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Why trying to make MTB practice fun might be the wrong approach
Musician Noa Kageyama's "active, thoughtful, problem-solving" has its own rewards when applied to practicing MTB skills
“In reality, it’s the active, thoughtful, problem-solving variety of “practice” – masquerading as painful drudgery to the uninitiated – that leads to a more engaging, engrossing, and gratifying experience in the practice room. Because then you’re thinking. And learning. Experiencing daily micro-epiphanies. And solving problems that mean something to you.” — Noa Kageyama
I recently wrote about how I sometimes do fun tricks when I take breaks during practice. However, the evidence shows that “practice is far more effective when it’s broken into separate periods of training spaced out.”
But when break time is over and I’m back to practicing, the fun usually ends. And then, I try to enter a frame of mind in which a different type (more serious?) of engagement begins.
It’s not easy, especially if I’m stuck or on a plateau where progression is not apparent. Kageyama describes a process 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, and (4) test yourself to see if your solutions are sticking
I’m going to have to get better at that.