Elements of MTB Practice


Below are eight practice-related skills that I've written about (as of December 1, 2022) for the MTB Practice Lab substack newsletter.

  •  Reflection

MTB Practice Lab
There are ways to make reflection interesting and beneficial for developing your mountain biking skills
“Reflection can involve several cognitive activities that lead to stronger learning: retrieving knowledge and earlier training from memory, connecting these to new experiences and visualizing and mentally rehearsing what you might do differently next time… The learning benefits from the various cognitive activities that are engaged during reflection (re…
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  • Chunking

MTB Practice Lab
Chunk your way to learning a mountain biking skill
Break Every Move Down Into Chunks is Daniel Coyle’s Tip #15 in his book, The Little Book of Talent—52 Tips for Improving Your Skills…
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  •  Problem-solving

MTB Practice Lab
I've been applying the problem-solving variety of practice to my MTB boulder plateau
Portions of my practice sessions last week included my attempts to put into practice what I featured in my August 1 post with the quote by Noa Kageyama, namely an approach in which: … your efforts are centered around conducting experiments to (1) clarify what you want, (2) figure out what’s holding you back, (3) brainstorm solutions that get you closer, …
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  • Gamification

MTB Practice Lab
Why the gamification of an MTB practice session can be an effective strategy for improvement
Last month I mentioned that I need to buckle down and examine the chunks for my boulder problem. One of those chunks is the quick extension of my arms and legs as I start to level out. Since that motion is also part of a bunny hop, I’ve decided to work on a smaller chunk, the hips-to-hands movement, before leveling out for a bunny hop. And a smaller chu…
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  • Mental and body rehearsal

MTB Practice Lab
Experimenting with mental and body rehearsal to improve my manual and bunny hop motion
I bought the book Sports Psyching: Playing Your Best Game All of the Time decades ago when I was trying to improve my mototrials skills. I was intrigued by the book's author, Thomas Tutko, using mental and body rehearsal to "make the desirable patterns automatic" and "get so you can do it with your eyes closed." (See the links below for the drills. And …
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  • Taking breaks

MTB Practice Lab
Quiz results: How often should you take a break during a 60-minute MTB practice session?
Back in August, I posted a quiz titled: How often should you take a break during a 60-minute MTB practice session? Sixty-two people responded. I also asked for people’s thoughts and got substantive responses from Jeff Carpenter, Renee Gregoire, Trevor Kennewell, and Dale Shipman. See their comments and my replies below…
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  • Proficiency-based practice

MTB Practice Lab
Proficiency-oriented MTB practice might have some advantages
I've been neglecting my MTB practicing the past two months — and justifiably so, IMHO. My wife and I enjoyed a month-long camping trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which took a couple of weeks to prepare for and recover from. However, I did manage to do some mountain biking when we spent a week in Copper Harbor at the tip of the…
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  • Mindset Part 1

MTB Practice Lab
MTB Mindset Part 1: Get smarter about when you're trying to 'Be Good'
Why should you pay attention to your mindset when you’ve decided that you want to improve your mountain bike riding skills? “Because the way we think about getting better at something new can change the way we do it.” That's a quote by Trevor Ragan, the founder of…
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