Author Topic: Ways to promote NADAC agility  (Read 5629 times)

dogrsqr

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Ways to promote NADAC agility
« on: June 20, 2012, 10:47:23 AM »
Since there has been some discussion in other threads about declining entries I thought I'd start a discussion of what we can do to promote NADAC agility.  Any ideas?

We were wondering if offering some fun runs with NADAC style courses might get some folks to come out an give it a try and hopefully get hooked on the style.  I think some people might come out just to train, but I'm not sure if people who are already trialing would be willing to give up time and money for fun runs especially if they're already set against NADAC.

I'd also like to know if anyone has any thoughts/ways to counter the anti-NADAC attitude we see at many training facilities in our area.  I personally believe that an instructor should never tell their students which venues to participate in. I also really don't understand why people complain about venues that they choose not to participate in.  Is there any hope to get people to just enjoy what they do and be quiet about what they choose not to do?

Gina Pizzo

Jeanne Allen

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 12:55:58 PM »
Gina,

I think in my area and it may be true in other areas as well, is what you said in your last paragraph.  It does come down to the instructors!  I agree that instructors should be neutral and train all the venues, but in my area most of the instructors seem to focus on only one venue, and it is not NADAC.

It would be nice to try and counter the anti-NADAC attitude, but I think some people have not even tried NADAC but they go on what others have said and go along with them.  There is one venue that I did try, but for reasons I will not go into here, I am not ever going to do that venue again!  When I go to local trials in that venue just to watch my friends and people ask me if I am going to run by dogs, I just politely say that I am not running my dogs because that venue just did not work out for me!  No venue bashing and no anti-remarks, although I could if anyone really wanted to know why I am not doing that venue any more.

One thing that we may try is if we hear someone saying negative things about NADAC, maybe we can first ask them if they have tried it, and if they had, maybe ask a few more questions to see why they do not like NADAC.  If they have not tried NADAC then politely ask why they hate something they have never tried?

I am with you in that I can also hope that people will just enjoy what ever venue makes them and their dogs happy and stop bashing the venues they do not like!
Jeanne Allen and the Blue Dogs Gypsy and Jester
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TheQuestKnight

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 02:10:18 PM »
Hi Gina,

I think that all of us that LOVE NADAC as our only/primary venue are as stumped as you and others are.

One trend that I have noticed over time is the increasing number of businesses that are venue certified to host trials, vis-a-vis clubs, with their constitutions, officers, etc..  Although not exclusive to businesses, many groups have multiple "letterheads" for the same organization so they can host trials form multiple venues, even when some venues require "club name exclusivity".  The venues, it seems to me, have also gotten pretty lax about enforcing their own policies of "exclusivity" as long as they get their $$, which complicates the problem.

Given the state of the economy, it's a good "business model" that keeps a business or clubs consumers tied to the club or business, provided the consumers are willing to participate in multiple venues if it means staying close to home with lower fuel expenses and without lodging expenses . . . and minimal food expenses.

In the current economic conditions, it might be a better focus to work to hold onto the "core" exhibitors that one has . . . and try to plan accordingly so trials don't lose money.  Beyond that, perhaps the best that can be done is to encourage participants in other venues and uncommitted students to come and observe a local NADAC trial . . . at least give the venue a fair "look-see" before deciding not to participate in it.

The lack of instructors to teach NADAC-needed skills and/or their refusal to teach those skills is a problem that seemingly defies an answer; because NADAC-needed skills transfer to ALL other venues.  However, that inability or unwillingness to teach those skills automatically prejudices their students against venues that their instructor cannot or will not teach skills for . . .

At the present time, I would guess that we have less than 2 dozen NADAC exhibitors left in the state of Ohio . . . and we're spread all over the state . . . and only one Ohio club that is doing their very best to offer 3 trials from Spring to Autumn with very limited entries.

I guess at this point in time, if one is in one of the really tough NADAC areas, the best thing that I would offer is that you try to survive until the economy picks up and folks are willing and financially able to travel greater distances and afford the additional expenses to trial outside of their immediate area.

Adding one returning exhibitor per trial . . . or even one per year to your exhibitor base may not seem like much; but at least it's a step in the right direction.

