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?

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!


Real ‘Confidence’


I know some of you struggle with the idea of ‘confidence’- because maybe what you’ve been told is ‘confidence’ looks like cockiness… or bluffing, maybe even aggression, as someone selfishly bulldozes others’ feelings or experience… Maybe it seems like an empty word as some claim to have it then melt like a chocolate teapot when the pressure rises… But that’s not real confidence. At least, it’s not the solid grounding *I’m* talking about. 

To me, true ‘confidence’ is not about saying empty words or having delusions about yourself. You also don’t need to put others down to be confident (actually, if you’re that good, you can afford to be nice!). This confidence will stand the test of pressure- smaller perhaps at first, but growing as you use it & work at it.

True confidence is about knowing that you’ve done what you could to prepare, and knowing what you’re now going to put into practice. And fearing neither failure, nor success, because your worth is not limited to what happens in competition. 

Whether you ever win or not in sport, you can learn to be confident- in a meaningful way that can actually change your life. 

Real confidence that has substance is possible & liberating and is not just for a super-breed of human. Anyone can take steps to grow genuine confidence, so they can step up and give their best when it matters.

You’ve maybe heard the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’ & I like that. But frankly I want to go beyond being happy with you merely ‘faking it’ when I know I can help you go further and ‘make it!’ 

Bottom line: YOU can develop confidence that is real, that helps you step up & give your best in competition. But it requires effort on your part. And the great news about that is that it’s up to you! You control it! And as and when you need my help, I’m here to help you learn and grow. It is my honour to serve clients from not-competing-yet to world level & it would be my pleasure to help you, whether via an online class, in-person seminar or workshop or through the free articles on my website. 

YOU can grow in confidence, so let’s get started!

ONLINE CLASS: Start Line Confidence Autumn 2015


There’s no better feeling than stepping up to compete and knowing that you’re ready to give your best.

That feeling of being alive, connected with your canine team-mate, and focused on the performance you’re going to give in the competition ring.

And there is a HUGE buzz to be had from watching yourself develop into that handler, when you once weren’t a vision of calm focus, and perhaps where you’ve been freaking your dog out with your anxious nerves.

Kathrine has helped many handlers just like you to develop their own Start Line Confidence and this is now your opportunity to join them.

Class starts on Monday, October 12th so if you want to develop your own mental prep routine, tailored for YOU, get your seat in class. You’ll work alongside handlers from all over the world, in a supportive and FUN environment, and you can work at your own pace.

You will have 6 months’ access to class materials- or even more if you grab one of the select few ‘PLUS’ seats in class.

Sign up here

Have you ever come off a course and just thought ‘ugh’?

Feeling like you’ve ‘let your dog down’ is horrible, isn’t it? And whether it’s at a small local competition or a national championships, there can just be times that the unwary competitor is caught out by that annoying voice in their head, destroying their focus and making them doubt themselves… you know the one:

‘You’ll never beat… [big name]’

‘You’re too fat/slow/old/short-legged/[insert insult]… to get round that tricky section’

‘Ha! You think you’re going to handle it like that?! Don’t make me laugh…’

Right?! You KNOW that voice, and you know what? So does Kathrine. She’s already helped hundreds of competitors just like you to identify and start defeating it. Will you be the next success story??

That’s what Start Line Confidence is all about.

Join class from October 12th for 4 weeks and work on: 

*Calm Focus, in and outside the ring

*Increasing your confidence in your and your dog’s abilities

*Improving your accuracy when running courses

*Preparing to give your best, regardless of the event

*Silencing that voice that wants you to fail


*PRACTICAL strategies for:

•walking the course,


•distractions (including how to deal with other people distracting you)

•and MUCH more.


