Where Should You Visualize? – Bad Dog Agility Academy

Where Should You Visualize?

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  • Lisa Ann Koenigs says:

    I do visualize now if for no other reason that I want to make sure that I can remember the course and the “dance” steps (crosses, placement, distance from my dog, and so on). I also visualize a different plan if my dog is slower or faster than I intend.

    However it has never occurred to me to visualize from different sides of the ring (when I can access them). Currently I have only been visualizing from the start line viewpoint.

    So to start visualizing when standing on different sides of the ring am I still visualizing it in first person (from the start line) or in the third person as a spectator watching us run the course (e.g. camera view)? Should I visualize the whole run from the side or just the segments that would be more visually relevant from that side of the ring? I’m intrigued about this suggested addition to my routine. Thank you for your help.

    • Sarah Fernandezlopez says:

      We had an interesting discussion on this “point of view” question. We realized that after teaching online for a almost a decade, we had inadvertently built the skill of having a pretty good sense of how we look from a third person point of view.

      I think it’s most helpful for sections of the course where something interesting happens but the view from the starting point is poor.

      If you’ve built the skill it can help you have a good feel for where you can get to and where you will be relative to your dog.

  • magysagility@aol.com says:

    My visualization also incorporates verbals more for myself than my dog for example when I need to decel for a tight wrap cue or when to start body rotation for a J turn.

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      Yes, you should always be able to visualize both your dog and yourself so you know WHAT you should be doing relative to WHAT your dog is doing at that moment.

  • mklsmile says:

    I always thought visualization had to be done in my head with my eyes closed. Is that right, or is it okay to visualize your run while looking at the course?

    • Sarah Fernandezlopez says:

      You can absolutely do it while looking at the course. I do think it’s better to look at the actual course (like ringside) rather than a map. You want to visualize what your dog looks like as they take the jumps, what their line will be, etc. Not simply reproduce the path in your head.

      So you can do this as you look out over the course, or you can do this in your mind with your eyes closed, or while looking off into the distance. Anywhere you can focus.

      At first, you may find it hard to tune out everything else. If you’re visualizing while looking at the course and another dog is running, you may naturally follow them with your eyes. But with practice you’ll be able to tune all that out.

  • degansndog@hotmail.com says:

    I walk the dogs line and check for traps then walk my line. Sometimes I do little spurt runs where I see a challenge but can’t run the whole course at my age or I would be too weak (sometimes a pinched nerve in my back gives me weak knees) to make the real run if it is too close to my turn. Whenever possible I will stand outside of the ring and visualize my plan. I will continue to review and review all of the good advice that is given here. If I can keep “MY” mind focused we usually do pretty good.

  • Sue & the Ratties says:

    I cannot tell you how important this module is to me. I’ve always had problems with my runs during trial. (Note mine, not my dog’s.). So far I have noticed this makes a real difference in handling in practice. I’ve reviewed this advice often and will need to keep coming back to it as trialing starts up again. Thanks so much!

    • Sarah Fernandezlopez says:

      You’ve made a great point about repetition. I think it’s true of ALL mental and mindset skills that you need to review what you already know.

      In recording the podcast, I often find that I’m them better about doing the things I know I SHOULD be doing. Even when we know things, we need to be reminded of them.

  • rmcgrath says:

    Personally, I memorize the obstacle order off the map, then walk my dog’s line looking for traps, then walk my line and figure out handling a few times, then when most others are done walking, I run the course full speed once or twice, followed by visualization for a few minutes. I feel like this helps me feel my timing when visualizing and ultimately when running.

    • Sarah Fernandezlopez says:

      That is almost exactly my process as well. When I first started in agility, my instructor taught me to walk once from the dog’s point of view, look for the off course traps, what they see coming down contacts and out of tunnels, etc. Then start my walk for my handling. It’s a practice I still do today. And I also like to try to get in a full speed run when possible.

  • loisronis@gmail.com says:

    Feedback please I feel that my visualization process is the more difficult approach because I am having too much trouble actually seeing the course so I have to memorize during my walkthru

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