NADAC is, by far, the most difficult venue that I and my dogs have participated in; but it's also been the most rewarding for me and the best for my dogs.

Popularity among the venues for predominantly agility-only folks seems to have an ebb and flow in many areas for many different reasons.  While NADAC has seen steady growth overall, there are some of us walking through the tidal pools searching for trials in the tidal pools . . .

I sense that the tide is shifting, albeit very slowly, in many areas that are beginning to see a slight resurgence in the number of exhibitors and numbers of trials.

     
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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 07:31:10 PM »
Quick idle thought  ??? regarding instructors "steering" their students to/from certain venues...perhaps we might find ways to positively reinforce them for coming to NADAC trials. Lisa Bonker mentioned (in another thread) creating a "Refer-a-Friend" program...how about adapting it to instructors? "Bring 3 of your students to an NADAC trial and get a free day of runs" or something like that?

I do think that some instructors who are not comfortable teaching skills needed for a specific venue will probably not encourage their students to participate in those venues. So how do we get those instructors proficient in teaching NADAC skills?

Scott Casino
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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 08:13:58 PM »
Scott, you bring up a very valid point.  I have had local club members tell me they don't want to attend our club's classes because we only teach "NADAC" skills (which is not true).  I want to say, isn't a dog walk a dog walk, an A-frame an A-frame?  Many of the skills used/taught in NADAC style classes are used in all venues. 

I do believe people teach what they know and if the instructor only competes in one venue, they will naturally feel more comfortable teaching that style of handling.  If the students only learn that type of handling, they will feel more comfortable in that venue.  What really baffles me are the local people who used to compete in NADAC and are now doing another venue say they don't know how to teach for NADAC.  Go figure!

Linda
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Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2012, 04:59:05 AM »
I do believe having instructors that teach NADAC skills or at the very least do not venue bash NADAC is the key.    If my sister Chrissy did not teach classes at her place, I am absolutely certain I would not be having trials at her place.   Now, 95% of the people attending these trials are her students.        Chrissy does an AWESOME job ( not biased at all heeheh)   She primarily sets NADAC style courses,   the distance, confidence, motivation, speed etc she teaches her students transfers over to other venues.  All of her students multi venue.   In fact in the spring we went to another venue trial to watch and I could pick out Chrissy's students in a heartbeat as they handled very well  and definitely 'stuck' out and looked good !     

But Chrissy is one person with 2 small children.  She is very limited in time and does not have an indoor (We keep dreaming) .    People are starting to travel over an hour to take private lessons with her ! YEAH...so we are hoping that when ready, these students will come trial and also bring friends !!!

I am a wanderer and am not in one place long enough to do classes.   

Scott- maybe I should try to instructor thing too.  Rae Hart had mentioned that to me before but I completely forgot about it.       

The two areas that i have trials il IL are heavy agility places.    In Joliet, there are at least 4 agility training facilities within a half hour but they are not NADAC related  (even though one club puts on one nadac trial)  ..overall these students do not attend my trials.  On Occasion we will have a person come but with all the agility going on in the area and the fact that we used to have 2 ring full trials years ago, it is very disappointing.    There are a few other NADAC clubs in northern IL, but most of these students just don't travel south. With the addition to  I355, it makes connecting Northern IL with southwest Chicagoland area easy.   But still, only a few die hard NADAC people will travel even an hour to attend trials.

By Chrissy's (near Springfield) there are a few non NADAC clubs within a hour drive.  Slowly, people are coming.  Thus ---my refer a friend idea.   Here, we never had NADAC and it is more 'new' to the area.   In Joliet, NADAC was strong years ago, and people left and keep leaving.     

For the 2 june trials I had in IL one in Joliet and one by Chrissys--- I sent out premiums to most every club in the area.  I spend lots of time printing and stapling premiums !!!  I really tried to advertise more hoping to get the one new person......

I did get one new person at Chrissy's that had a GREAT TIME. She came for one day (one day at a time) but really enjoyed herself.  She told me that the places she trains is antinadac and hates hoops. They don't see it as on obstacle.  She said she found the hoops very challenging.  I told her about how awesome hoops are for training regardless of venue and how very easy hoops are to make.  I encouraged her to make a few hoops and bring them to her training facility !   I should email her and see how that went !!

