Quick Tips: Handwritten notes
Taking notes is one of the most valuable tools we can use to improve our riding...
...but we are actually talking specifically about handwritten notes. A quick google search will reveal plenty of studies that show the benefits of writing things down by hand vs typing or recording audio. The tactile process of writing things down creates a better path for our brains to learn and remember information that is not just relevant, but important to us as individuals.
So how should we apply this to our riding? We start by writing down our goals. This gives us direction. Something to work towards. We then need to identify what steps we are going to take to get to that goal. Again, write them down. This gives you something you can reference. A plan you can execute the next time you go out to ride. Then, of course, when you come back from your ride, write down your results! How well did you execute your plan? What went right? What went wrong? What do you need to adjust for the next time out? This will help you build the plan for your next ride, your next session, your next race.
Start simple. Just get comfortable with the process. Don't worry too much about exactly what or how you are writing things down, as long as it is relevant to your plan. Keep your notes and plan focused on one or maybe two things at most. We can't change everything we are working on every time we ride. Small changes. Small steps. As you spend more time taking notes, your notes will improve.
If you are riding at the track, use a track map as part of your note-taking process. If you are street riding your favorite weekend ride, print out a map of the route you can mark up. Tying your notes to specific points on a ride or track will help you when working to execute specific technique.
If things don't go well, you may have to repeat your plan. That's ok. Write it down! Write down why you need to repeat it. Also, keep your notes. Get a binder. Save them in order of when and where you worked on your plan. Go back and reference your notes the next time you ride. Make sure you are building off of your successes and correcting your mistakes.
Handwritten notes are an amazing tool at our disposal. The more we integrate them into our riding process, the better chance we have of reaching our goals.
Write it down!