Author Topic: Elite times  (Read 4422 times)

MSito

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Elite times
« on: August 31, 2015, 07:36:58 AM »
I'm probably going to get a lot of flack, but I'm getting discouraged with the course times. Elite tunnelers at the CAT Trial my dogs yps was 4.31. She was over time by over a second. I guess I need to just keep her in novice. I'm discouraged. Melinda Sito

James Bell

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 08:26:36 AM »
No flack here, and no desire to discourage.

However, the various levels do have expected standards of performance based upon YPS for each type of course. For Tunnelers, a novice dog must run the course at an avg speed of 4.0 YPS or better, an open dog 4.5, and an elite dog 5.0. Some allowances are made for vet dogs or handlers (10%).

The full table of required performance metrics per course type can be found on the NADAC website in the Exhibitors Handbook.

The point to note here is that while tunnelers does seem to be a free-for-all, tennis-balls-to-the-wall (crafty sensor avoidance there :-)) speed fest, like many of the other courses it is about efficiency primarily. 

In the final analysis though, as I harp on every time I do a briefing, the point of this sport is to have fun with your dogs. And if your dog is having fun regardless of the time tally, how can you not? :-)

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James Bell

James Bell

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 08:43:19 AM »
Oops! Let's not forget the time breaks for medium and small dogs!

The YPS above are for large dogs (20, 20+ measured). Medium (16) gets 10%, and small (<= 12) another 10%. All the details are in the Handbook. Just search for "yps".

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James Bell

MSito

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2015, 09:01:07 AM »
Thanks, been with NADAC a long time and know the rules. I know to have fun with my dogs. I still question the times allowed and will probably just stay in Novice. She ran a beautiful course but, face it, we all like to "win" every once in awhile. She's a larger Border Collie I run in skilled level. Melinda Sito

KarissaKS

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2015, 11:58:00 AM »
My "extra large" dog really struggled with making time in Elite Weavers for a long time. I really felt like it was hopeless because he was consistently 0.5-2.0 seconds over time, despite really giving it his all. He's a big guy, he can only move so fast through the poles and he has to duck to go through tunnels. So what did I do? I worked VERY HARD on making his runs as efficient as possible, getting very tight turns, and not wasting ANY yardage on the course. I found ways to stay ahead of him and show him where to go so that he was driving hard on every line.

He earned two Versatility NATCH awards before I retired him from running games.

I find a lot of dogs lose a lot of time with wide turns, especially out of tunnels. I'm guessing you can make up the time you need by creating a tighter path for your dog around the course.
V-NATCH2/NATCH5 Luke, V-NATCH3/NATCH4 PACH Kaiser, NATCH MACH2 PACH Secret, Kizzy, Jedi & Ren

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Jean Sather (McCreight)

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2015, 02:48:59 PM »
Another tip for increasing your yps -- set your dog up at the start as far back as possible from the entrance to the first tunnel.  Whether you lead out or run with your dog, you want them going into that first tunnel at maximum speed .....  and same with the finish, make sure you are not slowing down or "quitting" your handling going into the last tunnel. You want them driving through that last tunnel with equal speed.
Jean & Tux
Montana

Shirlene Clark

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2015, 03:55:28 PM »
I'm probably going to get a lot of flack, but I'm getting discouraged with the course times. Elite tunnelers at the CAT Trial my dogs yps was 4.31. She was over time by over a second. I guess I need to just keep her in novice. I'm discouraged. Melinda Sito

Melinda another good tool is to video tape your runs.  Really assess the footage honestly afterwards and count the number of efficient exits to entrances for every single sequence.  If your dog is exiting the tunnel before she gets a cue to turn for the next entrance you will for sure be punished by the clock.  All your cues should be given as she enters not when she exits....so check video footage and see if inefficiency is costing you time.  If it is then take heart because with some work on tightening that up you may pick up some time.  Good luck and keep working on it.

Shirlene Clark
Australia

BeckyAH

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2015, 05:34:50 PM »
I'm not elite, but after being .04 seconds under time on a tunneler's  (novice) run, I actually had a bit of a mental crisis wondering if my dog was ever, ever going to be fast enough to Q.  I mean - my dog ran and my dog ran FAST, darn it all, and I just couldn't see her running enough faster to EVER make time on an elite, or even open, course. 

Bottom line, and this isn't flack at all, for me it was me setting inefficient lines,  being slow with my cues,  ending up on parts of the course I had no business being (and thereby getting in my dog's way and costing us time) and generally just not being as good a handler as I should have been.

I have NO CLUE how much difference that will make in our time, but I'm looking forward to finding out at our next trial in a couple of weeks!  If I can hold my head together.  If my dog holds HER head together.  IF I don't get lost and all those assorted other thoughts.

NADAC is fast.  It's achievable but the real name of that game isn't making the dog run faster, it's making the dog run smoother, I think.   But again: newbie, here.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 08:46:58 PM by BeckyAH »

KathieT

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2015, 06:33:39 PM »
I used to whine about weavers times.  Red always seemed to be just a bit over.  I saw a post by Sharon that said certain courses take more training/skills (paraphrasing here).  I took it to heart and we really trained weavers.  She got her V-NATCH almost 7 seconds under course time. 

Following the advice of the other posts and taping your runs, etc. might get your runs faster.

