Author: Kathy Keats
Length: 56 pages
Release Date: 2013
Reading an agility course is part physics, part dog psychology, part self-analysis, and part art. There are the technical aspects of the course; there is knowing your dog and yourself, and there is the art of feeling how it will fit together—the creative side. The Art of Reading Agility Courses will help you understand even the subtle challenges on a course so that you can choose the best path and handling for you and your dog.
- Do you always see all the handling options so that you have a selection of choices?
- Do you always make it to handling positions on time?
- Do you always see potential off-course traps and potential faults?
- Do you always make decisions based on what’s best for your dog rather than on what the prevailing top person is doing?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, this book will show you how to look at a course with renewed confidence. It will open your mind to a wealth of possibilities.
To accompany the book, Kathy has created 15 "chalk talk" videos to illustrate key concepts in the book and break down particular sequences. The videos can be accessed through the web links provided in the book. (A chalk talk is a monologue presentation done while the speaker draws.)
About the Author
Kathy Keats has been competing in elite athletics her entire life, with great success. She has been fascinated with human potential and peak performance and has dedicated much of her life to learning how to apply these principles in her various endeavours, as well as teaching others how to reach their potential. Kathy's success at the national and international level in multiple venues demonstrates a plan for success, not simply a talent in one area, and Kathy wants to see everyone become the best they can be and reach their goals in whatever life path they choose. Kathy's students have won national and regional championships and she works with world team members on a regular basis.
Among her own achievements, Kathy has represented Canada in three World Championships in different disciplines, including winning the IFCS World Agility Overall Championship and Gold in the IFCS World Jumpers Championship. She has also competed in multiple National Championships in three different disciplines including winning the CIAU Women's Basketball Championship and named Player of the Game, and has won her way into the double lift finals of the CBCA Canadian Championships in herding, coached the Canadian Agility Team at the FCI World Championships, graduated from The National Coaching Institute, and was Head Coach of the University of Waterloo women's basketball team. These are but a few of her many accomplishments.
Kathy's educational background and practical application of her principles of success make her one of the leading mental performance coaches of dog sports in North America.
The Art of Reading Agility Courses contains the following chapters:
Section 1: Finding the Dog's Path
- Chapter 1: The Process
- Chapter 2: Type of Dog & Handler
- Chapter 3: Overall Course Flow
Section 2: Handling the Path
- Chapter 4: Handling Choices
- Chapter 5: Tweaking
- Chapter 6: Experiment
"I've been to many a handling class over the years, suffered through several 'protocol' variations in handling systems, and survived a deluge of confusion—all without significantly improving my team's success. Despite acquiring a large body of handling information, I continued to walk my courses blind—not knowing what I was looking at in terms of judge's challenges, dog's likely performance, or my ability to actually execute the 'moves' in my 'tool kit.' After reading The Art of Reading Agility Course, the 'big picture' materialized and I am now walking courses with a totally different mindset. I recommend this book to everyone, no matter how confident, successful, or knowledgeable because it is founded on principles that do not change with handling styles or course design themes. It is a thoughtful treatise on what makes an agility course what it is and how one might go about navigating their team's ship through unexpected turbulence." —Terri Austin-Beech
"The Art of Reading Agility Courses is one of best investments I made. It made me aware of so many things and changed my understanding of agility overnight!" —Ellen Erickson
"No matter what your chosen handling system or your dog’s level of motivation, Kathy's clear, concise instruction will help you to consider all options when deciding on the best path for you and your dog." —Debra Pearse-Lappano RMT-RP, CCMP, CESMT, Pawsitive Spirit Training & Wellness
"Kathy's coaching expertise shines through in both the book and the video chalk talks. I have a better understanding of what my dog sees and what influences my dog’s path on course. I am able to adjust my handling so that we are more successful. This book has helped me to focus on my dog’s strengths and make the best choices for us at the present moment." —Teresa Kroeker, PhD
"With The Art Of Reading Agility Courses, Kathy Keats has provided insight to an all-important missing piece of my agility puzzle. Kathy breaks down understanding the course flow point by point and clarifies how to make handling decisions based on my dog’s strengths." —Linda Saab & Johnny Cash