Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Racing or orienteering?


The NY Times ran an article a few days ago about spotting talent in race car drivers. Here are a few quotes that struck me as having some relevance to orienteering:

...how a driver reacts to errors is also important. “Racecar drivers consistently make mistakes,” Mr. Barber said. “How quickly do they correct?”

A practice session or even a qualifying lap can be revealing. Still, it’s how a driver stacks up against the competition that matters most. Racing is about winning, after all,...

Mike Dillon, a former Nascar driver who is vice president for competition with Richard Childress Racing, looks for versatility in a young racer. “If someone can run in different series and still win, that’s an eye opener,” he says. “If he goes to 10 or 11 different tracks and still wins, then he’s done something.”

Mr. Dillon was intrigued by Mr. Gifford’s control on the one-third-mile dirt track and the fact that he wasn’t nervous during the unplanned tryout. After monitoring Mr. Gifford’s progress throughout the 2007 season, Mr. Dillon offered him a place this year in the Richard Childress Racing development program,...

...perseverance might qualify as its own kind of talent. Anders Krohn, 20, a first-year driver for Andersen Racing in the Formula 2000 series, spent years developing his own team of sponsors to help pay his way from Norway to the United States.

But determination, it turns out, is yet another thing that can be spotted at a young age. “By the time they get to 16,” Mr. Bailey said, “you can tell the ones who are racing because they want to be racers, versus the ones whose dads want them to be there.”

If you put all of this together, you get a pretty good list of attributes that might signal success as an orienteer: quickly correct errors; competition matters most; handles different different terrains; doesn't get too nervous; perseveres; and driven by their own determination.

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posted by Michael | 9:12 PM


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