Doing VT runs at Chrissy's has helped a little.....   

I thought about trying to go to other clubs renting the building/field for a day and doing a NADAC style mini workshop kinda thing......introduction to NADAC.
this may be something I may do in the springfield area as there are no other nadac clubs and this may help introduce people to nadac.    But honestly, I don't have much time and my schedule is crazy .

Any other thoughts??



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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 06:03:29 AM »
>>I'd also like to know if anyone has any thoughts/ways to counter the anti-NADAC attitude we see at many training facilities in our area.  I personally believe that an instructor should never tell their students which venues to participate in. I also really don't understand why people complain about venues that they choose not to participate in.  Is there any hope to get people to just enjoy what they do and be quiet about what they choose not to do?<<

I think this is a generalization that you cannot make. While it may be true in some cases it is not true in all cases. As I have repeatedly said, to address low participation you have to definitively determine the cause of the low participation in trials. When you guess or speculate on the cause of low entries (economy, knowledge, etc.), the result is that you'll use a marketing method that may not target the appropriate community or address the issue that needs to be addressed to increase participation.

In my area, I know instructors who aren't keen on NADAC and others who primarily teach and support NADAC. However the instructors I know who aren't keen on NADAC certainly never discourage anyone from participating in a NADAC trial. And while the instructors aren't keen on NADAC, the reason is never discussed with students. Nothing negative concerning NADAC has ever been displayed to a student. My local instructors realize that there are all sorts of reasons for liking/disliking the different venues and they let the students come to their own conclusions about each venue. All local trials are presented as opportunities to students, regardless of venue.

NADAC is my most successful venue. Of the 4 venues in which I compete, my dog has the fastest times, the highest Q rate, and highest placement rate in NADAC. However I don't like NADAC. Of the four venues in which I compete, it's my least favorite. Because of that I will not travel to participate in a NADAC trial. I only participate in local trials and only to support my local club. If it weren't for the local club, I would never do NADAC again, regardless of our level of success. Therefore, in my case, making sure I know about a particular trial would not get me to enter that trial (unless it were local). Giving me discounts will also not sway me. What if the bulk of the people you need to influence, the largest community you need to reach to get to enter your trial, are similar to me? People who know the venue, are familiar with it, have competed in it in the past, have chosen to no longer participate, and have migrated to other venues. If that is the case you need to find out why and fix the issue that drove them away. Otherwise you will not be able to get people to return.

Just food for thought.

Cheri 

Chris Nelson

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 08:55:59 AM »
>>I'd also like to know if anyone has any thoughts/ways to counter the anti-NADAC attitude we see at many training facilities in our area.  I personally believe that an instructor should never tell their students which venues to participate in. I also really don't understand why people complain about venues that they choose not to participate in.  Is there any hope to get people to just enjoy what they do and be quiet about what they choose not to do?<<

I think this is a generalization that you cannot make. While it may be true in some cases it is not true in all cases. As I have repeatedly said, to address low participation you have to definitively determine the cause of the low participation in trials. When you guess or speculate on the cause of low entries (economy, knowledge, etc.), the result is that you'll use a marketing method that may not target the appropriate community or address the issue that needs to be addressed to increase participation.

In my area, I know instructors who aren't keen on NADAC and others who primarily teach and support NADAC. However the instructors I know who aren't keen on NADAC certainly never discourage anyone from participating in a NADAC trial. And while the instructors aren't keen on NADAC, the reason is never discussed with students. Nothing negative concerning NADAC has ever been displayed to a student. My local instructors realize that there are all sorts of reasons for liking/disliking the different venues and they let the students come to their own conclusions about each venue. All local trials are presented as opportunities to students, regardless of venue.

