Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Learning from what went right


Cristina wrote something on her training log that I thought was interesting.

The run on Sunday going well actually convinces me even more that I can do much, much better. It's hard to explain, but a good day seems to reveal areas to improve better than a bad day does. I guess on a bad day the focus is on big mistakes. I definitely made mistakes on Sunday, but they were far from disastrous. The key is probably that I can compare my mediocre legs to good legs and see that there's a difference between "not making a mistake" and really running a leg well. Plus, I know that I can move faster. Just gotta keep working on that reading the map while running thing.

"Interesting" usually means something you'd never thought of or something you already believe or agree with. Well, I found Christina's note interesting because her main point -- that you can learn a lot from good races -- is something I believe.

I remind myself to look at booms, but spend at least as much time trying to understand what went well. When I first started orienteering, I forced myself to study what went right by writing notes about every leg I did. That forced me to look at all of my orienteering, not just the mistakes.

One of the things that makes orienteering tricky is that someone else can't really watch what you've done and give you feedback. When I was a fairly serious tennis player, a coach could watch a match, keep notes during the match, and then give me reasonably objective feedback. That's much more difficult (but not impossible) in orienteering. For an orienteer, the job of providing feedback falls more heavily on the orienteer. It is worth spending some time thinking about how to get the best feedback.

posted by Michael | 8:18 PM


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