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  • Agility Challenge Tip #6 – Choose Spartan Over Luxurious

Agility Challenge Tip #6 – Choose Spartan Over Luxurious

It’s tempting to think that if we don’t have the latest and greatest this or that, we’ll never be successful. If we don’t have the latest and greatest dog toy, how will our dog ever be as motivated as that super motivated border collie over there? If we don’t have the latest and greatest equipment – the best jumps, the prettiest tunnels, a heated arena with an amazing turf surface – how can we possibly be the best we can possibly be?

However, the research that Daniel Coyle did when investigating what he called talent hotbeds showed that just the opposite was true. All of the talent hotbeds he visited and studied were spartan rather than luxurious. He concluded that luxury is what he called a ‘motivational narcotic’ – that it signals to our brains to give less effort. That it whispers relax, you’ve made it.

You don't NEED creature comforts to achieve the quality of performance you desire
You don’t NEED creature comforts to achieve the quality of performance you desire

This isn’t a tip to take action on as much as it is a tip to help you recognize that you don’t need creature comforts to achieve the quality of performance you desire, and that, in fact, doing away with some creature comforts and simplifying your training space may be a smart choice. For Tip #6, Daniel Coyle says in his Little Book of Talent

Simple, humble spaces help focus your attention on the deep-practice task at hand: reaching and repeating and struggling. When given the choice between luxurious and spartan, choose spartan. Your unconscious mind will thank you.

~ Daniel Coyle

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