Track your progress!

It’s really easy to gain an impression of our training/competing that is NOT the full picture.

We look at what we can improve, which is fine, but all too often, we do that at the expense of also taking time to think through what went well, what we’re already doing right.

And that can cause us to develop an unfair sense of where our team is. That being so, I designed this journal specifically to help handlers just like you to intentionally become more balanced in perspective- to see the good stuff that ALREADY EXISTS, and to use it to build your confidence and aim higher.

This is a not-so-secret weapon used increasingly by handlers who are kicking booty out there, and having a LOT of fun doing it.

Get yours here:


This lie may be standing between you and achieving your goals


Have you been taught this lie??

It’s the one that has you reaching for doughnuts and take-away when your body would benefit from more vegetables… it’s what convinces you to stay in bed rather than get up and give your dog an extra 5 minutes training before work… it’s definitely one way to make sure you never dust off your gym gear…

This lie can even be what gets you to quit: on your dreams, your relationship, your sport…

So yikes, Kathrine, you’re getting a bit serious there. Do you want to back up and explain what you’re on about and why you’re getting all serious on a blog about competing at sports with our furry friends? Sure! Let me explain.

Instant Gratification

We live in a world which encourages us to live for instant gratification- ‘patience’ and ‘self-discipline’ are often pretty much swear words.

It goes something like ‘just do what makes you happy‘… the implication is of course that what makes you happy is naturally the right and best thing for you.

But we know that’s not true! We would never allow our dog to eat the volume of cheese that it would if left to their own devices. More than that, we know from our own personal experience that what is right or good for us is not always pleasant- umm, anyone actually enjoy every day they went to school?? But having an education generally was a good thing for us, miserable though it might have felt at the time.

How many times did you fall off and hurt yourself when learning to ride your bike? And in other matters, as delightful as I might find it to sit down with a giant box of Krispy Kreme flavours and scoff the lot, if I tried to claim that was right for me (because it sure felt good at the time), my pancreas might beg to differ!!

Why this matters in dog sports

This is an unpleasant truth and I know some of you are regretting starting to read it. But I say it with love and encouragement in my heart for you- really! The thing is, as we’ve been basically trained to live disposable lives and expect everything to make us happy all the time (or we’ll quit it), we’re not being trained to excel.

There are going to be days when you don’t feel like training

There are going to be days where getting as fit as you want to be to run agility just feels like a ton of hassle

There are going to be people that you don’t like competing in front of who are going to be by the line

There are going to be handling moves that you or your dog don’t pick up easily and need to work on


At all these points, you will need discipline and possibly also patience, to keep going, and work on what NEEDS done, rather than what you WANT to do.

Doing what NEEDS done when it goes against what you WANT to do is going to be what makes the difference in those who go the extra distance. It is that extra bit of determination to ignore the nagging voice telling you you’ll do it ‘tomorrow’ or that wants you to quit because ‘you’ll never be able to do it anyway’. It’s what makes you grit your teeth and decide that you are going to risk failing, because you’d rather fail trying than fail to try.

‘Do what makes you happy’ is a really limited and limiting philosophy. Today, I want to encourage you to be better than that, to desire more for yourself than that. I will help you fight the mindset gremlins trying to trip you up, they can absolutely be beaten and YOU can do it.

Now let’s go!


TOP TIP: It’s not just dogs who can be reactive!



TOP TIP: It’s easy to end up handling reactively when we’re lacking confidence… we’re ‘not sure’ about what our dog will do… yet although that gives us useful training data sometimes, it also means we can end up communicating doubt to our dog, which in turn can dent what confidence they may possess, which you can see becomes a bit of a vicious circle.

DECIDE to handle pro-actively and with expectancy– does your dog know their job? Then let them show you. It doesn’t make them or you bad if it doesn’t go to plan, it’s training data. That’s all. SO WHAT you didn’t get the sparklingly clear round you wanted, you learned and nobody died.

