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Time for change...

Agility Achievement Coach Anne Copley contends that even the best agility training concentrates on what you and your dog are doing and not on what you are thinking and believing! She believes that it's those internal thoughts which can sabotage all your hard work and goes on to explain how Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) can help you overcome the barriers to your success in agility with solution focused coaching.

Whilst wondering around agility shows, I have noticed some very good handlers experiencing a great deal of frustration and disappointment. Often these are the same handlers who have spent hours training their dog(s) and even attending expensive courses with the very best trainers yet they find themselves failing to progress with dogs who are clearly capable of better results!

I've overheard the handlers saying things like..

  • My dog can weave in training, but it all goes to pot in the ring!

  • If only it wasn’t raining. My dog hates the rain.

  • I will never remember this course.

In other words, they are defeated - and heading for faults or the big 'E' - long before they even walk the course.

We all know that being positive will get better results than being negative, so we try hard to say all the right things. Yet in the back of your mind, there are always the  nagging doubts that pop into your mind especially as you enter the ring!

Many of you will read books and watch DVDs on training and thinking positive. So why is it that, despite apparently doing all the right things including endless practice, some of us still walk away from too many courses hearing and muttering Greg Derrett's phrase 'Great dog, shame about the handler!'

NLP Coaching and other mind-set changing techniques can make a difference
It would take too long here to explain in detail what is Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is so I will try to simply describe it in layman's terms! Feel free to Google for more in depth explanations!

Basically we all have a conscious mind and an unconscious mind. There is nothing deep and meaningful or spooky about this. It's just recognising and understanding simple things like why you can spent hours trying hard to find the answer to a quiz question only to be woken up at 3am with the answer? The answer was lurking in your unconscious mind, a place where your memories and beliefs are kept.

Introducing NLP

NLP deals with the structure of human subjective experience; how we organise what we hear and feel and how we edit and filter the outside world through our senses. It also explores how we describe it in language and how we act, both intentionally and unintentionally to produce results. Joseph O'Connor & John Seymour

Sometimes, despite thinking positively with your conscious mind, you can be sabotaged by your subconscious mind. For instance, you can confidently say 'I can get round this course clear,' only to be ambushed by that little voice that says 'that tunnel is a dreadful trap and your dog loves tunnels.' It comes as no surprise to you when your dog dives straight into the tunnel despite your lengthy conscious planning to avoid it?

Consider the possibility that's its not what you are consciously trying to do as a handler that fails but what you might be unconsciously thinking! Do not underestimate the power of your unconscious mind!

We have all read true stories of amazing feats done under stress such as the Mum who lifts a heavy car off her crushed child. This time the unconscious mind is working positively to overcome physical limitations well beyond our conscious beliefs.

NLP and other techniques are powerful yet simple tools that can search out - and change - those negative limiting beliefs are held and reinforced by the unconscious mind which can prove to be barriers to success. The techniques taught through coaching can empower you to make the changes you want and to learn on-going simple strategies to maintain the success achieved.

In simple terms, the Achievement Coaching can engage with your unconscious mind to find the original source of your negative beliefs. Then it allows you to reshape those beliefs and teaches you strategies to make sure your unconscious mind remain positive!

This process is simple and painless and can make a significant difference to many aspects of your life, not just agility!

  • Believe... that success is possible

  • Expect ... to achieve much more

  • See... yourself succeeding

  • Think... that you can succeed

Contact details and a Free Report telling you more about being the BEST you can be can be found on my website or just e mail

About the author...
Anne Copley is a qualified experienced ex-headteacher and school improvement adviser with a background in education that spans over 30 years! Back in 2000 she became interested in Achievement Coaching and in particular Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). At first she was attracted to it because of its potential uses in the education sector. Later, as she became a qualified NLP practitioner, she began to realise that NLP techniques could be a very powerful across the whole spectrum of personal achievement and professional development with people of all ages from in all walks of life.

She now runs her own independent consultancy and training company, working mostly within schools. She hadn't realised the potential for the use of NLP techniques with agility handlers until quite recently. Due to popular demand, she has now launched Agility Success which brings her professional skills in Achievement Coaching and NLP Change Techniques to the agility ring! She now works with agility handlers of all grades including top handlers competing at Champ level!

Anne became involved in Dog Agility when she moved to Derbyshire in 1999. At that time, she was handling a very special Rottie called Jess, a challenge in itself! She now runs a Miniature Poodle called Tali and has taken her from Grade 1 to Grade 6. Her latest addition is a Toy Poodle called Keira who is just turned 18months and is ready to compete.!

For more information, go to .Tel 01663 749448 / 07780 741956 Email:


First published 6 November 2011


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