Secrets of Start Line Confidence








Have you ever noticed how Facebook on Mondays can be a bit of a show and tell? Or a public flogging… depending on how the weekend went??

I have, and it bothers me. Not just because of the fixation on clear rounds (that’s a whoooole other course!) but because so much of what made rounds go ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ was actually decided in the person’s head, long before they ever got near the start line.

WHOA Kathrine, provocative statement there- how can you say that?

Easy. I didn’t. Handlers like you told me.

I recently asked handlers when they felt UNHELPFUL nerves (not the useful kind that get you psyched up and focused). The results were clear:

At a ‘normal’ show:  35% of respondents said they were alreadyexperiencing unhelpful nerves BEFORE they walked the course. 

(That’s over 1 in every 3 people)

70% said their unhelpful nerves kicked in before they made it to the start line.

(Over 2 out of 3 people)

At an ‘important’ show (as defined by respondents):

49% experience unhelpful nerves before they walk the course.

(Almost 1 in 2)

86% said they experience unhelpful nerves before they make it to the start line.

(Almost 9 out of 10!)

Although 20% of respondents said they didn’t have any unhelpful nerves at a normal show, that dropped to 7% at an ‘important’ show.*


WOW! There are a lot of unhelpful nerves reported in this quick survey! And they attack EARLY!

That’s why my next class is going to be focused on building Start Line Confidence. On searching out when, where and how our mental gremlins start to undermine our confidence, and working out how to BUILD confidence, so that we can reach the start line feeling calm, focused and confident. THEN we can really go for it and give our best for the dog we love!

If your confidence could use a boost, this is the class for you!

  • You DO NOT have to feel defeated before you compete.

  • You DO NOT have to come out of the ring feeling like you’ve let your dog down.

  • YOU ARE NOT beyond help!

Find out more

Even should you do nothing more than read this far, know that you are not alone. you’re not the only one, you’re not a freak, and I would be delighted to help you. After all, the time you spend OUTSIDE the ring makes up far more of your weekend than the time you spend IN it. wouldn’t it be nice to ENJOY that time more?

Have a great day!

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Kathrine McAleese, M.S. 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. She has been helping clients reach their dog sport goals since 2005 and, serving dog owners internationally, Kathrine’s seminars, workshops and hugely successful online courses help average and elite competitors alike to get results they can be proud of.


© Kathrine McAleese 2014



 *Science-y bit for my fellow geeks: This was not intended as a rigorous piece of scientific research. 
It was an informal survey of those who saw and chose to take a survey posted on Facebook, Twitter, and forwarded by others. n=116. Whilst I do not claim representativeness, it remains 
a fascinating cross-section of nerves experienced by competitors in dog sport activities. 
Perhaps more rigorous publishable research will follow... ;)