As a mtb racer and a coach I am always looking for ways to improve my riding and my coaching too and like you, the faster the better. The funny thing is, we ignore, gloss over and just don’t want to talk about the thing that really holds us back from reaching our goals in all aspects of life. Our focus tends to be on the physical; “what are the mechanics of a j-hop?”, “what should my body position be in a corner?”, “will these lighter wheels will make me faster?”, when it is our mind that is holding us back.
In the past we have stressed the value of positive self-talk (“I am a good descender and getting better at climbing with practice.”) which is far and away is better than negative self talk but turns out not near as good as interrogative self-talk. Interrogative self-talk is asking, “Can I do this?”….
Positive self-talk makes you feel good and possibly confident while interrogative self-talk prompts you to come up with ways to accomplish the task.
Before or during your next ride instead of declaring your abilities with positive self-talk simply ask yourself, “can I do this?”.
How To Mountain Bike Skills Article by BetterRide founder Gene Hamilton
A real key to mountain biking at your best is to always be on the offense. Defensive riding gets you hurt! When you are on the offense you are riding at the limit of your abilities which improves your focus, coordination and allows you to reach the “Flow” state.
One way to always be on the offense is simply focus on what you want to do. Thoughts like, “get to the bottom of this FUN rocky section as smooth as I can”, “rail this corner as fast as I can”, “stay balanced and in a neutral position on this loose decent”, “climb this loose rocky hill like a Billy Goat, in balance and looking past all the obstacles”.
Always focus on what you want to do and always ride on the offense! As a matter of fact, stop riding your mountain bike and start driving your mountain bike. The word “ride” is passive, we ride roller coasters and amusement park rides, the ride is in control. The word “drive” is active, we drive cars, trucks and go-karts, we are in control. Drive your bike with authority.
Mountain Bike Racing article by BetterRide founder Gene Hamilton Wow, what a week! On Thursday and Friday (Jan. 17-18) I did a private skills camp the AFD Racing team who had driven all the way down from Canada and on Saturday and Sunday I videoed and did some race coaching with students from previous camps. […]
Your imagination is more powerful than you think it is and it can help you greatly improve your mountain bike skills! As a young snowboard racer I thought that the strongest/bravest/most naturally athletic person won, imagery was hocus pocus bs! Turns out, imagery is one of the most powerful learning tools that you are equipped with. Fortunately as a mountain bike racer I started to use imagery and it played a big role in helping me to not only mountain bike better but also consistently perform at my best.
The $1.99 Investment That Will Greatly Improve Your Mountain Biking! By: BetterRide Coach Andy Winohradsky Most of us spend thousands of dollars on our bikes, equipment, fitness, nutrition, you name it, in order to have fun riding bikes and becoming better at it. Let’s face it, whether you’re a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior or […]