Sometimes I'm chatting to someone at a competition and they'll say something like "I've got to qualify for Olympia here because I'm only doing one other qualifier." Or "I'm only doing four shows this year so I need a win today."

We all prioritise agility in our lives according to where we want it to sit. And that's just as it should be. But if you've set yourself a goal (even just in your head) like qualifying for Olympia or winning up a grade, whatever it is... Then, as you prep your show calendar for the year, bear in mind - it's a numbers game.

The numbers

Statisically, the more qualifiers you do, the more chance you will have of qualifying. Plus, I'm not sure that one shot at qualifying for something gives you one fifth of the chance of five shots at it. What do I mean? Well, one shot is a lot more pressured. You'll know you only have one chance, and that puts more mental demand on you than knowing that it's just another of many more runs to come.

I remember when I first won into grade 7 hearing some handlers say they wouldn't enter championship classes until they were ready to win a championship ticket. I got what they meant. But personally I needed to enter the classes for two reasons:

  1. I needed to know what the championship challenges were. And what better way to find out than to run the courses?
  2. But most of all, I needed to make it 'just another run'. If you only do two champ classes a year, then it probably will feel a big deal. And your first ever few champ classes will probably feel a big deal too. Your 32nd champ class won't. It'll feel like any other class on any other day. Except that you have the pleasure of not having to queue.

So, as well as wishing you all good luck for 2019, I encourage you to plan a few more qualifiers this year. Or a few extra champs, or whatever it is. You can always opt not to go to a show if you find you've already nailed your goal...