onsdag 29. mai 2013

Front cross problems?

Expect problems and eat them for breakfast. - Alfred A. Montapert
Things have been going forward very much the last few weeks, and I am sure people is starting to be sick of reading about it as well. But when Leija and me have experienced so many challenges the last two years, it's always good for me to show off that things are improving, at least in the rate I feel it's going.
We are so lucky to get external advice from great agility athletes and trainers, and after a nice Skype-conversation, we got a "few" points to work on:
  1. One of the biggest things; I need to stop turning my body towards Leija when she is coming down from contacts. Somehow I think during my handling that it would be a good thing to stop her during the contacts by turning my body. However, this is a BIG no-no from me. I need to stop this movement straight away.
  2. I bend my body too much in turning movements, making Leija react the wrong way to my handling and also giving her way too much turning radius then what she really needs. When I get my body straight, she reacts quicker and her turning becomes sharper.
  3. My movement during front crosses go too much in the wrong direction and too much sidemovement instead of getting the correct movement towards the next obstacle.
The last few days we've trained some more on courses and just having fun. The below videos are from our last two trainings. The first one is a Class 2 course which we had great fun with.

This video is a partial from a front cross training course I got from my external trainer, Seppo Savikko. It's a front cross course from a different world, and the "bad" thing: this was only the first eleven obstacles. Obstacle #12 is only put like that to get a natural end to the course.

But as you can read from below, even though you fall, you pick yourself up and keep moving forward!!
Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.
Victor Kiam 

So now we will have one last competition in June, to see where and what we need to focus on for the summerbreak. It's going to be a good experience :)
You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. - Albert Einstein

Tommy & Leija

torsdag 23. mai 2013

Training progress

"Confidence comes from discipline and training. - Robert Kiyosaki"
It finally seems like we are getting some stability in our training. We (Leija and me) have continued our focus on basics, like weaves, contacts, speed and motivation, and it seems like it is working. Atleast for the time being. I know that the technical stuff is there, but I don't "need" it at the moment. Of course, our turns and focus can be improved and everything can go alot smoother, but after 2 years of struggling with this "shit", I see that we are doing so much better with focusing on the fun-part of agility.
After a week of quiet training and not really pushing Leija too much, we had an unofficial club competition yesterday, with one agility and one jumping course. It went beyond all expectations, but I think and believe that is 100% because my expectations was to just have fun.
Below is the movie from our agility run:
There is always stuff that can be improved in a run: Here the turns could be alot tighter, my body movement needs to drasticly improve and speed could be faster. However, it was a cool course, and my main focus on all training is to have fun :)

Course details; 164meter, time 39,97, clean run, 4,1mtr/s

The following link is our jumping run;

This run was abit slower, but I put that on taking her out too soon and that we only had 14 min break in between the agility run and the jumping course.
Again, I'm happy with us having fun and I see that we have some stuff to train on, but heck; what are we using training for if we are not finding out what we need to focus on?

Course details; 147 meter, time 39,37, 5 fault, 3,73mtr/s

 I wish all of my readers a good week and weekend, and hope you will keep following me :)
Tommy & Leija

onsdag 15. mai 2013

Stavanger - 10-12 May 2013

In any team sport, the best teams have consistency and chemistry - Roger Staubach

Now we've just finished this weekend's competition. Stavanger-stevnet 10-12 May.
This was our first competition this year where we decided to run the team competition also. That gave us a total of nine (9) runs during the weekend. At the end of the third day, this was very clear that it was a few runs too many.
I started the weekend on friday morning, taking the judges on a sightseeing trip in downtown Stavanger and for some lunch. It was a relaxing start to a tough weekend.
Our competition started on Friday evening, and we had a "perfect" weather for agility;
It seemed that the judges were prepared atleast and Lene Cecilie & me had our tent to sit under. That was a life-saver ;)
My first run of the day was Jumping 1, with Pertti Siimes as a judge. It was a super cool course, with great lines and alot of speed for me and Leija. Unfortunately we did not manage to finish the course, but I really liked the course ;)
After we finished this part, Leija and me started our first team-run in a year. It was a "schmashing" success :) We managed the entire course with nothing more than five faults, due to me testing something in competition that I haven't tried before; wrong side weaves :) But how can you improve if you are afraid of trying? ;)
In agility 1 it didn't go so well, and both me and Leija were tired and soaking wet....
I would like to have had some movies of the runs, but I was on my own and thus no movies :) Probably the best, as I don't need to re-live those horrible runs :P hahaha...
The day started wet. It was raining in waves all day, but that didn't prevent the sun from poking through from time to time. Todays judge was Michel Liekens, from Belgium. One of the strangest things about this judge, was the fact that he had NO COURSE DRAWINGS, what-so-ever.. He designed them during building and then had a small writing pad he drew them on after he was done, so that he would design them when he got home :) It was some GREAT courses, with a few traps and mistakes that I fell for, but 100% handler mistakes..
Jump 1:
This was a fun-filled speed course with alot of good speed in both Leija and me. I wish I had a video of this run, because it was a great run, and only microscopic error by myself made this a disqualify.
Agility 1;
After a long day, we finally had the last agility run of the day. I spent a few extra seconds on the contacts just to make sure I got them all, but then again, it didn't look like I had to :)

Unfortunately there seems to be a problem with Youtube and matching videos to my account, so if you would like to watch some of the runs, please go to this address, it will take you directly to my user, where all videos are listed :)

But back to the run; we did great. Finished first with a clean run and the last one we needed to go onwards into Grade 2 :)
After the competition, myself and Lene Cecilie took the judges out for a nice walk and dinner downtown. We had a very good evening, some good food and wine, together with alot of agility discussions :)

This was a great start of the last day :) We saw the sun :) The area was dry and there was even some t-shirts out in the world :)

Jump 1:
If there was ever a time to say almost, this was the run. Both myself and the judge are 100% conviced that if I had been 5 millisecond slower in the handling, then I would have nailed the run :) Atleast up to that point :) Then maybe, just maybe I could start in jump 2 in Bergen, which will be our next competition.
Agility 2:
This was our debut in grade 2. As we have trained alot on more complicated courses than grade 1 & 2, this was not too difficult to find good lines and know where to do changes. However, what I need to do in these situations, is give Leija the room she needs to do the obstacles correct. Otherwise I will get these unnescessary denials that we got in this run. Again, Youtube is fu***** up, so please go to this address if you want to see the run.
Teams on Sunday was the last run of the weekend and it showed. Leija disqualifed herself on purpose, 100% disregarding my handling or actions, ran past my legs and on to the dogwalk. Easy, simple and relaxing for her :P hahaha..
All in all I am very happy with the weekend. I reached my goals and I got some stuff I need to work on. Now we have a quiet week with long walks to get the competition out of our feet, paws and minds before we start again next week preparing for the next competition, 21-23 June in Bergen, where the judge will be Manuel Alff.
I finish this post with a super good photo by Åsta Viksøy, of Leija and me doing the weaves:
© Åsta Viksøy / Fotolykke
Tommy & Leija