Coach Tip Tuesday: Dogs Don't Bark at Parked Cars

Posted On:
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Updated On:
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
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A photo of Sheena the Wonderdog (a black Labrador Retriever) smiling at the camera.  There is a parked car in the top-right corner of the frame.  She is not barking at it.

Phew! What a week. Today, it is Coach Tip Tuesday!

As many of you know, I just got back from coaching at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.  One of the athletes, Erin Brown, who I was working with shared a saying from her home country (the Commonwealth of the Bahamas) that I am now going to share with all of you as this week’s Coach Tip Tuesday: Dogs don’t bark at parked cars.

What the heck does this mean? It means that it’s a good thing if you’re moving, shaking, and making a difference out there. It means that you’re not fading into the background; you’re making a statement about you, who you are, and what you stand for.

There are a lot of busy-bodies and nay-sayers out there.  There are SO many people who might try to bring you down.  YOU might even try to bring you down if you engage in negative self-talk.  It’s “easy” to do.  When people set their goals high, or set goals that are outside of the “norm,” it is commonplace for others to think that people are “crazy” for setting goals that are outside the “normal” realm of what most people do.  And within your own self, you might talk yourself out of the things you want, the goals you have, and the dreams you’ve dreamed by telling yourself that you’re not “as good” as someone else, that you’re “not worth it,” or that you are not capable of reaching your goals.

I have news for you, friends. “Normal” (if that even exists) is boring. “Normal” is stagnant. “Normal” is settling. I don’t want you to perpetually exist in the same place that you’ve been for the last decade. I don’t want you to settle. I want each and every one of you to set goals as high as you want to. And I want you to reach them. Guess what? I’m not actually the only one who wants this. YOU want this for you, and so many other people who deeply, genuinely care about you want this for you, too.

The reality is that people down-talk others, call them crazy, etc. because they feel threatened or jealous.  It has nothing to do with you and absolutely everything to do with them.  What they communicate (in their words and/or actions) says far more about THEM than it does about you.  Deep down, nay-sayers either want what you have (that’s jealousy), or even worse, they don’t want you to have something simply because they can’t have it themselves (that’s envy).

The very truth of the matter is that you very well may not reach your goal on your first attempt. Countless people throughout history have fallen into this category. And you know what? That’s very okay. Not reaching a goal doesn’t mean that YOU are a failure. The true failure would have been to never make the attempt in the first place. So keep going and tweaking your process if the first process you try turns out not to be the one that is the most successful. Build upon your experiences and your trials, but never stop setting or pursuing goals.

So keep moving.  Be relentless.  Let the dogs bark at you.  It means you are ALIVE and striving to hit the mark that you’ve set for yourself.  There is SO much to be proud of when there are dogs barking. :)

Coach Tip Bonus: In honor of my friend Erin: Please keep her and her entire home country of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in your thoughts.  They have experienced unparalleled destruction and loss this week as a result of  Hurricane Dorian.  If you are interested in how you might be able to help the hundreds of thousands of people in needs of assistance on these islands, you can learn more here.


Coach Laura Henry

Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.

She can be reached at

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