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?

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!



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.’


Nobody can be you like you!

When we set out to achieve anything in any area of life, we can do it for the right reasons, but we can also end up striving hard for things we don’t actually want, but that we think we ought to strive for, because other people want us to. And you know what? When we are trying to achieve other peoples’ goals, we don’t reach those glorious heights that we can when we’re actually working out of our OWN passion and working on those things which are truly meaningful to us.

This is where goal-setting becomes fun. Learning to strip away those things which have meaning for others, but deep down matter little to us, and putting the steps in place to achieve the dreams, hopes and aspirations we secretly harbour for ourselves.

Let me give you an example of how this works…

I promise not to repeatedly blog about or bore you with wedding details (!), but this analogy is relevant, so bear with me!

bride pic

I’ve been trying on wedding dresses… and if I do say so myself, there were lots of lovely dresses that did wonderful things for my figure and that I looked good in*… BUT then I tried on THE dress, and it was gorgeous and lovely and I felt pretty, but I also felt like me. Job done. That was it. That’s the one, so the rest naturally falls into place because of it- veil, shoes, bridesmaids’ dresses, the whole deal. All sorted because I chose a dress that ‘fits’ me- in how it looks, feels, my style… it is just right for ME. Not for other people, for ME.

And our goals are really no different. Oh yes, we might look pretty dressing up in others’ goals for us, and heck, we might even carry them off, but they’ll not feel as good, they won’t fit as well and they won’t be YOU in the way that actually matching your goals to YOU will feel.

Use your one life well

This is where so many people teach goal setting in a way that bores the pants of me! Honestly, if it isn’t fun and if it doesn’t flow naturally, then I think there’s something wrong. There are things we care about in this life and things we don’t give a hoot about, and the sooner we get to work on the things that matter and building things from THAT perspective, the better off we can be!

Real change takes TIME, Effort and Consistency- there are no magic wands

It’s why I take such time over Goal-Setting for Success, and, I would say, why it has proven so effective for class participants! Whatever area of life they’ve applied it to, those who’ve done the work have astonished and delighted themselves with their results, and they’re not beating themselves up, working themselves into the ground or anything else to do it, they’re simply learning how to be the new, improved versions of themselves that they want to be and using their goals as a tool to do that.

And of course, working with a professional who can help you navigate the mental roadblocks that may occur means that you are not left to cope with them alone, but are given questions, action steps and potential solutions from someone qualified to help you!

My dress has been ordered and my goals set- I will tell you now that my dress will need taken in and my goals will be tweaked multiple times this year, as early goals are achieved and surpassed, and new more challenging goals set! I can’t wait! I hope you will join me and make 2015 and OUTSTANDING year!


*By the way, if that comment made you think I was being arrogant or such, we need to talk! 😉