whether it be about something, an organization, I always try to, I call it a kind of a poop sandwich, start with something good. Put the poop in the middle and then end with something good. Oh, we could use another four-letter word if we wanted to. But, so, so if, if I, if I do have something that is negative,

maybe negative, you know, a student comes up with this, what would you think about that run? We're going to start off with something. They did great. Talk about something. Maybe they could have worked on an improved and then finish up with something else that went really well. And that's, you know, that's kind of, if I'm going out of my way to be asked my opinion or giving my opinion,

if I'm just a bystander would talking or watching or what, I just try to cut out the middle part, just, you know, focus on something good. You can see these runs. And it's very easy to be critical. Ringside watching people, particularly if you don't know them, I feel like it's easier because you, you don't have any vested interest.

Maybe they're not a close friend or they're new to the area to sit and go, Oh, what the heck was she doing there? What, what move was that? You know, don't sit there and go, you know, the negative go out. That was, that was an awesome dog walk performance, you know, or whatever. There's no value to be gained by talking about what,

how flow their dog was. And the weevils like who's valuing from that. Nobody is valuing from that, but focus on something else. That was good. So with regard to the organization, it's the same thing. If I, you know, think about something that I don't like, whether it be a organization that offers agility or even, you know,

a specific venue, specific location that holds trials, Hey, they have a really, really nice big field to walk the dogs. I wish the practice jump area would be a little bigger, but you know, they, they do, you know, they're really nice to their guests and make sure that everyone's, you know, greeted and, and the doors open on time or whatever,

you know, kind of get that feedback in the middle, but make sure you're focusing on the good things as well. Yeah. I think that's a really good life skill, but I think it gets kind of lost in agility. And like I said, that's an area that I want to work on because I'm, I'm just, I I'm in total coach mode,

you know, you walk up to me and you're like, Oh, I want to be able to do 20 pushups and we have a session and you only do 18. I'm going to be like, come on. Let's, let's go, let's try and get it next time. Instead of, you know, Hey, you only did 10 last time.

This is an amazing improvement. All right. Number seven, do good deeds. And I love this one because I don't think if I, if I hadn't read this article, I would have never thought of this. But as soon as I read it, I was like, Oh, this is, this is where it is because actions speak louder than words.

And the article says, you know, sometimes during the smallest favors can reap the best rewards. And they even have the example that I like to do. I started doing this in a jelly and it's holding the door for someone. And the other thing I'll do is as people are going out to their vehicles and you know, they don't always have a,

what do you call those things like a bike or a Dolly. Okay. And they have a lot of stuff I will offer. Do you want me to hold your dog or walk your dog right here? Let me carry this. Right. Or let me, yeah, let me just let me help you out. Okay. And it's such a powerful thing because one it's so helpful,

right? When somebody helps you in your holding all this stuff, and you've got three dogs on three leashes in one hand, and you're holding a crate in your backpack and everything on the other, you know, so that's gonna make you feel good. But I think this is very powerful for people who can come off like, or who can be actually a negative or never smiles or whatever,

or, or in my case, right. People are always like, dude, that guy never smiles. He's a very serious person, smiling. It takes so many muscles or takes no muscles at all. I always forget. But anyway, I, I really liked that because for people like that, it it's like putting a, some money in the bank.

You can cash out later, right. If you're having a bad day or if you have some kind of outbursts, there'll be like, you know, okay. They, they were, they had a bad run. And for just a moment, they, they were like overreacting in the ring or at the end of the run. But this is someone who always helps me out with my stuff and is looking out for me and,

and reminding me that, Oh, the, the course walk is going on in the other room and I'm, I'm late to it. Right. They know that I'm, I'm missing my walkthrough or whatever. And you know, that can change the way that people think about you. So just, you know, go out there and do those little things.

I like how Jen was talking about compliments. Like how many times have I had a bad run? And someone came and said, Oh, but get she's dog walk was amazing. And it makes you feel better. I think it's particularly valuable or helpful. And I, I don't know, maybe this is just me when it, when it comes from somebody unexpected,

maybe somebody not in your inner circle, because if you're my best friend and I have a crappy run, you're my best friend. Of course, you're going to come up and be like, that's okay. He had a great dog walk and you're going to sit there. Go. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're my best friend. His course, you're going to say that.

Right. But when somebody who, you know, maybe isn't in your inner circle, somebody who's maybe out of town, doesn't see you as run as much or somebody that trains at a different facility when they kind of, if I say, go out of their way to come over and be like, Hey, that was, that was a really, really,

really nice, we pull entry for whatever reason. It, it kind of like almost just carries more weight and it makes you feel really, really good. I know I've I experienced that firsthand and I did not realize it was happening until my best friend called me out and said, Hey, I told you that same thing, you didn't seem to care.

