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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Red Ticket Night in Class

For this week's agility classes, I wanted to do something a little different. A game. Something that involved a little friendly competition. A creative way to encourage people to focus on the successful agility decisions they make while out on course. Something FUN.

And this is how Red Ticket Night was born.

The goal for each person in class was to earn as many red tickets as they could and the winner was the person holding the most red tickets by the end of the hour. The prize? They got to blindly pick from a bag full of doggy goodies.

Earning a red ticket was easy. At the end of their initial run, they had an opportunity to tell the class what went RIGHT. For each good point mentioned, they earned a ticket. After they were done, anyone who added a positive point not mentioned would receive a red ticket for their input.

Since I also encourage my students to actively work to continue to improve, we implemented the "Goal Rule" which was another way to earn a red ticket. Basically, it was okay to say "I'm going to make it a goal to work on ____ (fill in the blank)" however, if they said a negative statement (i.e. our weave poles were terrible), they lost a ticket.

The course I set up was a fast, flowing course with some handling places, but contained no real surprises. This gave everyone an equal opportunity to focus on skills they already had and to work through any individual issues or goals that had been identified in the past. The course allowed dogs to run and feel a sense of accomplishment and the red tickets set the stage for a positive and successful mind set for the handler. Oh yes, let's not forget the healthy competition and the surprise reward at the end as an incentive for all.

Yeap, the feedback was positive and I know I'm going to have to bring back Red Ticket Night at some point in the future!

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