Luck Versus Preparation In Dog Agility


The Mirage Of The Winner

Every year, talented dog and handler teams win world championships.

But the truth is, out of many talented handlers, it was their weekend. The next weekend, someone else could have just as easily won the crown.

The interesting thing is that in any given year, probably 20 of the teams at a big event are capable of winning. Of that 20, maybe 5 or 6 are really peaking at the correct time. And of that group, the courses will suit one team slightly better than the others, and that team will be crowned world champion.

Yet, if a different judge had put up the course or had it been a different weekend, another team would've won. 

All of the handlers in the top 20 or so are outstanding, because they work hard, sacrifice, and pay attention to detail. And all any of them can do is go out and run their best, and on the day, hope the course suits them.

When Preparation Meets Opportunity...

So how do you move into the level of being dangerous at a big event, of being 1 of those 20 who have a chance? Of running well under pressure, when it counts?

I'm sure you've heard the saying "success is when preparation meets opportunity".

Luck is that you are in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the opportunity, but you make your own luck by being prepared.

The more prepared you are, the more opportunities you can take advantage of.

You follow a road map to be ready when it counts.

But you still need the right opportunity.

There are world class handlers out there who are truly brilliant, but just haven't had the right opportunity to win a world championship. They haven't had that tiny bit of luck that comes into it.

So luck does play a small role. 

But there is the other side of the coin...

Some people get the opportunity to win a world championship, but they aren't prepared enough.

Either physically or mentally or technically or strategically they aren't ready. They didn't pay attention to their training and rest cycles. They didn't balance the volume and intensity of their training. They don't follow a road map, they just wing it.

[Don't know how to prepare? Check out my free video series on planning your training here.]

So how does this apply to you if you are just starting or have no desire to win a national or world title?

The problem is most people aren't as prepared as they think they are, and blame poor results on bad luck, or that they haven't had the opportunity. And this applies to the novice as much as the international competitor.

They will never get where they want to go until they take a hard look at their preparation. It's about taking responsiblity for training well.

Plan to Peak

It's true, you can plan your training so that everything comes together at the same time. 

The myth is that you should train 110% 365 days of the year to get results. That road leads to injury and burnout.

Training has a seasonal rhythm... an ebb and flow that you can take advantage of. When you hit it right, you peak at exactly the right time.

You build backward from your big events, and spread your training out to include weeks with pressure and intensity, weeks that are lighter, phases with more strategy, phases with more fundamentals and phases of rest.

Even if you aren't aiming for a big event, it's the correct way to train.

[Check out my free video series on planning your training here.]

Be Honest

Remember I said that 20% are good enough to win, but only 10% are truly prepared to win, and to take advantage of the opportunities presented. 

Have you done the work? Are you prepared enough? Do you really know how to train properly? Make sure you are being honest with yourself.

If you've done the work, go in and do your best job, and believe — on the day, anything can happen!

P.S. Want to get the most out of your training?

[Check out my free video series on planning your training here.]


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