Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What Makes a GREAT Coach?

It is blog action day again and the subject of today's blogs is what makes a good instructor/coach?

Being a good procrastinator I put off my blog post until the last minute, then what seemed to be such an easy topic did not seem so easy to write about. ;-) I have been very lucky to work with quite a few people that have been really great instructors but What does make a really good dog agility coach. I thought about how I would want to say a great coach keeps up on new trends in courses and handling, but might not necessarily jump on the bandwagon for every new trend. I might point out that a great coach makes things fun, that they have an ability to look at each team and find a way to build on their particular strengths. I could talk about how a good coach is like a good dog trainer and knows when to set you up for success to help you grow your confidence and knows when to challenge a team.

All of those things go into being a great coach or instructor, but when I thought of my own journey and what Dr. Phil would call those important life changing moments -the moments that leave a huge mark on our souls and that we will always remember and keep playing over and over in our minds, the things that really impact our moment came up for me that impacted and symbolized so many things for me ;-). ahhhhh, haaaaa, thinking of that I knew what I wanted to share with you all!!

I have been so lucky to have one truly great instructor or coach that made so many things possible for me. I looked on youtube and thank heavens I do have a moment that symbolizes what this instructor did for me. This is my very first AKC trial with Breeze in 2009. At the very end is my good friend and instructor yelling for me and Breeze, and you can tell she was running that course with us ;-). Her voice just says it all, that might have been just an ok run, but it was like I won the Olympics- ;-)

I was so lucky to have been able to work with Alicia Nicholas. She made me feel like all things were possible for me and I could do anything. She challenged me and made me feel respected. When she moved away at first I thought I would be lost doing agility but the attitude she inspired in me made it possible for me to train my next dog all by myself. I wish I had more of her yelling at the end of my video because I just can not convey all that that meant to me, but gosh I wish for all of you to have a great instructor at some point in your agility career that believes in you and is truly as excited for you as they would be for themselves, someone who inspires you, gets irritated at you when you could do better and who gets why agility seems so important to you!

Kathy Mocharnuk with CP Blew Breeze/ Leapin' Liz/ Hillcrest Quick as a Cricket