What you’ll get:

*A Weekly highly targeted lesson video

*A Weekly video with a very specific exercise that builds on what you learned in the week’s lesson, which you can immediately begin practicing

*A Private Facebook group for Daily advice, support and encouragement

*TWO Weekly Focused Q&A days for accountability and individual help

*One Extended Live Coaching Call for further in-depth tailored support (PLUS members get an exclusive BONUS call one month after class ends, for further support and accountability)

*A NEW GORGEOUS UPDATED Personal Workbook to accompany class

*Individually tailored personal responses from Kathrine to your topical questions

*A full 6 months of access to all learning materials (that rises to over 7 months with the PLUS version)


Here’s some recent feedback from handlers just like you who’ve taken Mind to Win classes:

Megan says:
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)

Since I have started using some of the Mind to Win techniques my working cocker Taya has been a different dog…. so much happier… so much more confident… so much more focused…. both in training and in competition. I have done lots of other workshops but Mind to Win techniques have probably had 10x more impact on our agility than any other workshop. As you can tell I couldn’t recommend it more highly!!

Sally Hayward 

“Thank you for bringing out the best in me!… That amazing feeling of being focused and at one with my dogs is priceless – thank you for helping me achieve my goals with my precious dogs. Can’t thank you enough  xx”

Gemma Fisher 

Kathrine has the unique ability to see where each of us is on our separate journeys and to set us in a more positive direction along the way.

Cody Craig

Thank you, a weight I didn’t really realise I’d been carrying has been lifted 🙂

Name withheld

Love how last year’s course is still making a difference to how I face life in general as well as agility.

Brenda Ellen Tenten

If you’re struggling with your agility game then you need to speak to Kathrine at Mind to Win – she’s made all the difference in the world to my life, and not just agility. She’s like your own personal cheerleader, plus she gives you the confidence to cheer for yourself too – what more can I say, she rocks! :)”

Gemma Fisher

To get your seat in class, click HERE

Class starts on Monday October 12th– get a seat and let’s help you become the best handler you can be for your dog!

 photo-2-150x150Dr. Kathrine McAleese is the go-to dog sports psychotherapist and a performance coach, speaker, writer and cheerleader of excellence! Her unique talent is helping dog handlers 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.

Be the Change

Trigger warning: This is quite a serious post and I have debated whether to publish it or not for a while now, but I think it is important, at least so those currently experiencing some of these things can know that they are not alone. Please take care of yourself while reading and please do not reactively comment. If you would like to comment on Facebook, please do not go into details. Stay classy and rise above. Don’t lower yourself to using social media to try to get back at anyone. Stay classy and check yourself first and foremost- as always, the only person we can control or improve is ourselves!

me with Quill


With disturbing regularity, I get emails, messages and questions about how to deal with bullies around shows. Often these come from people who’ve started to have some success and are now having bad experiences that they had no clue existed when they were just plodding along.

I know the majority of people in our sports are lovely, but there are those who, frankly, are bullies. They may not see themselves as such but let’s take a moment to call out some of the behaviours that I hear about regularly.

I’m NOT talking about casual or thoughtless things people say, and I’m NOT talking about people who for their own reasons are perhaps more sensitive to criticism. What I AM talking about are those people who – check yourself before you point the finger at others- GRATUITOUSLY and for SELFISH or other NEGATIVE reasons are determined to put others off and make them feel less as people.

Behaviours include (this is not an exhaustive list)- 

*Gathering a gang of cronies and deliberately trying to INTIMIDATE others – physically & emotionally

*Spreading malicious lies

*Deliberately treating others like pariahs/outcasts because of their success (seriously- who REALLY has the problem?)

*Verbally attacking specific people and getting in their space

*Physical intimidation

*Physical assault- ‘accidentally’ bashing into a rival so hard as to try to knock them over.

*Following rivals around (stalking)


These things are UNACCEPTABLE. They are also UNNECESSARY. I know some might say they’re merely ‘playing the game’ and if you ‘can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen’, but really?

Is that a valid excuse?

…For setting a negative tone at competitions?

…For modelling bullying and abusive behaviours to others?

…Is your own character and integrity worth so little to you that you are willing to belittle others and leave them fearful, just in hopes that they might mess up and give you a better chance of doing well?

Are you really THAT insecure and are your skills really THAT hit-or-miss that you have to resort to bullying tactics?

If you’re THAT good…

…you can afford to be nice.

If you’re that good…

…I would argue you should be able to appreciate the competition and thrive on it, without needing to tear it down.

If you’re that good…

…your competition can do their best, and you will still be able to come out on top- only now you’ll have done it against them at their best, rather than after you’ve mentally played them.

