My second guest blogger from this years team is Jo Tristram. Jo won a bronze team medal with Ellie at the 2010 EO and got to the EO final in 2011 with Bitz. With this previous EO experience I invited her to be one of this years EO team captains.
The news that Brite and I had been selected for ‘development’ as part of the GB squad made me very happy!
I believed I had a talented dog with the potential for international competition. I also knew there was work to be done to better my chances of being picked for the team from such a talented bunch.
Now, I love a plan so I indulged myself and planned every aspect I could think of, from mid December up to the Performance Weekend.
In the lead up for Squad Day 2 and PW, for Brite this featured:
* focused conditioning work,
* regular chiropractic and massage treatments with increased frequency,
* specific skills training,
* seeking training advice from respected peers,
* course running,
* ‘Training runs’ at shows.
For me, with guidance and support from Chris and Ruth, I set about making changes to my existing exercise routine.
I have always enjoyed exercising regularly to stay in shape (I like wine and bake lots! I don’t believe in deprivation!) but I identified that my acceleration and plyometric power needed attention, so the hill sprints began!
I believe in what I do and returning to honestly assess my strengths and weaknesses has been the key component in helping to improve my competitive confidence and performance.
I had it nailed in the past, but even the short break from competing internationally had an impact on some of those habits.
Each day that I followed my training plan, saw the improvements and ticked off achievements on my beloved lists, my confidence grew.
The person who walked to a start line with the belief that we could and would do this, showed up more and more.
Agility has become increasingly competitive in recent years which has translated into some fantastic developments and improvements. But for me, no longer 25, I felt I had everything to prove.
I held onto this determination, particularly when my neighbours gave me strange looks as I sprinted up and walked down the hill next to my house or when I questioned my sanity as I was road-walking Brite slowly in the dark and often the rain, after driving home from a seminar.
“Talent without grit is just potential. Talent plus grit is unstoppable”– Ben Bergeron
Now, the planning starts again….