Friday, 18 February 2011

Flyball Nerd!

My team take the piss out of me pretty much constantly due to the amount of time I spend talking about/researching/watching flyball. It's not often we have the time/people to take videos of our training but as I wanted to get some of the babies, we decided to take some of Ballistics (+Diefer) too.

Sorry about the quality of the video, it was taken on my phone and it's a bit rough around the edges, couldn't be arsed spending ages putting it together. I did however spend ages watching it over and over, timing it, watching it slow motion and freeze frame. Oh dear, if you're not interested in technicalities, stop reading now!

Over the summer I noticed Piper seemed to be hanging on the box a bit, I couldn't really see properly as I was always running Asher at the same time. After seeing a pic of him on the box from the champs it confirmed what I suspected, he was double hitting. In the vid, the 1st couple of box turns when he is in the pack he is still hanging, not quite double hitting because I think the jump in front is just about stopping him hitting too low. However i think the last 2 box turns are alot better, in these runs he has someone letting go and someone racing him up to the line. I think this is making him extend more over the jumps so his take off point for the box is closer than it was in the other runs. On a freeze frame his front feet appear higher and closer to ball hole so he is getting a better push off. So I think we need to work a bit on striding so that he doesn't take off too far from the box, as racing him to the line seems to be helping we will continue to use this aswell. I timed him around 4.2secs, I'm reasonably happy with this but I think with a bit more box and toshy work he should be able to hit consistent 4.1s.

Lacy's turn is very consistent, she does hit slightly too far to the left which is why she is a little wide. I'm going to try having the wing on the left side a bit tighter to encourage her to hit closer to the ball hole. But it's not something i'm too concerned about. To be honest I think even if she came off dead straight she would still have to double stride back to the 1st jump as I don't think with her build she has the power to do 12" from the 1 stride. I only got 1 proper time for Lacy which was 4.46, a little slower than normal but she is the sort of dog that needs a few comps to hit race fitness so again quite happy.

Asher's double hitting is quite apparent in this video, the slightly disheartening thing is that he seems to think that this is they way he should do it as the turn is very consistent, he just has to use that front leg again to get his rotation and push off. I can get him to turn without double hitting and it is very fast (I have to stand in a specific position and do crazy things with hands and tuggy!), but as yet I have been unable to transfer this to a full run. I think I'd have to retrain him to target an area on the box with his front feet as he hits far too low, don't know if it would hold though. Other than that I'm pleased with the way he's looking, drive back is good and striding is nice. Fastest I got him at was 3.82.

Luna I think is looking fabby :). Box is nice and quick (can't believe the improvement from how it used to be!), I hope she holds it in competition! Her drive back is also 100% better than what it was, she is another 1 who double strides from box to 1st jump back but again because 12 is her own height I think she would struggle to single stride. In the 2 runs I have of her I get her at 4.36 and 4.39, very, very happy with that!

Then theres Diefer, firstly, I wouldn't train box turns like this unless you're desperate! I really, really don't like teaching dogs to "go round"! I find him frustrating to train, we orginally taught him "on/off" like the rest of our dogs but this gradually regressed until he refused to jump on/off when the ball was in. We then tried standing in on him as a bit of a quick fix. It worked to get him turning and we gradually back away from the box until we are no longer standing in. Then maybe the next training session or a couple of sessions later he will completely go back to refusing to turn properly and so it starts again! I know this turn won't hold up but I think if we persevere with it in training we are limiting the amount of times he turns badly, and I think it does make his turn slightly better in competition.

The babies are still improving and I'm really pleased with how they are doing, we have a few little things still to work on. I haven't got around to putting the video of them together yet but will post when it's done.


K-Koira said...

Reading through some of the archives, I came across this post. Something I noticed was you mentioning you want your dogs taking a single stride from the box to the first jump?

I count each time front feet hit the ground between the box and the jump as a stride, and aim for three strides (really large dogs, 2 strides, really small ones, 4 strides). Our idea on that is a dog is much faster on the ground than in the air. Taking off later, as they do when they take an additional stride between the box and 5th jump gives them more speed and better placement for the rest of the jumps, reducing risk of hitting hurdles.

We actually will add in stride bumps to help train our dogs to take 3 strides if they are only taking 2.

Nat x said...

yeh I have since done more research in to this and completely agree that it is beneficial for Luna and Lacy to take an extra stride for overall speed. We are currently teaching 1 of our dogs to add a stride with jump bumps. I also think the 1st dog in this video (Piper) could benefit from an extra stride so we will also be working on that soon. I've been told that my dog Asher has an incredible stride so despite him only single striding we will be leaving him as he is!