The winning team
Andrea Brown is a coach practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) who recently became acquainted with the wonderful world of dog agility through her friend Viv Kelly. In all honesty, when she was invited to her first show she accepted from a mixture of curiosity and politeness, whilst wondering why someone who in all other ways appeared to be a perfectly rational human being, would want to spend their leisure time running around a field with a dog. Her friend was obviously quietly barking! Now they're both hooked.
People have always fascinated me. As an NLP practitioner, I love trying to figure out how and why they behave the way they do especially when they are achieving exceptional levels of success. So one day, after kitting myself out with wellies, waterproofs, woolly hat, flask etc. - do you people not feel the cold, or what - I set out to discover what makes the difference between an agility person and an extraordinary agility person.
The result of their research was a process which they called 'Modelling.' Their belief, proven by the research, was that by modelling the thought processes and behaviour of a person who does exceptionally well, another person could achieve a greatly enhanced and sustainable level of success.
One of the pre-suppositions of NLP is that we all already possess the resources we need to ensure success. What we need to do to better our performance is to change our old thought patterns that have led us to behave in a particular way'These patterns have been useful to us in the past, but will not necessarily continue to assist us'In fact, if we have had a negative experience, we unconsciously expect that this will be the result next time we do the same thing'
How often have you been on the start line and presumed your dog wouldn't do the wait properly? Or approached a run with a sinking heart and a voice that gets higher and higher as you give the commands (and not just because you are out of breath!)
If you’ve ever said or been told 'It's not the dog, it's you” and not known what you can do about you, Neuro Linguistic Programming could be the answer.
I have been using NLP approaches with agility competitors:
In all cases, handlers have reported greater success in the ring and, most importantly, calmer, happier dogs. One said,
About the author...
She has been involved with dogs all her life, from her childhood in Belfast watching her family hunt wild fowl to her present interest in agility. She is sadly without a dog at present but now keeps eyeing collies at shows.