Focus on developing your skills and doing what you need to do and leave crass behaviours to lesser individuals. Please.

Even if the person you’re trying to put off is actually a horrible nasty person, to do what you’re doing:

a) makes you less of a person and

b) ignores that no matter how horrible they are, you don’t know what makes them that way and

c) by treating them so poorly, you’re not acknowledging that they are a human with feelings.

You also don’t know what else is going on in their lives and how your behaviours may be pushing them towards a very dark place. I have seen this, so I personally want to beg you, from my professional perspective to STOP. NOW. People have entire lives and stresses outside sports and your behaviour matters.

Let me remind you- whether you’re the bully or the bullied, that the rule of law still applies in sports venues.

Silent Complicity

One other point to note- when you see bullying and silently participate or fail to do anything to stop it, you are complicit. You are siding in that moment with the intimidator, the bully, and are effectively doing what they do. And let’s be honest, there is NOTHING to say that you won’t be their next target!

Whether you are a raw beginner, or an experienced competitor, you are first and foremost human, and your behaviour matters. What you accept, you allow. You have power to be the sort of person who brightens up a room by your attitudes, or bringing it down. You choose whether to change the tone of conversation or go along with it- for better or for worse.

On behalf of the many folks I have encountered who have experienced bullying, abuse and aggression, please be part of the solution.

Be the sort of person you want to encounter at competitions and training, I dare you! As the famous quote goes: ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’


What it’s Like to Work With Mind To Win: Interview with Tracey Watt

Interview with Tracey Watt 10/12/14

Interview by Jenny Halpin

GSFS Collie

   Kathrine’s note: I had nothing to do with this interview. I wanted you to be able to hear from one of my clients (more interviews to follow), without them speaking to me or just being nice. So Jenny   chose the questions, spoke with Tracey and then sent me the transcript. The only things I have done are to embolden her questions and to cut off the conversation at the end that was after the interview  ended. So this is every word that Jenny recorded. Enjoy the behind the scenes perspective! 

Tracey Watt & MojoJ: What was competing, or life competing like before you started with Mind to Win?

T: Before I started with Mind to Win I was extremely nervous when I was going to shows. I was an absolute nightmare on the start line. I could be easily put off by anybody round about me would be able to say “Oh I was going to do that” or “I wouldn’t have done if like that” and if it was the way I’d walked the course, that would be me, I would be in bits before I went into the ring! Completely. I also had this preconceived idea that everybody was actually watching my run; now I know that people don’t but at that time I thought everybody was watching me and everybody was standing at the side going “Oh she shouldn’t have done that or she should have done this” and the whole gremlins taking over your life… So yeah, it wasn’t the nicest place for me. I used to go along, feeling sick, thinking why am I doing this and then coming home being miserable if it hadn’t gone well to my other half and them saying “I thought you started doing this for fun”. Yeah it is fun… so yes, it was just pretty grim.

J: Yes, it sounds it. So what made you choose Mind to Win? 

T: I was actually watching someone else on the start line who has a very particular routine that he followed and I commented about how in the zone he was and he was dead honest, he said I’ll come and speak to you after I’ve run. And he came to grab me later on and he said you need to look up Kathrine McAleese, Mind to Win. You need to look up that site and you need to do some reading and get on some of her courses. So that was kind of where it came from. Looked up the site, got hooked up on the Facebook page and just from the messages and the things that Kathrine sent through that was kind of it for me, I was like I really like this. I like what I’m seeing. And then obviously I seen some of the courses that were coming up and I thought I’m going to give this a go cos I really think it could help me.

J: So what classes have you taken?

T: I’ve done 7 Deadly Sins, the 12 Days of Christmas, the Goal Setting for Success and Start Line Confidence. Tracey Watt

J: Oh wow!

T: Does that mean I’m a fully paid up member?!

J: It’s certainly impressive! So what was your favourite course?

T: I really liked the 7 Deadly Sins but I think the one I got most out of was the Goal Setting for Success.

J: Right, why was that?

T: It really helped me focus in on what I want to achieve; it helped me with my weight loss, because I changed the way I thought about what I was doing. And I think there was a lot of things I got out of that course. I also now sit down on a regular basis and review what I actually want to achieve and the steps that I’m going to take to do that. And that’s come across in my work as well, you know, it’s been really helpful in there.