The more that you can handle confidently and pro-actively, the more you free your dog up to do their job. You’ll be handling clearer, giving them better information and coming off a course with more enjoyment and anticipation for the next one.

How YOU are feeling impacts your handling and affects your dog- both directly (in how confidently you’re communicating and WHAT you’re communicating) and indirectly (because your dog can read you like a book and knows when you’re inwardly having a meltdown!)

Have you seen reactivity creeping into your handling? Where does it strike you?

TOP TIP: The ‘singing kettle’ handling style


Singing kettle

I love my little caravan. As many of you know, this is where I go to when I’m writing, and where I film occasional videos with training tips for you. I have an electric kettle, but there’s something about the singing kettle that brings back memories from childhood camping trips. I love the old-fashioned singing kettle, but I really hate the sound of the whistle it makes, so I try to catch it just as it’s about to get into full flight, ha!

It’s fine when it starts to boil, but the longer it goes on, the more high-pitched and shrill its ‘singing’ becomes!

I wanted to write about the Mind to Win show last weekend- not to brag about my phenomenal folks who really did brilliantly, but to note another phenomenon. This one is particularly observable in agility, because it is a give-away in the verbals people use.

It is actually a symptom, rather than a cause, so this is only a smidgen of what I really want to say on this topic!! So whether you are an agility competitor or not, please read on and see how this might be applicable to you, even if you’re not giving yourself away like the agility ‘singing kettles’ are!

I call it the ‘singing kettle’…

The Singing Kettles of Agility

Someone starts out on a course and their voice is a reasonably normal tone…

it might be a bit nervy sounding,

but it’s at a pitch that humans can hear…

as they’re going round, they have no faults…

and as they keep going, with each obstacle, their voice gets higher

…and higher

… until by the end,

they’re all but squealing like my kettle!!

Why is this significant?

Well it points to a couple of things:

1. Unhelpful Nerves– which are clearly being communicated in multiple forms, straight to the dog…

2. An outcome or even a clear round focus– they are not focused on the job they have to do, their ‘singing’ is a ‘tell’ that their mind is on the potential outcome, rather than the job at hand.

3. Me, me, me– all the while the person is focused on that piece of ribbon and cardboard that they might possible get (or the Q, points, etc.), they are neglecting the fact that they are part of a team, with a living creature who frankly doesn’t give a monkey’s about the ribbon! No matter how big it is!

I’m a singing kettle! What do I do?!

If you recognise yourself in this, don’t worry and please don’t feel bad. It’s really common and easily tweak-able. You can simmer down.

1. Be aware of what you actually do– video yourself! Video training and competition, see what you do differently. Even if you think you’re not a singing kettle, video and check! Some ‘kettles’ sing at specific points on course… such as contacts or weaves, so watch out for those too.

2. When you walk a course, put in a mental post-it note to intentionally lower your tone.

3. Learn strategies to build your confidence so you can step up and give your dog the handling they need- which absolutely includes not freaking them out with your nerves!!! Your next chance to do this with me in a group of dog sport competitors from all over the world is here: Start Line Confidence

4. Focus on what your dog needs from you, right up until you have finished, rewarded them and left the ring! This includes making sure you walk the entire course! Just because the end of the course appears to be 3 jumps in a straight line, don’t take them for granted- practice, rehearse, visualise what you’re going to do to finish at your best and get the most out of the course that you can!

What’s your next step?

There is NO point in just accumulating knowledge- you’ve read this far, now what are you going to do about it? What do you need to tweak?

* If you need more skills, get into class now! It won’t be returning until at least 2016, so get on and get your seat if you know you could improve your mindset skills (and let’s face it, who of us couldn’t?)

* Maybe you need to start videoing yourself so you have an up to date view of your partnership and what part you play in that.

* Perhaps you know a ‘singing kettle’ who needs to read this. Please share this with them.


