Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Diamonds are a girls best friend



Or so I hear…

Well, the Pre-Competition Routines for Big Events program has been out for a couple of days now and already we’re getting some very positive feedback. And we haven’t even started with the webinars yet.

I wanted to share some comments from a couple of agility handlers who jumped on board the program Friday. The first comes from Carol Schiefer in California.

“Lately, I’ve felt like I haven’t been much of a teammate for my dog. I’ve experienced a lot of “almost” perfect runs. I was stepping to the line wondering what would go wrong this time. Last night, I signed up for John’s program. I read his E book, and worked on my pre-trial routine for today’s trial. I was careful to follow my plan to the letter. I’m amazed to report that we got a double q. (It had been 5 months since our last.) Thanks, Susan, for sharing John’s program with the agility community!”

The fun for Carol didn’t stop there. The next day she posted again.

“I am loving this course. Can you say back to back double q’s? Trace and I got another one today!”

That’s fantastic. There’s nothing better than getting rewarded for all the hard work you’ve put into your training.

The second comment was an email from Evelyn Constantinidis from Switzerland, she wrote:

Hi John

You must be MAGIC – I downloaded the e-book and the video yesterday, just had a few mintues to look at some things today and then had to leave for a trial …

On the way there I was thinking about my pre-competition routines … thinking back and brought back that wonderful clean run I had at Nationals in July… ever since then I was waiting for another clean run in that one particular run (the one that counts for whether you can try out for the world team for next year).. sure I had great runs but never in the run that really counts! Well, today it happened :) I had a clean run with my wonderful Only, still far from a perfect run – but I sure managed to keep cool today and focus on the essential. I will watch the video tonight and do it again tomorrow — sure felt awesome today !!

Thanks and best regards from Switzerland

I just loved hearing this! Now, there are no guarantees that everyone will get these results this fast; however, with a little bit of work, this program can and will help you boost your mental game and get those great performance more often and with more enjoyment!

Now some important updates. First the webinars. We have some tentative dates set.

  • Webinar #1 November 25, 2010
    • Visualization in Agility – Developing your Imagery Skills
  • Webinar #2 December 08, 2010
    • Knowing what to include in your Pre-competition Routine
  • Webinar #3 December 15, 2010
    • Power Phrases, Triggers, and Performance Cues

I’m really pumped about this. The webinars will give me an opportunity to provide more detailed information about some of the subtleties in optimizing your pre-competition routines. And, with your feedback and questions, I’ll be able to address some of the groups common sticking points and help you get that killer routine that will set you up for consistent high level performances.

We’ll also get an inside look into one of Agility’s winningest handler’s pre-competition routines. Susan Garrett won’t be holding anything back (like she ever does) when she explains the ins and outs of her routine and how it has let her perform at an elite level more consistently, without forsaking the fun of the sport. You’ll also get to see how some small changes can make big differences when it’s time to play.

More Good News

Susan Garrett's Without Pressure We Get No Diamonds


I’ve got some more good news too. Since I have invited Susan to join me with the launch of the Pre-Competition Routine for Big Events program, she’s been really wanting to make this something special. A program with a lot of value. And if you’ve spoken to Susan, you know that she’s all about value. And she’s delivering.

We are now adding to the program… Susan’s own eBook, Without Pressure, We Get No Diamonds.

In her eBook, Susan walks you through a series of scenarios to get you focused on how the pressure you place on yourself can impact your performance. Susan also delves into how overcoming fear of failure allows you to elevate your game and get more enjoyment out of playing agility to the fullest. You can find out more about “Without Pressure, We Get No Diamonds” at Susan’s blog.

So if you’ve been thinking of joining us in this program, I can’t think of a better Monday morning surprise! When you click on the link to learn more about the program, Susan’s eBook is now part of the bundle. For those of you that jumped on board early – don’t worry – you’re in on the deal too. I will be sending an email out to you all this morning with a link to download Susan’s eBook.

Happy Monday! Sharpen those pencils and get to work… and keep those great updates on your successes coming my way. I love to hear all about them!

Leave A Reply (22 comments so far)

The comments are closed.

  1. Karen
    7 years ago

    John – thanks so much for doing this! If we have specific questions about our pre-competition routine, and about the work we’re doing in the workbook, do you want us to post to your blog or do you want us to email you our questions?

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      @Karen – If you feel comfortable posting it on the blog then go for it. More people will be able to learn from your questions. If you have them, I’m sure there will be a lot of others that are thinking the same thing.

  2. Caroline
    7 years ago

    apparently copy and paste is not allowed?

    Evelyn said she downloaded the ebook and video. Did not see a video when I signed up.

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      @Caroline – the download instructions and link to the video should have been sent to you via email. If you didn’t receive them please let me know and I’ll send them out right away.

  3. Sally
    7 years ago

    Its interesting – I am still tossing up over purchasing the package as its a little bit of a stretch money wise at present however just from the information I have picked up from reading this blog so far and recognizing it as an area that I could improve I am already finding things a little easier.

    We had an agility trial last Saturday night – my youngster has been sitting on one leg for her first jumping title for the past few trials. The last trial I was unwell but dragged myself out of bed to go and run and it ended up a disaster. I was starting to put way to much pressure on myself because of the limited number of opportunities to finish off that remaining pass before the end of the year. We were down to our final 2 chances. I walked the jumping course on Saturday and nearly psyched myself out of it. The pressure of wanting to pass and finish the title nearly did me in.

    It was a fairly tricky course for a youngster despite the fact I know I have put in a lot of foundation work with her. Any way I pulled myself together decided there was absolutely zero consequence if she failed and we were just going to go out there and treat it like a training run. We got messed around with at the start, that would have previously thrown me off my game – I had done my lead out and the timing gear wasn’t working so I had to go back to her and start again but instead of letting it rattle me I just saw it as a training opportunity to be able to go back to my young dog in the ring and tell her she was great for waiting.

