Sunday, November 28, 2010

O would some power the giftie gie us --Robert Burns

An invaluable tool for analyzing your handling is a video footage of your runs.  This is especially true for those of us that train alone.  Since I have moved to an area where the closest instruction is 70 miles away, video has become an extremely important part of my training.

It doesn't really make a difference if you use the video recorder available on your camera or a video camera.  You're not making an Academy Award contender; you're recording your runs so that you can view them to see:
  • what went right
  • what went wrong
  • if there is something you'd like to try handling differently
  • if there are any gaps in your dog's training
An important consideration while filming is keeping both yourself and your dog in frame as much as possible.  If your dog goes off-course, the video can't tell you why if you can't see what you did to send your dog off-course.  If you did nothing wrong, then maybe you've found a gap in your training.

If you don't have someone readily available to film you, then a tripod is invaluable.  Just make sure you set it up far enough away from your course that you capture everything of interest.  The jumps will seem small in the viewfinder, but on a TV or computer screen the video will be big enough for critiquing the run.

I find it extremely helpful to be able to view my videos in slow motion.  Many video cameras offer slow motion viewing as an option.  If yours doesn't, just download it to your computer and view it with VLC Media Player.  The minus key on the number keypad engages slow motion; the plus key increases play speed.  VLC Media Player can be downloaded for free here.

Happy filming. 

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