There is NO shame in recognising you haven’t got it all sorted- we’re all human, we all need help and we’re all guaranteed to get things wrong from time to time. It’s part of being human, so that’s not the problem. The problem is when we deny or refuse help to improve. ANYONE can change, it’s more a choice of whether we WANT to badly enough.

I am rooting for you, I’m here to help you, please let me know how I can. I know I’ll see some of you in class and I’ll be looking forward to bringing that to you from September 14th! It’s a brilliant toolkit to help ANY competitor step up with more confidence.

Here’s that link to snap up your seat in class! CLICK HERE






Mind to Win Show 2015

Mind to Win Show 2015

Unaffiliated Competition for Grades 1-7


We've booked the sunshine...
We’ve booked the sunshine…

* Triathlon class of International style Agility, Jumping and Steeplechase classes

* First timers class for new dogs who have never competed in Kennel Club competition

* Veterans class for our older buddies to enjoy

* Plus regular jumping and agility classes

* Rosettes from 1-4 in all classes, PLUS Judge’s Special in each round, PLUS trophies for 1st-3rd overall winners of Triathlon competition.

* All in the gorgeous surroundings of the Patch! Special thanks to The Patch for use of their fabulous facilities.

As usual, our competition immediately follows Mind to Win Camp, so you can put into practice all you’ve been learning, in a competitive environment! Registration for camp is now open and limited spaces remain! Book Here

Here are the full schedule and entry forms- Entries Close 25th July 2015

Mind to Win show schedule 2015

MTW show 2015 ENTRY FORM

See you there!


Camp 2015

Mind to Win Camp 2015

Fri 31st July (NEW START TIME 2pm 9pm) — Sat 1st August (10- 4pm)

@ The Patch, Ballyrainey Rd, Comber, N. Ireland, BT23 5


‘I just want a clear round!!’

‘There’s always ONE THING’

‘I just need 1 more win…’

Presented with my own signed gremlin bashing mallet!

Are you running with a gremlin?! 

If you have ever said any of these things, you just might be! Your technical training could be great but you might be carrying a mindset gremlin on your shoulders as you compete with your dog!

Very common issue

Come to camp and learn how to crush your gremlin so it’s just you and your dog in the ring, having fun and achieving your potential!

Here’s what you’ll get:

*Learn the mental skills and strategies to be able to do your best

*How to increase focus, confidence and improve your results *without* fixating on clear rounds

*Lots of practical sessions, both with your dog and without so you can apply the mindset skills you’re learning

*Social time

*Individually tailored strategies to maximise your results

*Learn skills you can immediately put into practice

*Work on the crucial aspect of competition many competitors ignore

*Have fun with your dog!

Improving your mindset really doesn't have to be serious! Exhibit A... ;)
Improving your mindset really doesn’t have to be serious! Exhibit A… 😉


*Free camping all weekend

*Discounted show entries for our Unaffiliated show on Sunday 2nd August where you can put all you’ve learned into practice

*Great camaraderie with other handlers who ‘get’ the importance of the mental game in competing

*Learn from leading mindset coach, Dr. Kathrine McAleese

Spend a weekend in the gorgeous surroundings of the Patch
Spend a weekend in the gorgeous surroundings of the Patch

Mind to Win camp is open to any handler from any club, working at any level.

Price: ONLY £95 for both days!

Kathrine with world champion, Quill Rogers
Kathrine with world champion, Quill Rogers

“I thought my students needed Dr. McAleese’s teaching.  I did not expect to gain so much insight into myself as a competitor… Dr. McAleese’s teachings have had a huge positive impact and long lasting effects on our students who were smart enough to take her course! I hope we can have her back every year”

– Sandy Rogers, Ace Dog Sports (world champion and multiple USA national champion)

“Kathrine, you are an insightful and empathetic guide in how to deal with those voices and gremlins in my mind that want to give me excuses to not perform at my best mentally.Thank you for helping me to find the way through those challenges, so that I can achieve my dreams, one task and goal at a time.”

