Working Through Pre-Event Jitters

28 Mar 2024Steve Schwarz

With the UKI Invitational coming to my area this weekend I’m wondering: why am I burning mental energy on stuff I can’t really control? In my usual way, let me work through this and see if my situation is something that resonates/ed with you.

I’d expect to be thinking about how Spark will handle his first big event and how I can support him. Nope, not really worried. If he’s getting overwhelmed or overly excited I’ll just pull him. Then we can work on just being in the building or whatever he needs.

Am I thinking about how Snap! and I can “crush the competition”? Nah, that’s not me. I will be thinking about staying connected with him and not just running the course!

It’s the stupid stuff that’s got me mentally spinning in circles. Lots of competitors will be crating out of their cars, but limited nearby parking, so how too damn early do I have to get up to get there to snag a spot?

~15 dogs between both my dogs most classes means we’ll be bringing a temp crate ring side (something else to manage) since there likely won’t be time to get them upstairs to/from the crating area or my car and swapped in that time. At night we have the same dog gap but different rings. The good news is I’ll be done quickly in each rotation!

Long days, getting there 6AM-ish leaving 7-8PM for three days. Lucky its only about 30 min drive each way.

One of the reasons I’m writing this long post was to work out what was really concerning me and I think I’ve got it.

It is the juggling of both dogs at a big event in a new place that is different. At local trials, I know the layout, the ebb and flow of the rounds so running two dogs isn’t a big deal. At the US Open I’d likely be more comfortable because I know the layout and the flow. But, this is just enough different and unknown that it’s messing with my head.

So my plan to calm my brain is to actually go to the venue for the evening briefing tonight. Then I’ll know how to get there, can see how much parking has been lost to RVs, look at getting dogs in/out of the building and/or crating, getting up/down the stairs (going to bring Spark to make sure he’s comfortable with the stairs), find out if we can enter on the turf level of the building, see where rings, and temp crating are, etc.

I also know once the morning rotations are under way on the first day I’ll settle in and just go with the flow. It’s the pre-event stuff that gets me.

Sorry for the long self analysis session. If you’ve made it this far, what would you do? Do you fret before the start of a big event? Do you have any tips?

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