Wednesday, October 06, 2010

More dogwalk turns

Yeah, I know, some of you, maybe even most of you, are probably ready to poke your eyes out with all of this but I made the videos for myself and I may as well share them with the 3 people who might find them useful.

After some thought I decided to try using the prop of the pole to help Strum run all the way to the bottom before turning.  As I said in the comments on a post below I'm not fond of props and this is largely because I'm so crap at both using them and fading them.  I don't have a lot of faith in them either so I avoid them for the most part.  But I thought I'd take the opportunity to learn how to use them.  I wanted to use the running dogwalk experiment to improve my training techniques and here is one that could use some improvement.  Well, you can see from the videos below how that worked out.  In short, the pole only seemed to confuse and cause leaps and jumping off the side early to avoid it.  So after giving it the good old college try for a grand total of 2 days/training sessions I said adios to the prop. and the next session I had perfect turns.  I did have a training session on the A-frame/tunnel with my training partner but the mechanics of that turn is very different from the dogwalk.  Still it probably helped some.

Monday's session with the pole

DOGWALK TURNS 10-4-2010 AFTERNOON from colliebrains on Vimeo.

I had a theory that he was cueing off my lack of motion and shoulder position (ie facing the direction I wanted him to turn) rather than the verbal so I tried running forward and saying 'turn' and sure enough he went forward the first time.  I tried it again with a little less forward motion and he surprised me by taking the turn.  Maybe he is learning the verbal after all.

Tuesday's session with the pole
DOGWALK TURNS 10-5-2010 from colliebrains on Vimeo.

This session saw even more goofiness with the pole.  After that I decided I'd leave the poles to the strippers and figure out something else for next session.

Tuesday evening I met at my training partner's house to practice teaching verbal discriminations and turns for the A-frame/tunnel.  He was 100% with his turning cue, even with some forward motion on my part.  He was not 100% on his verbal for the tunnel vs A-frame so I helped him out with some physical cues but by the end I think he was starting to get the idea.  Verbals are hard, it'll take a lot more work but what I saw was encouraging.  I still question his ability to ever learn to process a verbal that doesn't have some physical cue to back it up during a course when he's flying full speed.  I think where it might work are instances where the physical cue is weak and the verbal will be extra information, like when the dogwalk and tunnel entry are close together and the physical cues to indicate one over the other are subtle and maybe not all that clear, the verbal can help him out.  In theory anyway.  We'll see how it works out in practice.

Wednesday's session, no more pole

DOGWALK TURNS 10-6-2010 from colliebrains on Vimeo.

I cheated a little here and positioned the tunnel opening so it was next to and a bit forward of the dogwalk plank.  This was to encourage him to run all the way down.  I'll inch the tunnel back a bit over more sessions to make sure he doesn't start to dive in from the side given the opportunity.  This session he started anticipating the turn and even turned with forward motion on my part for one rep.  And I rewarded it with a yes!  Next rep he started to do it again then stopped himself.  Third time was a charm and he went forward no problem.  I need to remember to put a lot of forward reps into each session like I did when I was starting out.

Strum gets a little break until next week because I leave for Chicago tomorrow for a long weekend.  I think the rest will do him good.  Will be interesting to see how it holds up next week.  I have a DOCNA trial that following weekend and I'm eager to see how all this training will pan out in the ring.  Also will be interesting to see if his weave poles hold up because I've hardly worked on them since Champs.

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