Ann Carrington (Team Canada, FCI, IFCS, WAO, EO)

I have been doing agility for most of my life. The older I get, the more opportunities for agility to be “un-fun” arise. Mind to Win gave me back the control over that fun. Kathrine reminded me that dreams never die and that I am in control of achieving those dreams. Not only does Mind to Win work (when the skills are applied consistently!), but working with Kathrine is like working with a childhood best friend. She’s kind, supportive, connected, and an all-around good time. I’ve known her less than a year, and feel like I’ve known her my whole life. I can’t express my gratitude to Kathrine in just a few sentences. Kathrine/Mind to Win made competing fun again, gave me permission to fail and to play to my strengths, and gave me back the control to have a good time in agility with fellow competitors, my students, and myself.
Thank you, Kathrine!
Megan Foster & Smack (Team USA)


PLEASE NOTE: Spaces are limited and as this is likely to be the last Mind to Win camp in NI for the foreseeable future, early booking is advisable. Don’t miss out!


Dr. KatIMG_3276hrine McAleese is a highly acclaimed mindset coach, an inspirational speaker, and cheerleader of excellence! Her unique talent is helping clients take simple, useable mindset principles to build their confidence and focus so they can compete as well as they train. Highly acclaimed by dog owners worldwide, Kathrine’s seminars, workshops and hugely successful online courses help average and elite competitors alike to get results they can be proud of. As seen in CLEAN RUN, AGILITY VOICE & YOUR DOG magazines.


How To Get MORE of What You Want

If you want MORE of something when you’re competing, make sure your thoughts aren’t sabotaging your ability to get it! Learn more in this super short training.

Watch now:

Like it? Come on over to Facebook and tell me what you’re going to Focus on to get MORE of!

Want to work on getting YOUR mental game where it needs to be?

I can help. Get a seat in class and let’s get to work!


Is your mindset sabotaging your success?

Have you ever wondered why some people work less hard than you, yet are more successful?
It can be really frustrating when you *know* your dog is better trained or has more ability than those who’re making progress while you seem stuck. Ugh.
How about that little voice in your head telling you how you’re going to go wrong and making you doubt yourself- ever wondered if it’s just you, or if others struggle with that too?
You’re not alone. It’s not just you, you’re not a freak.
Dr Kathrine McAleese works with handlers all over the world, and she has discovered that there are 7 common mindset saboteurs that affect many dog sport competitors. So she decided to write a class to help you defeat these ‘gremlins’!
In this upcoming online class, she will be personally addressing the 7 common ways people’s mindsets derail their own potential success.
Our original 7 Deadly Sins class is a great place to check what you could change to achieve the goals you want. Using the images of those well-known personality features called the deadly sins, Dr Kathrine McAleese shows you how you might be stopping your own progress. Her foundation level 7 Deadly Sins examines 7 common pitfalls that stop you from achieving success with your dog and in life. Are you ready to make time to consider what is holding you back and learn strategies to move forward?  
Class includes:
  •        Teaching videos twice weekly from Kathrine, including one specific to each of the 7 common mindset saboteurs
  •         Practical exercises to help you identify if/how these common saboteurs are affecting you- and how to master them!
  •         2 Live group video coaching webinars
  •         Multiple weekly question & answer days with Kathrine
  •         Private Facebook group for support, encouragement and ongoing motivation
  •         Become part of a vibrant growing community of handlers dedicated to being their personal best


Class begins Monday June 1st 2015


PLEASE NOTE: This class may change more than your competition mindset!

This class is not for those who want to stay the same or blame their dog or other people for their difficulties!

This class IS for those who’re ready to take their competing to the next level, or are just plain fed up with sabotaging themselves.

If you’re ready to find out how much MORE there is to you than your doubts want you to believe, then this one’s for you. Get into class NOW!

Here’s that link to sign up again: GIVE ME A SEAT IN CLASS NOW!!

We look forward to seeing you in class!