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Experimenting with mental and body rehearsal to improve my manual and bunny hop motion
The book 'Sports Psyching' has specific instructions on how to practice both techniques
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 see the NY Times article titled, Psychologists Train Minds of Athletes to Excel, which focuses on the book.)
But I never had the discipline to practice the techniques with the detailed approach prescribed. Tutko requires that you break down the parts of a move into tiny details (chunks!)
Here are the elements of the launch motion for the manual portion of a bunny hop as I currently understand them:
Feeling a sharp compression with feet while maintaining a hip hinge, not crouching forward, flat back, head/chin meeting the stem.
Feeling the shove of the pedals to push the bike out from under me.
Feeling the pull of my fingers on the grips as my arms straighten.
Feeling my hips catapult forward while I maintain relatively straight arms.
My intention is to get disciplined on both the mental and body rehearsal techniques over the next month while doing more research on them.
If you’ve used either of these techniques to improve your mountain biking or other motor skills, comment below.
November 2022 Update
A college professor has posted the drills for mental and body rehearsal from Sports Psyching on a Physical and Health Education website. See:
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