Training Momentum Tip Series by Kelly Murrell
To ensure your training momentum is boosted, take time out of the day to day norm and read something new, watch a new dog training video. Seek out inspiration! Attend a new training event or even come and visit us for a training holiday! Keep the spark lit, keep it up.
1. Setting goals
With winter fast approaching, thoughts now turn to winter training plans and 2019 goals. Whether you have aspirations of achieving success at an agility competition next year or turning a particular training struggle around, everyone should set themselves some training goals…no matter how big or small!
Goal setting is important as it helps to keep your mind focussed on what training you should be doing, rather than aimlessly practising something you have done countless times before or continuing to play the same game, the same way. It is very easy to become very comfortable in your training sessions and setting goals forces you to step outside your comfort zone! This is so important! Any training game or skill needs to be moved on and progressed. Challenging yourself and your dog is how you move forward.
2. Coming up with a training plan
We get it, you know you need to work on building a skill, but you don’t have a clear plan as to how to facilitate it. Or maybe you have some many things to work on you don’t know where to start?!
Before grabbing your training bag and dog, spend some time with pen and paper in hand (or at your computer!) coming up with a plan of action. We suggest that you write down EVERYTHING you need to work on to start off with. Get it all down on paper! Now, there is likely to be a lot, so it can be a bit overwhelming, but writing it all down is the first step! Now you have everything written down, start to pick the games/skills that you know your dog needs the most now. Write up a separate list with these.
From this new list pick 3 things and work on those 3 things for the next 3 weeks. Continue with this; picking 3 new things to work on for 3 weeks until you have achieve that list. Then go back to your original ‘all-games/skills-needed’ list and select more skills from there…and so on.
Having everything written down and then picking off things that you need to work on first will really keep your mind focussed and it’ll keep you striving forward.
3. Jot down your journey
Take notes, video yourself! Recording your training journey is crucial to your success. However, note taking is an art form if done properly. When you are recording info on your training session keep these 3 things in mind:
- What went well in the session and why
- What didn’t go so well and why
- What needs tweaking for next time
Keeping your notes nice and succinct will give meaning to them and help you to progress. Jotting down random info may not necessarily help you and looking back on your notes might be confusing!
4. Ask for feedback
Asking for feedback can be scary and so it is sometimes something we avoid. Feedback should be just that, feedback not criticism. Know who you can ask for feedback. There are many dog training groups on Facebook these days. Posting training videos to this groups can leave you open to not-so-nice comments so we wouldn’t recommend it. However, Facebook is the easiest way to upload videos for others to watch. With this in mind, you can create your own group and invite only those you trust to it. Alternatively if you see a trainer regularly, video your at-home sessions and show them at class to ask for their thoughts.
Feedback from your peers is important, but you can certainly give yourself feedback too by watching yourself back on video and critiquing what you see. Its amazing what you will pick up just by watching yourself back!
5. Keep it up!
With your training plan written down, and your note-taking in full swing pushing ahead with your training goals will be easier and much more achievable. Keep at it!
However, we see the scenario of momentum being high at the start, then it starts to dwindle over time. This happens to lot of us! This is totally normal by the way! If we showed momentum on a graph, it would gradually start to drop as the weeks and months go by.
To keep your spark lit and help boost your training momentum, we have an expert team who help students! We can help you to achieve your goals, and make your dreams a reality! For more info, head to:
Check out more of our Thursday training blogs HERE.