I said, wow. And I sat back and I looked back on. I said, well, you're right. Because you know, you tell me that all the time. And it's hard for me to say, did you really mean it? Or are you just being my best friend? But it was really eyeopening because I do kind of like, I'm doing good deeds.

I'm not going to just go, you know, help my friend carry herself to her car. But like somebody, I don't know, or somebody, I don't talk to a lot help them out as well. And I think that, you know, again, it makes everybody feel better. You feel good because you helped somebody and they feel good that,

Oh, wow. You know, they do care. Even though I don't talk to them a lot. It shows they're willing to help me out. And sometimes it's not even just doing good deeds, but like just a quick text message. I mean, I guess that's doing something and saying, Hey, I caught the, you know, your jumper's run today and didn't see you after the run,

but wow. What an awesome run. And like, they get that at 6:00 PM sitting in their hotel room. And that just makes them, you know, feel better about the day. So, you know, telling them they're going to, and, and I'll input here since we're almost a number eight, but I think we got to look at this also from kind of a,

a student instructor thing as well. We've talked a lot about being with your friends are bad mouthing judges, but tell your instructor when they've done something good and tell them, Hey, that front cross, that you've been helping me with. I did it at the show and we won the class because your instructor then is feeling good about that. And then when they're in a good mood,

they're more positive to you and it's this vicious circle. And I think we talk a lot about how the instructor can make things positive for the student, but having been on the instructing side is also really nice when a student comes up and be like, Hey, that lesson plan was awesome. And I really appreciated you taking the time to go over how to do that blind cross.

Cause I used it and it worked, you know, or going up to the show chair and saying, Hey, this was a really great run show. It was really awesome because I guarantee you that show chair is getting around a toilet paper. Somebody parked in my parking spot, somebody didn't pick up to your jumpers. Aren't long enough. So it's really nice to have somebody come up and say,

you know, Hey, great show. I love that you, you know, spent the extra time or the extra dollars on better trophies or, you know, whatever the case is. Glad you said that because it is so true that every email that we get where people tell us that they liked a particular podcast or from a student where they say I went to a trial and I had so much success.

And I'm so excited about the progress that I've made. I don't think that they realize how important that is to instructors and how instructing can be emotionally. You are putting a lot of your own energy into your students and just those little emails give you so much of that energy back to then put back into your students again. And I think that sometimes students are almost intimidated to,

to talk to their instructors in a, in that kind of way in that more casual way. But I think it really is important to that entire loop. Yeah. It's, there's definitely a lot of heart and soul and energy put into it. I think as a student, you sometimes think, you know, I'm just a job. I just showed up for that one hour private lesson and less,

but as an instructor, it's like, they're an extra limb. Their successes are my successes and their failures are my failures because I helped them get there or not get there. So when they fail, you know, I take it to when they succeed, I take it to, and so, you know, there there's so much wrapped up in that,

that I think sometimes people, you know, kind of forget about, and I think the little things really, really do help and go a long way. Yeah. So I really like number seven, this idea of doing good deeds and I, and I wanted to give everybody before we move on, I wanted to give everybody a good deed that they can do that supports everybody's agility videotape.

So if you can think of something to do, if you don't see somebody who needs help carrying look for that person who is walking around with their dog and their phone looking lost and say, do you need me to videotape your run? So that's my selfish. If you can't think of anything, that's embarrassing because you know, separate from this whole positivity thing,

that's one of our other passions is Yeah, I want to do even more here. I feel like I've done a pretty good here for the last several years, because I think for the first part of my career, I would see all these amazing things, but I would never say anything to those people, I would think, wow, that was amazing.

But you know, since that time now when I see an amazing tutor, I'm like, that's, that's an amazing Teeter. Or you have an amazing such and such breed. I've never seen such a breed like that. You know, someone run like that. And so I think those, those are so powerful for people. And so we're often in a good position to see it because we're doing the commentary for the challenge around and,

and finalists and nationals. And I wish that I can go and talk with every single person because we see and comment on every single run and say, you know, this was great. That was great. And we try to do that in our commentary. All right. And number eight, this is also a big one. And I wouldn't have thought to have included it on any kind of list.