NADAC is my most successful venue. Of the 4 venues in which I compete, my dog has the fastest times, the highest Q rate, and highest placement rate in NADAC. However I don't like NADAC. Of the four venues in which I compete, it's my least favorite. Because of that I will not travel to participate in a NADAC trial. I only participate in local trials and only to support my local club. If it weren't for the local club, I would never do NADAC again, regardless of our level of success. Therefore, in my case, making sure I know about a particular trial would not get me to enter that trial (unless it were local). Giving me discounts will also not sway me. What if the bulk of the people you need to influence, the largest community you need to reach to get to enter your trial, are similar to me? People who know the venue, are familiar with it, have competed in it in the past, have chosen to no longer participate, and have migrated to other venues. If that is the case you need to find out why and fix the issue that drove them away. Otherwise you will not be able to get people to return.

Just food for thought.

Cheri
From a purely scientific and analytical view I agree completely about needing to know why people left in order to get them back, but that is probably about as far as it goes with us agreeing.

Ever since I have gotten heavily involved in NADAC I have kept a very keen eye on statistics.  Number of active dogs, active handlers and also in which areas the numbers are increasing, or decreasing.

And it doesn't take a survey to see the connection between instrructors and entries.   Every area that has a core group of instructors whom support and trial in NADAC also has a much greater following by their students.

That is not a debatable opinion, that is a fact.

And while we could go have everyone take a survey on their likes and dislikes we won't because at a certain point common sense has to take over.   Plus the fact that we already know why certain people leave NADAC.   When people leave NADAC they tend to be very vocal about it.  One of those things I tend to never understand.  I cut down on drinking soda about a month ago, but I don't really feel this burning desire to email the cola distributors or post on facebook about how terrible soda is and that anyone drinking it must be a couple fries short of a happy meal.     Do I think everyone should cut down to one, or zero sodas a day?  Yeah absolutely.  It would make the entire country healthier, child obesity could start to be curbed and you just feel better.   But at the end of the day I am not your guardian angel nor am I your guiding light.   If you ask my my opinion I will gladly give it, with passion.  I will not feel the need to respond on every topic in which I do not agree with.    While I do not expect the rest of the world to live by my rules, I do expect a certain level of common courtesy and respect.


And the other little fact is that for 90% of the agility community this is a social sport.   The other 10% are serious competitors who are going for that tighter turn, more consistent contact or bigger distance.   But those 90% are going to a trial to have fun.  And it tends to be a little bit hard to have fun when the other competitors are constantly vocalizing how much they dislike the venue they are competing in.   And we DO get plenty of emails about these little occurences.   I think it would amaze most people just how much feedback we do get from the agility community when it comes to negative people at trials.   With a lot of competitors saying they will often avoid certain trials all together just to avoid those people.



And since I am getting a little long winded here I will wrap it up.


We do know why certain people leave NADAC.

We do know why certain areas are not growing.

And here is also what we do know.


We know that we cannot change our venue to match every competitors ideals.  We already make quite a few concessions just in an attempt to hit an 'average'.

We do know that you cannot change a persons mind in a discussion.  This is a little bit of knowledge that I learned at a very young age.  Discussions are great, but 95% of the time you will not be altering the opinion of the person you are debating with.  You will be affecting the views of the people listening in.

So with that in mind, why would we get into a heated discussion about why these people should do NADAC, when they clearly do not like NADAC.   Hoops are here to stay.  Barrels will happen. 

Do not try to tell me I need to drink soda.



« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 08:57:55 AM by Chris 'CJ' Nelson »

Chris Nelson

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 09:10:28 AM »
And I guess just in case some folks don't understand my form of speech. Where I tend to allude to an opinion rather than state it directly.  I will get a little more direct so that there are no discrepancies.

The trials are biggest where instructors support NADAC.  Fact.

The trials are smallest where instructors either do not support NADAC, or bash NADAC.  Fact.

Instructors do bash the venues they do not like.  And while maybe in certain areas the instructors are the perfect example of humility and can truly support their students in any ventures they choose.  That is not the norm.  I have personally seen far too many examples in my short life, of competitors feeling awkward going to a NADAC trial because their instructor doesn't support it. Especially when I go to an area that isn't big on NADAC.   They want support, they want their friends.   And if their friends/instructors do not support them, they will not go.   Seen it too many times for it to be any sort of coincidence.   

dmadrid

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 10:06:17 AM »
I think about this a lot... the NADAC vs. other venues divide.  Here are some thoughts I had this morning:

I think for many people, the question comes down to one of relevance.  Simply put, the skills you need to succeed in NADAC (distance, obstacle discrimination, especially) are not seen as relevant to other venues (I disagree).  But, if you trial in AKC & USDAA, it is easy to see how the skills for one venue transfer to the other.  The obstacle list is the same, course design is similar, and even the YPS requirements are similar.  On the other hand, if you come to a NADAC show, some obstacles are missing, and some new ones are added, the course design is very different, times are tighter, and there is a much bigger emphasis on distance, directionals, and speed.  The focus is different. 