J: So it’s sort of a whole life application then?

T: Yes, definitely the Goal Setting, cos when you get yourself in to that whole mind-set of what you want to do and what you want to achieve and then taking it, reversing it back, you know, to get to A, what steps do I need to take? And it’s just taught me some really good behaviours and how I can actually map that out and work out how I’m going to get there.

J: Right, so… that was just an extra question…so how has Mind to Win helped you? Well you’ve just touched on that, is there anything else you want to say about it?

T: Oh yes, so I have, haven’t even read my notes! When it comes to setting my goals I think one of the things that I did before was I used to set… they weren’t particularly smart goals, you know it would be like “I’m going to lose weight”. Well that’s nice… but I didn’t have a Right by this date it is my intention to be at this target, how am I going to do that, what am I going to do to achieve it? And that has been one of the key things for me that I know make it something that isn’t going to be easy, it’s going to be a stretching target, but at least I’ve got the clear target in there as opposed to just “in 2015 I’m going to lose more weight”. Well, what does that mean? Cos it could you mean that you lose a pound over the course of the year, well done you lost more weight but it’s not what you necessarily want to overall achieve. So yeah that was the big thing. And it’s definitely- much as you probably look at me bobbling about here- it has increased my confidence in my own ability! Because it’s… can’t really explain that bit… I think through the things that I’ve learnt and whether you think you’re applying them all or not I think there are points in your life and as things are happening you think oh yeah I remember, you know, I read this on a course or this would be useful to bring in… So yeah it has increased my confidence considerably and definitely in relation to agility 100% increased my confidence because I basically was going into that ring feeling like I didn’t have the justification to be there, whereas now I go in thinking, right this is it, me and my dog, we can do this- and we’re off!

J: Great that’s brilliant… we are touching on the questions anyway… what else, how have you applied Mind to Win to any other areas of life? You’ve mentioned some things, your confidence, your weight loss…

T: Yeah definitely with my weight loss because I have set myself the goals and been able to do that. I have used some of it at work with some of my team. There’s some… oh you’ll know.. Kathrine refers to the frog analogy and eat the damn frog! And it’s quite funny because after I’d done a bit of that course there was something going on at work and one of the team had a particular piece of work that every time I asked it was back at the bottom of the pile and I was like “Right, this is your frog”. I explained and she was like oh right and so basically you don’t eat it now it’s just going to get bigger , it’s going to be more evil and more vile tasting by the time you get to it so just do it! So we know have this laugh in the team that we all have our own little frogs of work to avoid or not do. So yeah, I’ve used it there, I’ve used it in dog club, I take some of the stuff into there to help me with some of the challenges I’ve had there. It’s been really good.

J: Cool. So what would you say to anyone, someone who is thinking about taking a Mind to Win course?

T: I would say sign up today. Just do it. Because once you’ve actually started done that and you get to it… I really like the Live sessions Kathrine does, they’re really good. The Facebook pages, the closed groups for whatever course you’re doing just give you such a fantastic network of people who appreciate where you’re coming from, they understand… they might not be in exactly the same place, their scenarios might be slightly different but they’re all there to help and support and give advice… it’s just a really good system because it’s much better than it just… I mean you can read loads of stuff and I have over the years, I’ve read various books on building your confidence but I think having someone who you can bounce your ideas off of and say well you know I’ve tried this and it didn’t quite work, this is what I’d do differently next time… it just makes such a difference to have that and you know it does make a big difference to your life. Kathrine is absolutely fantastic and what I would say is that it’s really important for anyone who does take part in the course to actually fully take part in that course. There’s no point in signing up if you’re not prepared to commit fully to it and to engage on Facebook and through the live meets and things like that because you won’t get the same value out of it I think. You’ll still gain some things but it won’t be as much as if you actually interact with everybody

J: Absolutely. Some of the Facebook groups are just amazing 

T: Yeah. I love them and I still look back at them and I still post on some of them so you know it’s fab. They’re really good.

J: Yip. That’s great. Oh right, last question already- anything else you want to say?

