Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What happens when orienteers look forward?


Yesterday, I wrote a few observations about how orienteers look back at what they've done in a race. Today, I thought I'd write a few observations about how orienteers tend to look ahead to upcoming races.

With the US Champs as an example, I'm guessing that if you stood around the model and talked to people about what they expected for the races, you'd hear things like this:

"This is a great map. Mikell Platt is a good mapper."

"You really feel the altitude when you go up a hill, even just a little hill."

"The green isn't really green, you can run right through it without slowing down."

In the evening before the race, some of the competitors would almost certainly spend some time "visualizing" the next day's race. They'd imagine themselves having a clean race (good "flyt") and feeling strong.

Assuming my generalizations are right (it is based on nothing more than un-systematic observation of orienteers), it seems to me that when orienteers think about upcoming races then tend to do two things:

1. Think about the quality of the map and get a general sense of the terrain.
2. Mentally prepare themselves by anticipating a good race and the feeling of a good race.

Of course, this is an over generalization.

What I find interesting is that when looking back, many of us think about what went wrong, but when looking forward, many of us think about what will go right.

I've got a few more thoughts about this, but I'm going to stop writing and watch some more of the Olympics on TV. Up next - a sport I've never seen on TV before - trap shooting.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 2:36 PM


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