One of my instructors competes successfully in all three venues with his dogs.  The skills he needs to be successful in Elite Chances (for instance) actually do translate very well to AKC & USDAA courses (think about how easy even Masters gamble lines are for teams that really excel at chances!).  In class, he's had us do several series of a few weeks of distance work.  At first, quite a few of the people in the class who were AKC only competitors questioned it, but he kept pointing out instances where he's used distance skills on a tough AKC course, etc... and once they learned a bit more and got more comfortable, they came around.  I think a couple of them have even entered their club's NADAC show this spring.

So, that's a good thing... but I don't see these folks traveling for a couple hours to go to an out of town NADAC show.  They've come around enough to support their club... but NADAC is not (and will not) be a serious thing for them.  And, that's only one instructor.  Earlier this year, another instructor in the same club was going to tell her students NOT to come to a local show-n-go that was going to feature NADAC equipment and NADAC style courses.

Last weekend I was at a USDAA show and overheard one competitor telling another that she should come to the NADAC show in a few weeks, since her young dog needed ring practice and in NADAC you can train in the ring.  I'm sure she'll come... but she's coming to practice, and once her dog gets over his jitters, I think she'll move on.  This attitude is not uncommon here, and I've seen a few other competitors come to start their young dogs in NADAC and then disappear.  Runs are cheaper (overall) and you can train in the ring... so it really is the ideal venue for young dogs. 

There are things to like and dislike about any venue.  I used to dislike hoops, I am now indifferent to them.  I am not excited to see barrels (and yes, Anja and I do play and practice sends around all sorts of things all the time... trees, lamp posts, planters, chairs, whatever), but I accept that they are coming.  But as NADAC grows more and more different, I wouldn't be surprised to see fewer and fewer cross-venue folks... I think a lot of people want to play a certain game, and while you can change some rules, at a certain point if you change enough of them, they won't think they're playing the same game anymore. 

unfortunately, I don't think this is a problem that will go away.  I don't think the trick is to get other venue folks to come to NADAC... long term, I don't think it's a successful strategy.  As Chris pointed out, we need instructors teaching NADAC skills, and perhaps most importantly, teaching their students that those skills are useful in multiple venues.  An instructor that trials (successfully) in several venues might be the most powerful tool to get more new folks to NADAC... but that is a process that will take some time.
Danielle

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2012, 10:09:06 AM »
And I guess just in case some folks don't understand my form of speech. Where I tend to allude to an opinion rather than state it directly.  I will get a little more direct so that there are no discrepancies.

The trials are biggest where instructors support NADAC.  Fact.

The trials are smallest where instructors either do not support NADAC, or bash NADAC.  Fact.

Instructors do bash the venues they do not like.  And while maybe in certain areas the instructors are the perfect example of humility and can truly support their students in any ventures they choose.  That is not the norm.  I have personally seen far too many examples in my short life, of competitors feeling awkward going to a NADAC trial because their instructor doesn't support it. Especially when I go to an area that isn't big on NADAC.   They want support, they want their friends.   And if their friends/instructors do not support them, they will not go.   Seen it too many times for it to be any sort of coincidence.

And that is not an absolute fact. It is anecdotal. I know that it is anecdotal because I know of instructors who hate NADAC with a passion yet they encourage students to attend NADAC trials. I did not say it is coincidence. I'm saying that without doing research of the market to determine for certain why people are not attending trials your information is purely speculation on your part. While you might be right, you could also be totally wrong. Only research of the market will show the actual facts.

Chris Nelson

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 10:37:16 AM »
Good thing I didn't put the 'fact' after that third statement   ;)

I think that's great that the trainers in your area feel and teach that way.

