31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence is a series of simple, easy-to-implement tips that produce significant gains in performance for minimal effort. Previous tips in the series included:
Tip #3 is a little harder but should yield instant results in the form of actionable feedback: Ask an Expert.
The hard part of this is working up the courage to ask someone for feedback or advice. Once you starting asking for help, you will find that most people are more than happy to help you.
You can ask a coach for feedback on your technique, or for advice on the format of various practices. Go to a bike shop and ask the staff their opinion on particular equipment. Get a bike fit. Join a club and train with others to help push yourself and/or benefit from a coach. Before practice ask your coach to give you technique tips. If you do not have a coach ask a friend who knows the sport to watch you and give you pointers.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a routine, taking for granted that what we are doing is correct and will yield results. But it is often surprising how often our habits are bad, and how bad our habits are. This week I asked my spinning instructor to help me set up my bike before class. She adjusted it far differently to what I had been doing and it resulted in a more comfortable class – eye opening!
I always believe in deferring to the experts, and the more help you can get the better. Get a different point of view, challenge your assumptions and try something new. You have nothing to lose – if it doesn’t work then go back to what you know. At the very least you will have challenged yourself mentally and had at least one interesting practice.