    Any way a fraction over 20 seconds later we walked out of that ring with our final pass for our title and a run that was over 8 seconds faster then any of the others. The run went almost to perfection and it just felt so great.

    So thanks both Susan and John for your wonderfully insightful blogs and for sharing your knowledge.

  4. Karen
    7 years ago

    I was able to articulate my pre-competition routine very well. I’m a little confused about doing the next exercise with respect to the time machine. It seems a simple task in identifying from the start of the run backwards to the start of the pre-competition routine how long each task takes, but I’m thinking this is also a means of double checking our pre-competition routine for any steps we may have missed in the 1st exercise. Am I right?

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      You are exactly right. There are a lot of little steps that may get missed when you review your pre-competition routine the same way you execute it. Going in reverse forces you out of your normal pattern and allows you to identify the individual steps, tasks, or actions more easily.

  5. Karen
    7 years ago

    The area that I’m struggling with is the core components 0f my pre-competition routine. Part of my pre-competition routine is making sure my dogs are as ready as I am to go into the ring yet they are also a distraction to my own readiness in that keeping them focused & ready often decreases my ability to be focused & mentally prepared to compete. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m thinking I need to address this both in my pre-competition routine as well as in my distraction plan….right? Or am I making this too complicated?

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      That’s a very good point. It’s especially important for handlers with multiple dogs to incorporate each dog’s routine into their own. It’s part of being flexible. When you work on your distraction plan, make sure that you address this issue. It may take a little trial and error, but if you monitor your performance and your routine you should be able to get your dog ready and stay focused yourself. Some of the “solutions” that you come up with in your distraction plan may find their way into your normal routine.

  6. Karen
    7 years ago

    Okay, this is my last question…for now 😉 I’m also struggling with triggers & cue words. Previous to this course, I developed 3 goals for my runs – keep my eye on my dog at all times, control my physiological response (e.g. controlled breathing), and eliminate negative self-talk. I’m not sure how to take this information & build a set of triggers & cues to use in my pre-competition routine. Thoughts?

    FYI – the timing of this has been great. I have my next trial this coming weekend so I’d love to be able to use whatever I can as a 1st draft of my plan. Thanks for all your help!

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      Those are good cues. You can make them into a mantra or power phrase that you say at the start line before you lead out. You can also pair them with a physical action. For instance, to remind yourself to stop the negative self-talk you can tap your thigh each time you catch yourself.

  7. Peggy Jones
    7 years ago

    John, I also just bought the package and downloaded the 2 e-books, one from you and one from Susan Garrett. BUT I saw no link to the video. I did get an email, but the link was to download the e-books again, no mention of the video.

    On a slightly different subject, I really hope we will be able to view the webinars after the fact. It is highly unlikely that I will be able to attend in person and I want to make sure we will have access later.

    Thank you for the help.

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      Hi Peggy,

      The video download instructions should have arrived in an email shortly after the other emails. Check your spam folder just in case. If it’s not there send me an email and I will forward it to you. As for the webinars, they will be recorded and made available to program members as streaming video on demand.

  8. Kelly
    7 years ago

    I feel a little out of the loop. I know that this is an area that I need real work on. My nerves really affected my last dog. As our career advanced he became slower and slower over the course of the weekend. You could physically see the signs of stress during competition. I get such butterflies just driving to a competition or even class. Some times I can get physically sick before a run in the bathroom. Not the way I want to continue with the young dog I have in training. I have improved a little on my own but I haven’t competed in almost 4 years. I am having trouble reviewing my pre-comp routine, it has been to long and I keep focusing on only the traumatic ones I remember. Should I switch to using my training sessions? I only get slightly nervous for those and perform relatively well for them. Will this help? Should I forge on prepared to go over this again when I do start trialing? Thanks this is just the piece of the puzzle I have been looking for!!!

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      Hi Kelly,

      It’s probably not the best idea to go over your routine that had you so nervous, especially since they were quite a number of years ago. I would start with the one that you are using now in practice and build from there. In an ideal situation, the routine you use in practice will be the one you use in competition. Make sure you monitor your successes in practice with an evaluation plan, and keep those pieces that work and toss those that don’t.

  9. Patti
    7 years ago

    John, can you please reschedule Webinar #1 that you have on November 25th?
    That’s Thanksgiving Day!!!! I bet a lot of your US participants (like me) will be traveling and sharing T-day meal with out of town family.

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      Hi Patti,

      Not to worry, we are rescheduling the first webinar.

  10. Trudie
    7 years ago

    Hi John. I had no problem downloading all the material yesterday.
    Now I have my first time-machine draft , and writing down a list of “Keep your focus on Execution” performance goals felt like reviewing my ideal run…
    I’m looking forward to going to a trial in 2 1/2 weeks time.
    I enjoy reading the other comments and looking forward to the webinar.

  11. Sonja
    7 years ago

    I never received the welcome e-mail or the mention of when the webinar will be held :(

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      Hi Sonja,

      The membership site is almost ready and you will be receiving an email letting you know that it’s ready. The webinars have tentative dates of November 27, December 8, and December 15.

  12. Michelle Fromm
    7 years ago

    I’m trying to figure out how to work a routine for myself, multiple dogs and potentially multiple runs in a very short period of time. Although the exercises indicated that the routine included everything from packing up and arriving at the trial site, I’m thinking that what I should focus on is preparing for each run with each dog. Am I on the right track? I would like to suggest tips for working with multiple dogs during the webinars. Thanks!

    • John Cullen
      7 years ago

      Yes you are on the right track. You want to start with your routine right before your performance and build outward from there. Multiple dog issues is a good suggestion.

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