Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Goals

November was a little crazy what with being away for 9 days.  Anyway, some good things did happen.  Here's a review of our goals:

1.  Put the A-frame up to USDAA height with the box to get some good muscle memory at that height.  
     Yes.  It takes a little more momentum for Jonah to get the contact easily, and our space just isn't huge for a big approach.  I just need to get him running at trials.  For now though, I like keeping the A-frame lower so we can have more repetitions with less stress.  We're really focusing on CPE right now, anyway.
2.  Practice the 24" table.
     Yes.  Thanks to Grace for getting it out for us.  Of course, then the Grand Prix course didn't have a table.  Oh well.  Jonah was great with it.  At home, though, he hasn't been too interested in a down.  I think I'll clean off the table and bring it inside for the winter so we can practice a lot.
3.  I want to keep myself calm and in a good mood for the USDAA tournaments this weekend.  I was really stressed the last time we ran Steeplechase and I think it impacted Jonah.  I want to handle the courses fairly conservatively and make sure Jonah has as much fun as possible.  I don't want to fix mistakes--I want to keep running if he misses something (but I want to do everything I can to make sure he doesn't miss anything).  It would be really exciting if we could get a tournament Q (we'll need 5 if we ever get to an ADCH), but I'm not really counting on it this time.
     Yes!  Well, we didn't get either Q, but I was completely thrilled with Jonah.  We didn't have any mistakes to fix (can't do anything about a blown contact!).  The only issues other than the A-frame that one time were episodes where Jonah got nervous and stopped to try to identify a scary sound.  He always got back moving quickly, though.  Mostly I was just pleased that both of us were relaxed, excited, running fast and having a great time.  Maybe we'll get a Q in January.
4.  Our other trial this month has some potentially big runs which could allow us to:  1)  finish level 3 standard and get our CL3-R title, 2) get our first level 3 colors Q!  3)  finish level 3 jackpot and earn the CL3-S title, 4) finish level 4 snooker.  I'm going to be really ambitious again and hope for 2/4 Qs, like I did in October.  I think that should be reasonable, but we'll see.  
     Yes yes yes!  This was Jonah's first perfect trial where he Q'ed and won all of his classes.  He didn't have any major problems at all:  just a few DW contacts that were a little messy/slow (but never even close to a blown contact), and he was a little low on enthusiasm in his colors run.  Anyway, we finished Standard Level 3, got our first Colors 3 Q, finished Level 3 Jackpot and finished Level 4 Snooker.  I couldn't have asked for anything else.

5.  Develop a long-term plan for 'stepping up our game.'  I'll let you know the thinking behind that one soon, but we have big things ahead of us, and I want to make sure we're ready!
     Well, no.  But I did just email Grace to initiate her help on developing a plan.  

So, now we can think about what we want to accomplish in December.  Here are my thoughts:
1.  Develop a long-term plan for 'stepping up our game.'  We didn't do it last month, so now's really the time.
2.  Take Jonah on a social outing at least once each week.  I have no excuses not to since I don't have school.
3.  We only have one trial this month, CPE at Riverside, where we'll have shots at Wildcard, Snooker, Jumpers and Jackpot.  We'll have shots at finishing Wildcard Level 3 and Jumpers Level 4.  It would be our first Snooker Level 5 and our first Jackpot Level 4 Qs.  I 'd like to aim for 3 Qs.  For Snooker, since we're in Level 5 now, I'd be inclined to go for a more ambitious plan if it's reasonable.  
4.  I want to improve our on-side weave entries.  I think we just need lots of practice.
5.  I hope to have the teeter back up to full height and have Jonah still racing over it happily.

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