In this blog post, Coach Roxy explores 5 credos that often lead to stagnation and frustration. These could be the reason you may not be progressing as fast as you would like on your mountain bike.
1. If I can do it once, I can do it again
When we do things for the first time, our brain is releasing chemicals that make things work. We are literally high on our own chemicals.
After we succeed we EXPECT it to work again – which causes internal pressure, which releases hormones and chemicals that actually inhibit our abilities. So it doesn’t work. The same happens when we retry something the next day, we don’t have the same chemical cocktail, we expect it to work, but then it doesn’t – so we get frustrated.
Just because you’ve done it ONCE, don't expect to be able to do it reliably afterwards.
2. It’s so easy to learn
Practice makes progression. Modern neuroscience shows we need 2000–3000
repetitions, or up to 10,000 hours of DELIBERATE (and structured)
PRACTICE, to achieve excellence in a specific field. Don't worry, you
may not be not aiming for excellence - but you do want the movement to
be automatic. Automatic means that we can perform it even when we are
distracted, under pressure and we can perform it REPEATEDLY - and this
is what we are aiming for on the trail, right?
Thousands of repetitions of structured drills are needed - this is
important to know! Which means if you expect something to work
immediately with virtually no practice you are setting yourself up for
frustration... Acknowledging this is important, because it allows us to
stay motivated and persistent.
If you see cool movements performed on YouTube, during contests and shred-edits, you only see the end-result. You don’t see the HOURS of practice that lead to this movement perfection. Don’t compare yourself to this and EXPECT too much!
3. I’ll just ride in technical terrain and become a better rider
Riding technical terrain to progress is NOT progressing your riding skills. In reality, you will just learn to cope with your momentary skill level and start to form compensatory habits, which will eventually make you hit a plateau. The same applies to practicing skills that are too hard for your ability.
In order to truly LEARN and progress, you will need to regress to build a solid foundation. To learn new movement skills, rather than reinforcing compensatory patterns, one needs to start over, and MOST IMPORTANTLY you need to practice methodically STEP-by-STEP.
4. I’ll just ride with better riders and copy them
This links to the previous credo. Following others and copying them might be fun, but how do you know their movement patterns are based on a solid foundation? How do you know what is working for them will work for you? Do you have the same history, the same strength, the same body geometry, the same bike, the same mindset? Simply put: will their shoes fit you? There's a good chance they won't.
5. I’ll just practice and get better
Yes, there is a truth to this, you need to practice to improve. But you need to practice STRATEGICALLY. Without the knowledge of how to break movements down into their fundamental parts, it's hard to identify where a weakness or an imbalance may be.
If you just practice on your own, there's a high chance you will practice at a level where you start to form compensatory habits, which will eventually become ingrained and automatic. Not a good thing.
Just like an arrow needs to be pulled BACKWARDS before it can be shot forwards, maybe now is the time to pull yourself back to set yourself up to make a huge leap forward in future. After all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Working on the weakest link results in progression.
Maybe you’ve recognized yourself or one of your riding buddies within these 5 credos and would like to start working on your skills strategically and progressing both faster and to a higher level you ever imagined? This is where RLC comes into play.
At RLC skills practice follows clearly structured step-by-step progressions and an experienced team of coaches is ready to help you when you get stuck. Simply post a comment below a lesson and you'll receive feedback on how to refine your movement patterns and keep progressing.
Our bodies are extraordinary machines capable of doing so many things. However, like other machines in our lives, such as our smartphones or computers, a reboot does help improve performance. Let us help you reboot and install the latest cutting edge software!
Consider joining our community; we’re really looking forward to sharing your learning journey!
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