Like, would you have put this on your list of how to be a good student or instructor maybe in a sarcastic way, but number eight is to smile, right? And, and the article knows that it's a great way to communicate to others that you're open and positive. And it's a truth that smiling and laughter it can really improve your attitude, your mood,

and make things better. I feel like there's someone in every agility, geographical area who is like this, they, they find the good in everyone. They compliment people. They help you out. They smile all the time for us here in Texas. There are several such people. But the one that I always think about of course is Maggie Downy. I Love there've been times where I thought,

I'm not sure if I want to do agility for at least that day or that week, but I'm like, Maggie's out there, she's out there and she's doing the agilities, I'm going to get out there and I'm going to do this. I'm going to do this for Maggie. And Maggie is just so supportive. Not, not, not any kind of a bad bone or gossipy bone in her body.

She she's somehow apart and above in a way from all of the such things like an agility angel, she is, yes. She's like an agility angel, but it's that great smile that she always has. And you, you never feel like Maggie is negative or down on anything or anyone. And she uses a lot of the things that we've talked about here in this article to create that relationship with other competitors.

And I think if we all tried to aspire to be like Maggie, rather than aspiring to be like a, you know, a champion, you know, let's get a, let's get a healthy mix in here. Then I think trials would be, be more pleasant. You know, it'd be a better for everybody For everybody. So Jennifer, do you have someone in your area that's like that?

Yeah, we do. We have a couple of them. We have one person and you know, it it's class it's and she's cheering. She's woo. You got the blind cross in, you know, and you don't, you don't see that at, at class a lot and she's just always, always supported new old. She's been in class with you for years or she's,

you're brand new to the class. She's always, you know, hollering, supporting you great job, you know, nothing, nothing, nothing negative about our, so I think absolutely striving to be more like that, you know? And on that smile thing, you know, I'll hear people brag, Oh, I have resting bitch face. Like that's not something I want to brag about.

You're only about to bring that up. And then I thought, well, you know, Stefan has this nice wrap up. I know it's all I can think about when I read number eight. And it said, smile. I wouldn't say yes, smile be happy. You know, you never know when somebody is taking a photo and you're in the background with your arms crossed glaring into the run at AKC nationals,

you know, or somebody really wants to ask you a question and they're afraid like obviously, yeah, you don't need to sit there 24 seven with a fake grin. But I don't think saying, Oh, I, I have a resi is something to be too excited about. I mean, I control it so much, but smile, as Esteban said,

it takes way more muscles to frown than it does to smile. That's true. So I was going to bring it up because I actually finally Googled, I'd heard people talk about that. And I just, from the words, I kind of pieced together what I thought it meant. And I was pretty much right. And it's just that you're you were relaxed.

Face looks negative. Right? That's what it basically is. And they've done studies on it and everything. This was like four days ago that I Googled this so funny that you bring it up. But the one thing that I wanted to say about it is that it is real. Like they've studied it and it's real and it's not necessary. It doesn't reflect that person or,

or, or the, whether they're negative or positive. Right. It's just how they look when they're not, when they're not engaged when they're completely relaxed. And so on the one hand I wanted people to be aware, like, just because somebody looks grumpy, especially if they're sitting alone doing nothing doesn't mean that they are grumpy. And then the second point that I wanted to give was that if you know that,

yeah, I, yeah. When, when I'm relaxed, I look like that, you know, it sucks to be me. Like the more engaged you are with other people. Like you don't have that face when you're talking, you know, you don't have that face when you're laughing. You don't have that face when you're in the middle of a conversation with people.

So if you know, you have that face, you know, you, maybe you just spend a little extra time being social They're excellent points. Exactly. Yeah. I like it. I like it. I think all of this obviously, cause we gave you concrete examples to that effect be applied to social Media. You know, I think of a person who smiles a lot because they,

they use emojis, but they're also always positive. They find the good in everyone. I'm gonna give a shout out to Tara bagman because yeah, I, in my own Facebook feed, so how many of you can can say this? I I've weeded out my Facebook feed so much that I can actually scroll through the end of the news feed in less than a minute,

every day. That's how few posts are showing up on my day. I just scroll through it. It's nothing but puppies and love and agility and goodness and good people. The reason is because every negative remark earned that person right out of your shoe, right under your feet Done the right there is Tara and people like her. So, you know, shout out to,

to her for, for bringing a lot of positivity to the sport with real smiles and with virtual smiles so much appreciated here. All right. And I think that does it for this week's podcast. So hopefully everybody got a lot out of this, go back and take a look at the list and think about for yourself, what you want to do on these eight points,

but incorporate some of them. And then what the three of us are expecting is an email in a couple of weeks from you out there telling us how you've done a couple of these things and how it really made you feel better about yourself, your dog and your agility. And that's it for this week's podcast. We'd like to thank our sponsors. One tdc.com

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