Saturday, January 29, 2011

Conditioning Seminar: Warm Ups, Cool Downs, and Stretches

I had morning lessons and only made it to the afternoon session. It was SO worth it Debbie Gross Saunders was speaking about Warm Ups, Cool Downs, and Stretches.

A lot of the information I already knew from reading books and articles. It had been overwhelming to know exactly what to do and how to condense it to a time frame that's reasonable. We were given guidelines that would be easy to follow and that I can definitely trust to be good options.

I'll be making some changes to my classes:
My agility and flyball students will be arriving 15-some minutes early and stay 15 some minutes after class. Obviously we'll talk about it this week and it'll happen the next week. This way they have time to do an appropriate warm out. Up until now, we do some walking and jogging at the beginning...if they want. And then some attention and easy behaviors to warm up. This is a good start but we definitely weren't doing enough and we should be doing some stretches. Because there are basic training classes prior to these classes, I'll be creating two walking lanes along the long wall so that students can arrive and start to do walking and jogging without interrupting the basic training students. And without having to do the walking outdoors. Come spring....well have them get into that habit! They'll do about five minutes of walking and five minutes of jogging. I'll help them learn how to do some very basic stretches and warm up activities. I'm going to be pretty strict about this for the flyball group and the advanced agility group. After classes, the same sort of thing.

Obviously after Griffin's appt, we'll be more diligent about proper preparation and cool downs too. One of the BIG things emphasized is that there is NO good reason to NOT be doing this stuff. We're doing activities with our dogs to be with them. We need to prepare them and keep them safe, not just 'fix them later.'

Crating after a warm up or before a complete cool down is a really bad idea. This will make our training group days a bit of a challenge, I need to help the others and there isn't really time for a proper cool down or warm up. But I'll be making time. Discussing my training plans or the results of the session while working with Griffin. And then maybe just some pauses in between when dogs are working.

More conditioning. More physical preparation. Early arrivals for us to classes and lessons and trials. And more gear. I really want to get one of these coats for the dogs, and esp for Blaze to wear for periods of time.

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