At a local AKC Agility trial today, the judge explained “Fix and Go,” the organization’s new feature to support training in the ring. Like many, I’d read the description, and yet, had questions about how it would work. Kudos to the judge, she gave her best to educate and inform by speaking to handlers as a group, to individuals, and by ensuring clarity of the crews that worked the scribe table during the day.
“Fix and Go, Eliminated” is the translation of the acronym, FNG-E. Eliminated is something none of us wants to be on course, and yet, after seeing the excitement (hey, that’s an “E” word) of handlers as they used the feature today, I feel pretty certain that all were ecstatic (another E word) about the opportunity to revisit an obstacle and provide better information and expectations (yet, another E!) to their dogs. The energy in the room was supportive as teams used FNG-E and spectators expressed appreciation for successful outcomes. (There are lots of POSITIVE “E” words, eh?)
Because of its “newness,” a few handlers were a bit exuberant in their use of it. One time only, the judge reminded after the first class finished, though some handlers lost track and made multiple fixes before they moved on. It’s all a part of learning, and some teams learned LOTS ;-). Others forgot to use the feature when it would have been a great catch, and at least one team stopped mid-way to ask the judge if what they were doing was allowed. Everyone seemed to want to know more and to strategize how its use could best support their goals. How very cool.
In my work, I encourage clients to catch and re-frame adverse thoughts (like being Eliminated) that dash through their brains into supportive concepts. Agility handlers now have an opportunity in AKC to take a less than desirable result and create an improved mindset and response for both dog and handler. As I watched teams include this feature in their runs, alternate tag lines popped into my head:
- Freedom Now Given, be Effective.
- Failure Now Gone, you’re Empowered.
- Fantastic New Goal, create Excellence.
- Focus on New Growth, support Education.
- Fortunate and Grateful for this Enhancement.
With FNG-E, handlers are encouraged to truly trial like they train. While all of us want that, sometimes we get in our own way. This new ruling lets teams employ FNG-E, and make it happen. Sounds like a win-win to me. Way to go, AKC.
Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.
~ Nicholas M. Butler