Saturday, November 8, 2014

Helping your fellow competitor

I have pondered this topic for several years now.  Should we or should we not share how we train something in agility (for money or free).  Or even give advice (when asked) on what went wrong and how to fix it.

I guess my opinions have become very clear to me on this one.  Yes, we should help our fellow competitor!

In helping our fellow competitor I believe that we are increasing the body of knowledge in our sport and advancing the sport, we are helping to raise the competitive level of everyone, I an learning more about the topic myself, and we are paying forward for our own time in need.

Why should we add to the body of knowledge.  Just look at the history of agility.  When I started with Tip 8 years ago my first day of instruction with her was running an AKC Excellent course with the dog on leash.  If people had not shared how to train new dog we would still be doing that.  I believe our training methods are better and easier on the dog and human today.  Not to mention, more fun!

Why should we raise the level of competitiveness around us?  Personally and selfishly speaking it helps me be a better competitor.  I want there to be a ton of competition around me, I want competition to challenge me to improve, I want the bar HIGH!  I want to watch great agility all the time.  I want to be wowed by improvement and performance.  I can only achieve these things if I agree to help lift those in need up!


I think the concept of learning more when you have to teach it is not new.  I have a burning desire to always learn my topic better.  By helping others I help myself.

Paying forward in my mind speaks for itself.  If we are all helpful and giving to our community, doesn't that make a much better community?

Now the caveat!  I want to help, really I do.  But I have found that those who ask casually for help are not the best people to help sometimes.  Not because they aren't in need, but because they are not ready to receive.  I think that people have to be hungry for the help and knowledge.  They have to have that burning desire to improve, not just the weekend wish to improve.  You have to be willing to take risks, put yourself out there, and open your mind to new concepts even if they don't make complete sense at the time.

So pay it forward, share the skills you are good at, and open your mind to strengthen your weaknesses!


Elayne said...

When I was first starting out and Jonny would come to drop-ins at BE with me he was amazed at how much the experienced handlers helped me without me even asking. I'm so grateful for all that help and support and always willing to pass it on to a newbie.

Mary said...

Funny Elayne, when I went to BE I would get a bunch of help too. Not so much at other places.