Practice from a Coach’s Perspective

There is nothing more thrilling than watching a team you are involved with come into the ring and lay down absolutely great runs.   That is the thrill I have been getting at each practice and that expect I will continue to get over the next 3 days s Team USA meets and conquors every challenge these judges will throw at them. 

Along that line, watching all 3 teams practice today made me very proud to be a part of this team.  All12 handlers made the most of the 18 minutes of practice time.  There were 3 set ups; each team spent 5:30 at each set up.  They had developed their practice plans ahead of time so when they stepped into the ring, they didn’t have to spend any time planning or walking the courses.  18 minutes may not sound like much time, but try it sometime!  Today’s practice was all about building confidence.  Its not the day to make sure you can hit that threadle or weave pole entrance, but to try and expose your dog to what it may encounter in the competition:  how does the footing hold up under a really sharp weave pole entrance; how is the traction in the main ring and similar things.  All the dogs handled the footing, equipment and challenges just fine–as we expected.

After practice, we had a great team dinner at a little local Italian restaurant where Coach Nancy & Team Leader Andy filled the team in on the details they learned at the Team Leaders’ Meeting.   Team returned to the hotel about 8:00 pm and most of them walked their dogs and crashed.  Tomorrow is an early day.

— Assistant Coach Kathie Leggett

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