Kathie
Kathie
Beulah WY

dogrsqr

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 05:24:02 AM »
All I'm going to add is that some dogs just really don't like certain classes either.  We had a big Border Collie years ago that wasn't lightning fast, was fast enough and very consistent.  He did NOT like tunnelers.  You could actually see him start out fast and by the time he got to the 4th tunnel he would slow down.  It was like he thought "Oh it's that stupid game again.  I'll do it, but I don't really think it's that much fun". 

Gina Pizzo

Jean Sather (McCreight)

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 07:09:48 AM »
True that, Gina.  While I don't ever quit trying to improve as a handler, I think you do have to listen to and respect your dog, and adjust your own goals and expectations accordingly.  My first agility dog Kintla wasn't a great weaver, and Elite Jumpers proved to be just too tough for him, but he was the best Touch & Go dog ever ..... :-)  His medal for 800 lifetime points in Elite T&G is priceless to me ....
Jean & Tux
Montana

bill fehn

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2015, 06:40:31 PM »
Melinda,

I am neither going to give you any flack nor do I think you should be discouraged. You have a dog that runs Tunnelers at 4.31 yps.  Entering novice versus elite will not change that. Your post reminds me of something I thought about several years ago and still cannot get my head around.  At that time I calculated how many different classifications there were for Tunnelers, and I believe I came up with 48 for the same course (the combination of novice, open, elite; standard, junior handler, veteran, and all the different height classes).  Personally, I see no reason for more than one classification. In bowling everyone bowls on the same “course” and the scoring is the same for everyone. Why not in agility? Some people cannot get over 100 while other bowl over 200 frequently. Like agility, it is a personal thing.  If you run in novice you will never have the thrill of Qing in Elite. My definition of an accomplishment is doing something today that you could not do yesterday.  Therefore, I would trade a collection of hundreds of novice Q ribbons for that one Elite Q. Do what you can to improve your time. Several others have made great suggestions. I have personal goals that I now know I will never reach, but I get great satisfaction when I look back, and see how far I have come.

Good luck,

Bill

TheQuestKnight

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 07:37:57 AM »
I'm probably going to get a lot of flack, but I'm getting discouraged with the course times. Elite tunnelers at the CAT Trial my dogs yps was 4.31. She was over time by over a second. I guess I need to just keep her in novice. I'm discouraged. Melinda Sito

Hi Melinda!

Nothing by empathy here!

It has been a few years since we have trialed due to various reasons; but in your post you didn't mention your girl's age.................her desire to do agility....................any physical issues that she might have, etc.; and those all have an impact on your performance as a team.

Our late Gael would have traded a frisbee or sheep for all of the agility in the world; but since her packmates really liked agility..........................and the entire pack went on our road trips.....................Gael wanted to do SOMETHING.............................and Tunnelers was her class of choice.  She still wasn't enthusiastic about it; but she did have FUN running the courses in her "Princess Trot".  In time, Gael eventually qualified in Open, so we "pursued" NADAC's "Extended Title" option in both Open..................and then in Novice as Gael got older..........................and we did similar things with our other furry kids, too.

OK, the ribbons and the titles/awards are for us........................the human half of the team, our furry kids don't care about them..............................all they care about is making us HAPPY!  To that end, We are 1,000% certain that your girl absolutely senses your discouragement......................and will do anything that she is able to do to make you happy again...........................

.........................but asking her to do something that she simply cannot do.....................be it physically or mentally, is soooooooooooooooooooooooooo NOT fair to her, IOurHO.

Many handlers with more knowledge and skill than us have offered many suggestions that may help you and your girl shave a second or two from your time........................maybe.....................

In our 20+ years of agility experience, we have found that it is mutually beneficial for each team member to have reasonable goals with reasonable expectations of being to achieve them.

NADAC offers soooooooooooo many wonderful options for setting personal team goals.......................and offers so many "perks" for doing so.............................

Life is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too short to worry about the "small stuff".......................our advice is to avoid the worry, the frustration and the stress that UNREASONABLE goals can cause.  By all means, CHALLENGE yourselves; but keep it reasonable, keep it real and keep it FUN for both you and your girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugs & wags,

Al & Barb, Pelli & Katie in Ohio
Castle Camelot: Al, Barb, Dred, Gael & Pellinore . . . and from The Bridge Grill & Pub,  Kali, Flurry, Promise, Chico, Romulus, Trix and Tony.

MSito

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2015, 06:44:45 PM »
Great feedback on my post, thank you, will be working on more efficiency. Had a good talk with my instructor to help with this.
My plan was never to go to champs with her, agility is a confidence builder for a very scared rehomed dog. A lot to think about weighing her desire, mental ability, etc. Some of the courses she is running full out with tight turns and we still don't make time. Other times it's obvious she's worried about the activity around the ring.  She's made huge strides this last year, no pun intended. So, regrouping and appreciating some very helpful thoughts on this subject.

pjcavin

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Re: Elite times
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 10:32:33 AM »
Melinda, you and your girl (I'll leave her nameless as you did) HAVE made great strides and since I have the privilege of watching you two frequently, I also see great things in your future as a team.  Whether it's her confidence, her efficiency or general well being you have the right attitude and sense of her to make it happen.  You go girlies!
Patti Cavin
Puyallup, Washington