Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, August 11, 2008

4 Types of Orienteers


Putting the last two days' posts together, you can think about an orienteer and how they look back and forward. You can categorize them as tending to look at mistakes or tending to look at success. You end up with four "types"...

1. Hyper optimists look at what they did well and imagine what they are going to do well in the future.

2. Hyper pessimists look at what they screwed up and imagine what they might screw up in the future.

3. Most of us look at the mistakes we made and imagine that we won't make those mistakes next time.

4. Some of us look at what we did well and imagine what mistakes we might make in the future.

Keep in mind these are all tendencies. Very few - if any - orienteers fit one and only one of these types.

I think - without any solid evidence - that the 4th type (focusing on what went well in the past and worrying about what could go wrong next time) can be a more effective approach than focusing on analyzing past errors and visualizing future success (the 3rd type).

As an experiment of one, I forced myself to spend as little time as possible trying to learn from my mistakes. Instead, I spent that time trying to understand what I was doing when things went well. It is an interesting exercise - pick a leg that went well and try to figure out exactly why it went well. Why didn't you make a parallel error? Why didn't you hesitate? When didn't you get stressed and lose concentration? I started this experiment of one a good 20 years ago. I don't really know if it worked or not, but it seems to suit my way of thinking.

I could write more...but, once again, it is time to watch some more Olympics on TV - beach volleyball tonight.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:45 PM


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