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Turns to the next level…..thinking outside the box

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I have been putting a lot of thought lately the MENTAL aspect of improving my MX skills. :p While I am fairly new to MX (2 years), I have done competitive sports all my life (45 years). I think this would mostly apply to those who already have some grasp of basic skills. NOT the true beginner.

What is it that truly holds us back from taking it to the next level. Example: If a competent MX coach is giving you specific instructions on a specific skill and you understand what they are saying and are physically capable of doing those techniques, then what is it that is keeping you from doing them? The only thing left is that muscle (large or small) between your ears. With the exception of the very few, and even fewer of us older riders, nobody just throws all caution to the wind and says I don’t care what happens to me. I’M GUNNA GO FOR IT!

What if when learning to improve your turning skills, you go at it with the attitude that you are absolutely going to attack that turn to the point that you WILL fall, no question, and not, “I sure don’t want to crash in this turn so I better not hit it too hard”. I do believe that this can be done SAFELY. YES!! Put on all your safety gear then find a turn section that has no rocks, no 20 ravines on the other side, no heavy traffic and so on. Notice that I am not saying “go into that turn and fall down”. There is a difference. Say to yourself, “Self. I am going to attack that turn harder than I have ever attacked it before and I am going fall down doing it”. A couple of other notes here. I believe that this approach would only apply to turns. It’s not that you can’t get hurt doing this while working on turns but to try this on jumps, whoops or rhythm sections would more than likely get you back INTO the box. A PINE box. Six feet under!!

I bring this to you as someone who was taught a skill using this technique. Not for MX but for barefoot waterskiing. Learning to ski backwards in particular. I was so afraid of falling backwards, and getting hurt, that I refused to even try to get to the proper backwards barefoot skiing position. (Do any of the underlined words sound familiar?) Until the trainer told me “…on this run, you are going to fall…” No I’m not. “oh yes you are” I am??? After a couple of crashes I was totally amazed out just how far I could push it before the point of no return. SPLASH!! The lesson here was that it was all in my head. MENTAL!

SO – I post this not as a “Hey, I know how to fix YOU” :ride: but as the title says, “Thinking outside the box”. Please share your thoughts.

For the record – I have not tried this in MX yet. 1) I am a lot older now than I was in my barefoot days. Wiser too? 2) I consider my self a beg/nov rider still working on getting down the basic skills. 3) I haven’t ruled out the fact that I could be completely out of my mind!

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I think that is a good way to look at it.

For turns that is a good idea.

Another thing I started doing earlier this year is saying " I am going to do this " and it worked out.

I started hitting these whoops in 5th gear on my 144. Scary, but after a few times I was confident into them.

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I think that's a great idea, I do that while I'm riding on my track. I say everything out loud as I'm doing it sometimes, like "wait... wait... BRAKE!!.. GAS GAS scrubbbb, touch your helmet (just a relax thing) get on the gas okay lean way over in this corner aaaand... GET ON IT!" Probably sounds really weird to any neighbors outside if they can hear me over my bike lol, but saying/thinking it out loud really just helps me to do it.

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You've made it! I always find a sandy berm because the consequences are so reduced. Its really freeing to not worry about crashing and just try to stick the end of the handle bar in the sand and still power out of the turn. That said it doesn't mean don't worry about technique your really hyperfocused on the limits of your technique.

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That was very motivational and I want to ride now haha. But I guess that'll have to wait for the weekend

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I had a similar experiance as DATZ A DRZ is saying where i came into a corner way hotter than i ever had before and i thought im gona eat sh*t big time here and mangaed to pull it off it was the quickest id ever taken any corner in my life. when i got back to the pits a few of the guys commented that i was lucky to get out of that one and they bet I wouldnt be doing that again but for me it was the opposite I said well ive done it now and proved that you can hit it that fast so now in gona be trying to hit it that quick every time! Another thing whilst were on mental preperation next time you are going out to race if it's a 20 min moto keep telling your self it's a 25 or 30 min moto I find if you will find you can almost trick your body and still be pushing just as hard at the 20 min mark as you were at the 5 min mark. always aim higher than your trying to achieve and you will eceed your own ecpectations beond your own beliefe!

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I did the exact same thing 2 weeks ago hitting a corner hard.

2 weeks later...my bike is still broke...at least my bones aren't.

earl

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2 weeks later...my bike is still broke...at least my bones aren't.

.. and to me, that's the only thing that matters! when you're over 30, it takes a LONG time to heal.

..george

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Just food for thought, one injury that comes from crashing in a corner can be a very bad hamstring tear of the inside leg as your heal gets caught up on the ground and your bike slides out from under you or in my case the rear end swings around in a complete 180. I was turning hard on a no berm corner that had these nice grooves to follow from when the track was watered. Now it was hard packed clay with little gravel pebbles all over. I had let my air down to 11 and it was gripping up nice. Then a buddy wanted to try my bike so I was on his. Without thinking I laid his bike into the corner and as soon as I got on the gas the rear end instantly slid out from under me and I couldn't get my leg back in time and I am no where near that flexible. 2 years later I still feel that injury now and then. I like the idea of the sandy bermed corner to practice. Another thought, it's good to go aggressive and really going after everything and attacking it and working it hard. The fastest guys I know are very smooth and make it look like no work at all. Somehow that needs to be the end result to get smooth and go faster using less energy. I've practiced my cornering a little different like working on the same one in circles and putting the parts together and building up. Work on your drop in timing (from standing - breaking - drop down/lay in) then body position and throttle control though the corner - I'll do this faster and faster as I get it down. Then exit transition up off the seat to controlled standing and even more throttle. Then try putting it all together smoothly. You are right that you have to think about it and break down what you're doing other wise you can do laps all season and get a little better from just seat time but practicing a technique and working on your overall ability by breaking it down into skill sets will make that seat time even more valuable and productive. Sports teams don't practice by playing games all day, they work on skills and build up to plays and it all comes together in the game. Good insights from all of you, thanks.

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