Epic Sequence Building: Making Things Hot for the New Move

Many people were recently inspired by Oscar of Wafrika Disc Dogs and a new sequence he put out last week. It was a smooth interior sequence that featured a spinning back/hip Jakie (a catch of a disc on the way to a bounce off the handler’s body). Eppie and I do not really have a back Jakie at this time. We have tried it but have not had much success as he’s a bit too small and crowds me a bit too much.

After being inspired I decided to try to dust it off. Below is a breakdown of a somewhat typical approach to trying a new or difficult sequence.

Step 1: Warmup

Warm Up – 0:13 | Eppie & I do a little Pendulum warmup to get the blood pumping…

Step 2: Do Something Fun & Easy

Make It Rain – 1:00 | We move on to something easy, simple, and fun that won’t wear us out too much to do good work.

Step 3: Approximate the New Skill / Warm Up the Components

Making the Jakie the Hot Behavior 1:18 | Once we’ve got our confidence up it’s time to heat up the “Hot” behavior. The Jakie is the move we’re going to be doing, of course he’s not done one off the back successfully, but if the Jakie is Hot he’ll be more apt to make the move…

Step 4: Capitalize on the Hot Behavior

Trying the Back Jakie – 1;34 | With the Jakie as a “Hot” behavior and the same set up, turing my back on Eppie didn’t seem to impact him too much. He took the change in stride and completed a Back Jakie in smooth fashion for the first time.

Step 5:Backing Off and Keeping Things Warm

Recharging the Jakie – 2:00 | Backing off to that sequence to make the Jakie “Hot” helps to keep the heat up and our minds in the right place. This is a very similar skill that is pretty easy for us to do. Let’s get some success rolling…

Step 6: Upping the Ante

Upping the Ante 2:14 | Finally on to the goal… Kind of… This is a close approximation of a spinning Back Jakie. It’s as far as I wanted to go in this session. Total time was about 5 minutes. Nice work, Eppie.

Session & Method Recap

This is a fairly typical set up for us when learning something new. I like to get warmed up and get hot. Once we’re hot, I start focusing on the task at hand using a similar or component skill to bring our focus closer to the skill we’re trying to get.

Once we’re nice and hot, I’ll take a few shots at the skill or a lesser expression of the skill. After a few reps, I’ll either take a break or bang out a few reps of the “Hot” skill. This backing off, IMO, is important. Physically and mentally for dog and handler. It allows us a moment to think things over and some reps to connect the hot skill to the new skill.

I think it is important to create this ebb and flow process and to create it in a fashion that feeds into the goal. Simply smashing up against the wall over and over or even getting a few successful reps of the target skill can bring down our performance and give up many of the gains we’ve earned.

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