Daily Archives: June 28, 2011

Volunteering at Trials

I think everyone should volunteer at agility trials. Why? Because it’s a great way to learn more about the sport.

When I scribe, I learn how the judge thinks, what faults are scored, and how judging works.

When I leash run, I learn to observe how the dog behaves at the start of the run–while waiting to start–and at the end, when finishing his run.

When I bar set, I notice that some bars come down more than others, and I’m challenged to understand why. Looking at just the three or four bars that are “my job”, I learn how different handlers face that particular challenge–and I figure out the smoothest possible line. And I get to do it without distractions!

When helping course-build, I am deeply aware of how obstacles relate to each other. The angles, the distances, the sequences are crystal clear.

Volunteering focuses the attention on one job within the realm of agility. You can sit and watch, and think you’re really looking at something, but when it’s YOUR JOB, you learn more and do more.

Volunteering has another advantage too: trials wouldn’t be possible without volunteers. It’s just awfully nice that it’s really to your advantage to volunteer.