Happy New Lockdown

By Mark Laker

Hello 2021, goodbye 2020 (some say good riddance too). We’ve heard that a lot since New Years Day haven’t we? 

2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone. For many, it was a challenging year losing loved ones, being furloughed, losing jobs, home schooling, uncertainty about the future and no dog sport competitions or trials. 

For others it was a quiet year. A year with time to reflect on priorities, an opportunity to explore new ventures, time to develop skills or revisit past interests – a year to reset and take stock.

What lies ahead for dog sports in 2021? 

We don’t know when competitions and trials will restart, we don’t know what format they will take, we don’t know who will want to continue under a different format and possibly tight restrictions. There are a lot of unknowns and it’s too early to begin answering these questions (IMO). 

2021 continues the unprecedented theme

‘I can’t get any motivation to train with all this going on’ – I’m sure you’ve heard that recently too…or thought it yourself. It’s understandable and I sympathise. There’s a lot going on that’s simply, out of our control. 

Motivation is one of the subjects at the core of sports psychology. I’ll elaborate more next month, but for now, have a think about the two questions below which may help you determine what motivation means in your world of dog sports, and how it may help you look forward to 2021 through a different lens.

What motivates you to participate in dog sports? 

For example: the social side of the sport; competing against others; training your dog new skills,; ‘my instructor motivated me’; ‘I’m motivated by watching other performers’; etc. 

Are you motivated by: winning; not losing; by just taking part; by the environment (training in a group with your dog or at a competition/trial).

There are no right or wrong answers, it’s very individual and starts us thinking more deeply about why love our sports and what we can control irrespective of what’s going on around us.

Stay safe and well.

Mark Laker

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