After my sub-standard riding at Glenmaggie 2-day trial I decided I needed a different approach to events. I found that despite not really caring where I placed, and mostly just wanting to have an enjoyable and challenging outing, I would still be rather nervous, ride less capably than I know I can and end up just a little disappointed in my efforts. In sections I'd ride too conservatively, trying to minimise points, and as a result drop more. I'd sometimes out-think myself instead of just riding. My goal had tended to be along the lines of, "try to minimise dropped points" or "make second lap better than first" etc. Nothing too closed, but not really very open either. At Top Naas 2-day I decided to go into it with a different goal. This time I decided my goal was "To ride the sections as if I was practicing at home." It more or less worked for me. My nervousness was lower and I rode more sections closer to what I think was representative of my capabilities. I was also happier to have a go at slightly different lines to see if they worked or not. Right near the end of the 2nd day (second last section) I had this thought. A trial is really just an opportunity to test the level of the skills we've already practiced. It's not a test of how low we can score or even how well we can ride. It's just seeing if what we've practiced actually works in the situation in front of us. If it does, great. If it doesn't then there's something to work on in future. When I carried that thought with me then it was easy to just ride the section as confidently as if I was riding a self-set section at home. There was no extra pressure from the scoring, no expectation that I had to do anything other than ride what's in front of me as competently and confidently as I could. If I took a dab then that just let me know one of my limits - no big deal at all. Just something to work on in future, I do that all the time at home, what's the difference? I'm pretty excited about this realisation. Can't wait to apply it at the next trial. Maybe it's completely self evident to others, but it certainly wasn't to me!
Posted by Peter Mack at 2022-05-31 05:58:48 UTC