Take a deeper dive into those times when it seems you just can't progress any further
I think that plateaus are frustrating when you are trying too hard to grind it out.
I find them to be puzzles and solving them should be fun.
One thing I’m doing is stretching to learn similar skills on a kick scooter for example scalloping turns to pump and gain momentum was proving a challenge. Yet I found it simpler on the scooter than the bike... once I had it, I was able to apply the skill to slalom drills which let to better bike-body separation, which lead to some success on the bike. Rinse - repeat.
Importantly for me, it was all fun. Playing with the vehicles, exploring potential, exaggerating movement, and trying drills in new venues (riding at night on the parking lot really gets you a different focus) to trigger dopamine and flow.
I was certainly analyzing but being too
much up in my head breaks the process. Talking about it afterwards helped.
Also I enjoyed the podcast!
All this Serious Thinking has made me realize that I'm basically a Rider of Trails......as technical as possible; but my main goal, joy....and relief ...is to get down a section of trail, rather than pull off a certain skilled manoevre.
That means I judge my progress by how well I manage trail features.
My biggie plateau right now is adapting to an ebike. I'm having challenges getting used to the extra speed I need (or think I need?) to break through on tech sections.
With my new-found insights (see above), I am not looking at specific skills to work on, but focussing on my Whole-Trail strategy. I'm just going back to easier trails, and working those, to try to re-discover The Flow.........with the missing ingredient magically appearing.
This hopefully means that I cannot use my Learning Method as a scapegoat for any lack of Application.
I can tell clearly if I cleaned the trail comfortably.
Interestingly -- it seems a new style seems to be emerging. Very few wheelies are making it through, and track stands are super hard to pull off.
I think the skills analysis has been helpful in reconciling me to this (exciting) upheaval in my regular mountain biking world.
I'm hoping these random/varied practice strategies will help me break through a plateau I'm grinding through with wheelies. I've almost thrown in the towel, telling myself that there are more important riding skills to develop, but I've wanted to be able to wheelie for extended distances since I was a kid. I'm "regressing to progress," going back to several lessons in the RLC course and utilizing these random/varied/ugly practice strategies. I swapped back and forth between my full suspension and hard tail and was amazed at how differently they responded to the essentially same rider input.
For me the hard bit with plateaus is believing that there is an 'up' to come. It makes sense that at some point I will inevitably plateau out so maybe I am there already? Approaching the drills with curiosity and fun instead of a focus to acheive will make a difference I think.