In my experience and opinion, which is based on a little wider and varied group of people...it's just not the case.

And the numbers, which tend to be pretty honest, don't agree either.

TheQuestKnight

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2012, 11:11:27 AM »
Hey Chris . . .

I gave up sugary sodas for dry wine years ago! <G> . . . not sure that it's any healthier; but . . . 

You spoke the plain, simple truth substantiated by the statistics that NADAC monitors . . .

One of the major things that has frustrated me with agility in general for the last 10 years is the emphasis on MARKETING a venue . . . and the way that some venues seem to go in whatever direction that garners them a larger share of the market.

NADAC has always sought exhibitor input; but they've NEVER capitulated to exhibitors' desires if it didn't fit the NADAC concept of agility and meet NADAC's standards for dog safety.

Just like politicians and voters, agility exhibitors in some areas have become increasingly polarized and have engaged in negativity and dis-information when it comes to venues that they don't like.  I've done it myself, so I really can't be critical that have vocal opinions that differ from mine.

Clearly, an area with good NADAC instruction can thrive in the midst of other venues . . . proof is all over this country and Canada . . .

It seems to me that the only venue that has "complete coverage" in the USA is the AKC . . . and they had a well-established network established because of conformation, obedience, etc. . . . all of the other registries seem to have "hot spots" and "cool/cold zones" . . .

My wife and I have played in virtually every venue available to us since the beginning of USDAA and NDAC . . . and we settled on NADAC in 2005 because it was the BEST FIT for us.  Sure I've got opinions about the other venues and I'll willingly share them . . . OFF THIS LIST . . . most are positive, some others . . . not so much . . .

We live in a NADAC "near sub-Arctic zone", so we've resigned ourselves to fewer trials at more distant locations, so trial weekends tend to be on the expensive side, so we don't do as many as we would if we opted to trial in venues that are "in our backyard" . . .

In all honesty, in northeast Ohio, only a fool or a multi-millionaire could undertake the task of establishing NADAC here.  If you don't have a state-of-the-art trial facility, people won't come . . . regardless of venue . . . except for the die-hards.  Indoor training facilities are mandatory because folks want to train year 'round.  All this translates into needing a BIG bankroll just to get started . . . and BIG MONEY behind one that can withstand the losses for several years or more . . .

I'm not complaining about our situation . . . it is what it is, as it were . . .

We are EXTREMELY GRATEFUL for those organizations that host trials that we are able to attend from time-to-time . . . and for the knowledge gained over time that permit us to set up NADAC style mini-courses for our kids to play on at home on a regular basis.

There is only so much net disposable income to be spent on agility in any given market area.  The more venues/options that exist, one needs to look at the venue hierarchy . . . and that doesn't really take much in the way of intensive research . . . it can all be done on the computer.

If your chosen venue is in the Omega dog's position, you're facing a Sissiphysian task . . .

. . . and the god Hades is likely to win, Persephone is not likely going to come to your rescue . . .

All that we can do is support NADAC host organizations when and where we can . . . and support NADAC because we believe in NADAC.

Uncomfortable fact . . . life is rarely fair . . . many times it sucks . . . things are what they are and sometimes, despite our best intentions, we are powerless to change them . . .   
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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2012, 11:17:19 AM »
I have found a great way to promote NADAC is to hold the BA-1 and BA-2 trials. We teach a lot of beginner classes and offering these tests are a fantastic way to get newbies interested in competition. Right off the bat our new students are getting a NADAC number which is a commitment, of sorts, to NADAC competition. We offer a plaque for these titles. Soon, I will offer my first VT runs, but the BA tests have increased our numbers and the interest in doing more NADAC competition.
Lora Del Page

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Re: Ways to promote NADAC agility
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2012, 05:17:21 AM »
It would be nice to be able to come to the NADAC forum and not be confronted with people who hate NADAC.  I know we're all entitled to our own opinions, but I make it a practice not to discuss with folks who trial in other venues what I think of their decision.  What others choose to do with their dogs is no skin off my nose and criticizing others just takes away from the mindset of having fun with my own. 

Lee Anne