T: the only thing I wish was that there was more face to face stuff that we could do… I very jealously look at the camps and things like that and they’re never a day or time that I can make but one day I will do it! I know that she’s not enough hours in the day…

[end of interview as J & T start talking about life generally]

Goal Setting for Success

GSFS Collie

If you’ve ever thought that goal-setting was not something you were ‘good’ at, let me encourage you. The reason many of us have experienced the frustration and disappointment of not achieving our goals is simply because we’ve never been taught how to set the goals that will work for US. That’s what this class is about.

I will be teaching you the STEP- BY- STEP strategies I have used to teach handlers all over the world and help them go from frustrated to fired up.

What we’ll be covering:

~ The BIGGEST mistake that people make when setting goals.

~ How to set goals that ‘fit’ you

~ What makes goals inspiring and fun to go after

~ What to do when you’re getting close to your goals to avoid self-sabotage

~ Every step in good goal-setting, all broken down into bite-size chunks

~ Review days to help you reinforce and catch up on previous lessons

~ Everything you need to know about how to overcome your doubts and fears as you head towards your goals

~ And MUCH much more…

Class Format:

16 lessons over 12 weeks, starting January 12th, 2015

Personal support at every step along the way in our private Facebook group

Monthly group coaching calls

Weekly Focused Q&A days in group

All lessons kept together conveniently in your personal member’s area

Packed full of practical exercises you can immediately begin using to help you set and achieve your goals in 2015!


Who this class is for:

~ Anyone ready to take their life up a gear and make some changes

~ Anyone ready to learn

~ Anyone fed up of setting goals that never seem to happen

~ Anyone with things they want to achieve in 2015!

Who this class is NOT for:

~ Anyone who has decided they are a failure and always will be

~ Anyone looking for a magic wand

~ Anyone with no intention of doing any work to move towards their goals

~ Anyone who thinks they know it all


If you are ready and willing to get to work with me on your goals, then I am ready to bring you this ‘life-changing’* class.

Sign up and get your seat in class now while registration is still open!



Dr Kathrine McAleese

me with Quill


Dr. Kathrine McAleese is the go-to dog sports psychotherapist and a performance coach, speaker, writer and cheerleader of excellence! Her unique talent is helping dog handlers take simple, useable mindset principles to build their confidence and focus so they can compete as well as they train. Serving 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.




* ‘Life-changing’ is a term used by previous clients, not me. YOU define your own results and at all times remain responsible for your results. But if you’re willing to work at it, get ready to surprise yourself!


I’m on a mission, won’t you join me?

me with Quill

I am on a mission. I have the audacity to think that it is possible and I want to invite you to join me.

The problem

Many of you have told me how you’ve been talked down to, put off, slated and sometimes even abused at shows. And many of you have been driven by others’ attitudes to where you wonder whether you should continue training or competing.

‘Is it worth being made to feel like a crap handler every week?’

‘The negativity round the rings is crazy- we’re supposed to be having fun’

‘This is what I do to let off steam from work, but it’s intimidating having that group hovering round the rings waiting for us to go wrong…’




There are so many amazing people who compete with their dogs, and I get the privilege to work and chat with many of you. And I actually believe that together, we can change the atmosphere around the rings. It seems that the atmosphere around the rings at competitions has been allowed on occasions to get negative and it seems that there is a belief *amongst some* that in order to do well, they need to tear others down. Some get so obsessed with how well their dog is running round a field and jumping over sticks that they lose their better self and take it out on others – or even their dogs- when things go wrong.


Some of the most successful people I know in multiple sports, including at world champion level, are the nicest people you could meet. Absolutely they want to win, but not at the expense of sacrificing their character. They are able to enjoy others’ brilliance and use it to inspire them, rather than feeling the need to tear it down. TOGETHER we can promote that atmosphere in our dog sports.

And before any of you tell me ‘it’s just humans and it happens everywhere’, yes, kind of, you’re right. But I have noticed a particular theme arising and it doesn’t have to be that way. Part of it is people ‘catching’ the behaviours that have been allowed to go on and not aiming higher because they don’t know any better, but sometimes we just aren’t nice to each other. Just because something is common does not make it right, nor preferable. And I have the nerve to believe that since so many people are unhappy with inconsiderate people, with being treated poorly or with handlers berating their dogs for their mistakes, well then we have a movement in the making. A group of people who believe that we can do better, and that actually, it will benefit everyone- not least our dogs.

