Turn Your Brain Off – Pivot Cycles
and the coordinates are different for every rider. Registered Psychologist and Mental Skills Coach Taylor Rapley has worked with Olympians and World Champions alike. She is based in the Southern Hemisphere’s Mountain Bike Mecca, Central Otago, where all forms of biking is a crucial element of life.
“When a rider is under stress, a lot of fear and self-doubt can arise. Humans typically aren’t very good at accepting unwanted thoughts and emotions and as a result, we tend to perceive these experiences as negative – something we need to ‘fix’. People relate negative thoughts with poor performance and tend to do all they can to get into the ‘right mindset’ of ‘positive thinking’. This fear of fear, or fear of negative thinking paired with a fixation of needing to have ‘positive thoughts’ can be quite detrimental for a number of reasons.”
“When you try to get rid of thoughts and relentlessly control the stories your mind is telling you, these thoughts can become more intense, frequent, and distracting – creating a sense of not being in control. This excessive mental effort, also known as ‘over thinking’ can impair simple motor skills, such as riding over wet off camber roots that you would normally breeze over, choking during a race, or riding stiff, rigid and unlike yourself.” – Taylor Rapley