Do you understand WHY you do what you do in training? Why it works? Have you tested your logic?
Do you understand WHY you shape one exercise and not another? WHY you might lure? WHY you keep cookies in your pocket before you reinforce? WHY you generalize behaviors? WHY we keep sessions short? WHY we use start button or ready to work indicators? WHY we start work in low distraction environments?
If you understand WHY for each of these factors, you might make a different choice based on specific circumstances. Different dog. Different motivations. Different handler. Different goals.
Can you see how as a result of truly understanding WHY, you will be able to quickly and freely change direction away from a given plan (even if you’re not sure of the best alternative), according to the circumstances?
Knowing when to adapt for a given situation cannot happen if you don’t understand why you are doing what you are doing.
When you’re still learning, you probably won’t have the bandwidth to ask why – or maybe you don’t even care.  You just want what you want.  But if you’re serious about training dogs and if you’re reading my blog or FB wall then you’re a “dog person” and you need to move past that.  You need to understand, or you will be permanently handicapped and reliant on others at each step of your journey.
Now is as good a time as any.  Next time you take out a dog and set about training, take a minute to check your understanding of your choices. Don’t be quick to ask another person; take a moment to puzzle it out for yourself and then check your understanding – that is part of the learning process.  
If you’ve been doing something for a long time and assumed that it worked because the logic was sound without understanding why it worked – take another look.  You might be missing something really amazing which could skyrocket your training.

On another note, if you’re struggling with ring stress in competition – either stressing up or down or just…disconnecting, then sign up for my webinar tomorrow night.  I’ll help you understand the underlying causes of ring stress and also help you with a plan to get to work fixing it!