Throughout the years, I have had the pleasure of having mentors who have helped guide me to more fully realize who I am professionally and as a competitor and dog trainer, and what I can accomplish. These are people who have been caring, capable, and confidants. They have never tried to put me in their box, but rather, have been able to help me more fully define what my own box looks like, and their guidance and coaching has been invaluable. Mentors are not the same as friends! Of course, I could not do what I do without the support of my family and friends, all of whom are invaluable and cherished. So, to my family and friends, I give thanks as well.
The mentor experience is something that does not happen often, and when it does happen, you know it. A mentor is not the same as a person you put on a pedestal and admire from below! A mentor is somebody who can instruct, and coach, and help you to become more fully yourself, somebody who helps you realize your dreams in your own fashion. And so, it would not do for me to be remiss in thanking my mentors.
Linda has been a mentor to me since 2004. She is a capable and caring individual, and she has helped me not only with my technical skills, but also with my tactical skills, as well as my overall goal setting abilities. She sets a fine example as a competitor and motivates me to strive to set a fine example as a competitor, instructor, mentor, and coach, myself. Her abilities to fine tune technical skills, as well as to offer guidance on ‘the big picture’ are something that few people can offer. Thank You, Linda. I knew you were something special when I first met you in 2004, and you continue to be a very special person to me.
Lanny Bassham and his Mental Management systems have helped me get control of, and stay on top of, my mental game. This intangible and elusive ability is difficult to communicate and even harder to teach. I met Lanny around the same time I met Linda, when I knew there was something more than just technical skill. Lanny was there for me to lend perspective and help me out when I made the World Team for the first time, and his lessons continue to be invaluable to me, and to shape my beliefs as a competitor and coach. Lanny Bassham’s obvious desire to connect with and help people really strikes a chord with me. Thank You, Lanny. I knew you were something special when I first met you.
Bob Bailey, although I only had contact with him during my three chicken camp sessions, had an enormous impact on my thinking as a dog trainer. I know that Bob has had a similar effect on many; he is an amazing person, and I’m not ashamed to say that I cried like a baby the morning I woke up for the last day of my last chicken camp, knowing that I might not get to spend any more time in the presence of such a special person. Thank You, Bob. I knew you were something special when I first met you.