A rising tide lifts all boats

I actually think that as we build a more positive and healthy environment around the rings, we will see increased excellence within it. I also think that as we promote what is best in humans – as well as dogs! – we will in turn impact those who don’t compete, but who we may come across during the rest of the week.

I realise that for some of you, this is WAY out there in left-field. Some of you will think I’ve lost the plot, but some of you will catch a glimpse of the dream.

…Some of you have already experienced how fun it can be when people are rooting FOR each other and embracing competition as a way to improve themselves…

…some of you already know what it’s like to have a great trainer who pushes you but also inspires you…

…some of you have already freed yourself from toxic environments and are seeing how much happier your dogs are, now you’re not stressed to the hilt…

This is possible, and I have the audacity to believe – to KNOW – with every fibre of my being, that we can make dog sports highly competitive, but also an amazing environment where competitors can be celebrated and supported, and where those who want to tear others down find themselves challenged to behave better or move on.


If you want to be part of this, it can be as simple as being intentional and giving a genuine compliment to someone at a show- maybe someone you’ve never spoken to before, whether a complete novice or a ‘big name’. If you need help, get daily motivation and encouragement on Facebook or check out an online class.

For dogs’ sake, let’s make our sports the awesome, positive environments they could be, because make no mistake, they are hurt by the negativity too.

This week, I challenge all of us to bring our best self to training and competition and to rise above behaviours that should’ve been left in the school yard!

Comment below and let me know what you think- are you up for joining me on this??

Attitude is everything!

When you get a group of people together to compete who are peers in terms of their technical skills, what will ultimately make the difference is who can hold it together mentally, to execute those skills best when the pressure is on.


Once all the technical training has been done, what will ultimately make the difference between those who achieve their dreams and those who don’t is ATTITUDE.

That goes for when they’re training, struggling with plateaus and seemingly insurmountable problems, or when they’re stepping up to compete against [insert big name here]. Keeping a cool head to get their timing right and shave off every potential wasted moment, THAT is what makes and breaks great teams.

Aim High

As the adage goes, ‘If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!

Look at the photo above and the placement of the house. The person who dreamt that up aimed high- literally and metaphorically! It is in an insanely precarious location, was probably a nightmare to build and yet, won’t it be the most incredible place with stunning views??!

Your dream may seem crazy too, and maybe other people will think that you have finally gone mad. Hey, maybe YOU will even think you’ve gone mad!


…WHAT IF you can make it happen?…

…WHAT IF your dream is actually that braver part of yourself calling you to aim higher than you’ve been told to, or dared to before now?…

…WHAT IF you were actually made to achieve this?…

Instead of worrying so much about how awful it might feel to fail, start planning how you’re going to succeed. 

That shift in attitude may be the biggest step you actually need to make to allow your dreams to come true.

Newsflash: Ignore this myth!

There is a prevailing myth that some people have just ‘got it’ and are mentally strong, and some people aren’t. I beg to differ. Yes there are different levels of inherent resilience and certainly there are different personalities that may support someone in being mentally focused easier than others, but I do not accept that there is an unchangeable binary distinction between those who ‘can’ and those who ‘can’t’ when the pressure’s on.

Just as you can learn the TECHNICAL skills you need, so too you can learn the MENTAL skills you need.

We ALL have strengths and we ALL have places we could tweak our technical and mental game- this is why the best sportspeople in the world keep their mental coaches close at hand! We’re HUMAN. We can all use a little help to get focused where we need to be at different points.

Even if you have a current record of consistently turning to mush when the pressure is on, YOU CAN CHANGE THAT. It will take work, but it will also be worth it.

The difference is attitude:

* Are you fed up of how things are and want to try something new?

* Are you ready to tell your fear and pride gremlins to back off so you can achieve what you want to?

* Would you like to find out what you’re REALLY capable of?

I hope so, because I truly believe you’re worth it.

Let me know what this article made you think about- come on over to Facebook and share your thoughts, I’d love to talk with you!

To your success!


me with Quill