I was recently involved in a discussion about folks who talk about searches during a Nosework trial and it got me thinking… Maybe people don’t realize what they say can impact those around them?
We all know that we aren’t supposed to give anything away or to talk about the search. We don’t always realize though that any little factoid can get in our fellow competitors’ heads. This is especially true at the NW3 and up levels where you start to deal with unknown number of hides.
Let’s look at a few innocent comments that can really mess people up!
“I am not sure that I found them all.”
This sounds innocent! But a listener in NW3 will know immediately that you didn’t find 3 hides. If there are only 3 possible, and you found all 3, you wouldn’t make that comment!
“I think he false alerted on dog drool.”
Ok… again… this sounds innocent. But as a competitor I will start second guessing my own dog’s alerts… and I know that you didn’t find 3 hides.
“I can’t believe he peed!”
Ok. So this isn’t about the hides… but now you’ve told me that your dog peed in the search area. So now I will be thinking about pee, not Birch.
Seriously, ANYTHING that you say about your search can have detrimental impact.
Seriously, ANYTHING that you say about your search can have detrimental impact. You don’t have to be talking about the hides to give information away. We are all emotional after our searches, however for the good of our parking lot neighbor it’s imperative that you keep your thoughts and comments unspoken.
Very often I have friends in the parking lot who want to show their camaraderie and will ask me “How did it go?” when I return from a search. I have ONE answer… always… “We had fun.” That is all you need to tell people. Don’t tell them if you have No No’s or had a False Alert. Keep that to yourself. Just tell people that you had fun.
When I compete I work very hard to get into the right frame of mind.
When I compete I work very hard to get into the right frame of mind. I try to get “in the zone”. To do this, I can’t hear anything from you. I care. I truly, TRULY care how you did. I just can’t hear it until we are done.
So far, I’ve competed in 4 Summit Trials. Judd and I have placed 5th overall, 3rd overall, 5th overall, and 2nd overall… netting us three official titles. To title at Summit, you have to beat 80% of your fellow teams. These are teams that you spent more than a dozen Elite trials with… cheering each other on. You love the other teams. You love your friends and their dogs. In Summit the tables turn. Because of Judd’s health, we won’t be returning to the level in 2020. So I will wait until Brava is there. But I’ve felt it and I’ve experienced it. In Summit especially I don’t want to know if you’ve had a good or a bad day. Anything you say can and will get into my head.
We need to treat all trials like Summit Trials. Pick a stock answer. “We had fun” is PERFECT. Use it. Save the lamenting for after the Awards Ceremony.