Traditional record-keeping – stop! You read that right. Record-keeping could be the worst thing you do to you, your dog and your relationship. Record-keeping can be the single most damaging thing to you and your dog’s sports careers when done badly. Why? Well, listen to this..
For survival reasons, the human brain is geared towards focussing, noticing, analysing and having an increased awareness for negative events. It’s a bias in the way we perceive things and make choices, but basically it’s called not getting eaten/hurt/embarrassed/laughed at!
In turn, applying this mentality (inevitably) to your training does two things. Firstly, It causes you to overly focus on negative results and wrongly dictates your training decisions and the way you divide up your training time and your training budget!
Here’s an example, you had a trial last Saturday. Your dog who knows the weaves inside out, one of your proudest skill areas, completely messes them up, they enter incorrectly and when they finally do get the entry they exit at ten poles. For the few weeks after you book on every weave training clinic, spend every session doing rep after rep, maybe even start them from scratch and go over your foundation weave skills. This does zero for your long-term performance, in fact, it hinders it because there are other skills you need to focus on, skills you aren’t even aware of that are the stumbling block stopping your progression.
The second thing this bias towards the negative does to your training is….. makes you feel like crap.
Inevitably, focussing on a bad outcome from a single performance doesn’t make you feel great! Keeping records is meant to give you reinforcement but that human mentality makes it do the opposite. Focussing on individual performances is punishing to you, your dog and your progression in competition.
Enter Performance Tracking…
Traditional record-keeping doesn’t work because, paired with human nature, it shifts focus away from what really matters and gives you misguided improvement areas by only focussing on one performance at a time. Performance tracking, on the other hand, harnesses the power of trends, consistent trackable deterioration and improvement in skills, laser-targeted focus areas and highlights the positive as well as areas to improve.
Here’s a summary of the differences…
Success comes when you target your training to the skill that will make the biggest difference, not the thing that went wrong in your last competition. Further to this, you’ll need to acknowledge your skills, acknowledge your successes, see your improvement and set realistic goals!
Something that is well acknowledged in human sport is that performance works on an average, it needs to be tracked not judged and doing anything other than that is the equivalent of Usain Bolt beating himself up because he didn’t beat his personal best each and every race, time and time again! Performance tracking is your training guardian angel – it rewards you, it pushes you on and it steers you away from the pitfalls of record-keeping.
Ditch record-keeping, start performance tracking. Here’s the thing – how? Bringing effective performance tracking, trend-monitoring and the perfect harmony between rewarding the good and acknowledging improvement areas, must be impossible right? You said it’s human nature that makes this impossible? Well, in the next article, we are going to share with you how this is all possible with laser-focussed accuracy and FUN.