Sneak Peek – Patrons Only… Public Release has many meanings in disc. Throws and throw variations can be referred to as releases. Sometimes you talk about the dog releasing something, the toy, or the environment, as Dec 16th
Think Forms Not Drills
A drill is something an athlete does to get better. Drills help you build the skills you will need in the future. This focus on getting better and the future is putting the cart before the horse and values skill over knowledge. In a drill, athletes are focused on the future.
A form is something an artists studies. Forms, as in martial arts, help you understand what the reality is within and around an activity or skill. Forms are about uncovering the essence and understanding of a skill or activity. It is much easier to be present, in the here and now, within a form than a drill.
An Over is any leaping catch that happens over top of the handler’s body. Overs are usually named by the part of the body over which the dog flies, i.e the last couple years, I have focused on shifting from drills and skills to forms and actions, as both a teacher and an athlete, but it’s tough to change the Western mind – we’re programmed for progress and self improvement.
Drills express skills and forms uncover the art of skill. Shift your focus from the future to right now and uncover, for yourself, what is actually being done and how it actually works.
The flatwork Compass is a form that can be purposed towards many key skills of Routine Building. Drop work, reading the dog, Intercepting the Release of the dog, Beating and meeting the dog to the set up.
Consisting of four throws in 3 directions, the [caption id="attachment_27605" align="alignleft" width="300"] Counter Clockwise Working Flank[/caption] Flatwork is the stuff that happens between the catches. How the team moves and transitions, often without the disc, is flatwork. Flatwork Compass exposes the team to the Clockwise Out to the side of the handler is the Flank. If the dog is out to the handler's right or left the dog is on Flank. If the dog is, the Counter Clock Flank, the Clockwise Pass, and the Counter Clock Pass, in 4 simple throws – clock flank, counter flank, clock pass, counter pass. It also separates all these Flanks and the Pass conceptually and builds a communication system that the team can use and rely on that the dog can read and respond to at great distance.
It is a key form for Routine Building that can be purposed to do anything you need in the game of disc dog freestyle.
The A Zig Zag is a series of catches in smooth succession that forces the dog to move back and forth across the field. Usually performed at a distance of 8-20 is a great skill. Just doing one, accomplishing it, is a purpose. It is the only purpose for many rookies. It stays the purpose until the team gets good enough to try to leap with it or do a competition with it.
That is three purposes: do it, leap on it, compete with it. That is selling this amazing skill awful short.
The Zig Zag can and should be used to work most all the skills required of a disc dog. Like the Flatwork Compass, most anything can be worked within a Zig Zag pattern. Here are just a few:
- Drop on cue
- Increase drive
- Decrease arousal
- Slow the dog down
- Speed the dog up
- Reduce an outrun
- Create interceptions
- Develop throwing skills
- Develop posing skills
- Create connection
- Reinforce communication
- Establish a trigger
Dueling arounds; clock around … catch … drop… counter around… catch… drop… clock… repeat… The pendulum pattern is wonderful for creating and reinforcing round, arcing movements. These round arcing movements create time for the handler to breathe and creates interesting angles and dramatic, connected team movements.
The pendulum can and should be purposed as it is explored for team movement and disc management purposes.
Setting the flank and working the Flank should be purposed towards something other than running around out there. Vary the amount of time and the number of degrees you pull the dog around the circle. Gain the ability to grab the dog on flank for just a moment and let him go for a throw, or develop the skills and team patience to pull the dog around a bit longer than normal in case you have to make some adjustments on the fly in your routine.
Purpose your flatwork into ridiculous patterns, or wind management. Do something with it other than what you always do. That’s one of the ways to be creative, you know, simply doing something differently than you always do… The Give is a retrieve to the hand. A cued Give is a foundational skill that is not super useful in the actual performance of disc dog freestyle, and has it a try.
Repeating Rear Cross
A Repeating On a Rear Cross, the dog switches Flanks with the behind her. From clock to counter clockwise Flank or vice versa. Taken directly from the canine agility world, the Rear, like all the rest of these skills can be purposed towards just about anything. A key purpose for this form in addition to leaping and the drop, would be exploring the field to locate discs. It ties in with purposing the Flank above.
Don’t just do the rear cross to slow your dog down or line your dog up for the vault. Do the Rear A Cross is an canine agility term that describes a change of working sides. Your dog moves from your left to your right (Heel to Side) or from Clock to to set up a leap, use it to create “an An Around, or a Go Around is the traditional disc dog set up move. The dog goes around the handler’s body in a clockwise or counter clockwise fashion allowing dog” at a distance. Use it to flip the field or otherwise orient to the wind for wind management on the fly. Use it to make a throw into the 4 Way Play zone. Use it for something else other than that thing you always do with it.
Playing With Purpose Creates Purposeful Play
A Take is a cued Bite that replicates the placement and timing of a throw. Usually used with overs, vaults, and flips, the Take is a powerful teaching tool for the things you always do, identify your common purpose or purposes, and change them to develop the kind of purposeful play required in a 2 minute round of disc dog freestyle.
Do the things you normally do and try to do different things with them. Learn to purpose your play and you will be able to play with purpose.