On the third day of the camp it was time to let the dogs rest and instead concentrate on the handler's point of view. First, both the body and mind got to relax with a morning yoga session. Having achieved a perfect peace of mind, it was time for the workshop and some free-flowing thinking. The goal of the workshop was to discuss the many attributes of agility - both positive and negative - as well as discuss OneMind Dogs methodology and the website. Both topics stirred up some very lively discussion and a lot of wonderful feedback for developing the site further.
Next off, OMD coach Kayl McCann gave us an account of her route into the world of OneMind Dogs methodology. In 2011, Jaakko and Janita were giving a seminar in the States which Kayl decided to attend. Once there, it was a revelation that a lot of the things were the same she had been thinking about. With OMD, handling alone was not really the thing but understanding agility itself - the movement, positioning, always thinking about the line and not the next obstacle. And what do you know, rather soon Kayl found herself coaching OMD methods herself.
A huge part of succeeding in agility has to do with maintaining the right mindset at competitions. Mental training skills are essential for success: for setting goals, preparing for competitions, focusing and managing disturbances and nervousness, just to name a few. One should learn about ones' sport and about who you are - your strengths, weaknesses, soft spots or difficult areas. Sport psychology coach Vappu Alatalo presented the importance of mental preparation together with the case of Tuulia Liuhto.
Tuulia's case was one to aptly demonstrate the effect of positive thinking. Tuulia is as perfectionist as a person can be and always comparing herself to others. More often than not, she automatically thought she would fail. At one point it was evident that her technical skills were very good but it was not enough - the mental side was getting in the way of her success. As Vappu recounted, people as competitive and ambitious as Tuulia often break themselves a bit. She was ready technically but there was a lot of other things missing. It is these types of mental blocks that the mental coaching process addressess, trying to restructure a person's mindset into one that will promote success instead of hindering it.
The day's training ended with an awesomely explosive demonstration of flyball by Kayl and some of the OMD coaches. A compelling sport, flyball definitely offers a whole lot of fun if one wants to do something different from agility. Later on the same day, the coaches and camp participants gathered for an evening of relaxation at Noora's place. The camp-goers got to hear a bit more about our coaches and got a taste of traditional Finnish barbeque and sauna. The evening did certainly not run short of laughter!