Mapmaker: Ziv Neumann, Daniel Griff
Friday was the first day of the 2 day championships and I was thrilled for it. My training during the past weeks wasn't the best, but I believed that I could do well by concentrating on my orienteering. Guy Sabo Bar, one of the main competitors started 4 minutes before me, so I had a goal, to reach him.
I started the run with controls 1 and 2, not sharp but fast enough. I chose a good route to control 3 and crossed the distance in no time. To my surprise I saw Guy about 100 meters from the control, which meant that I practically caught him.
And then... The control was located on a terrace in open land. I got to the correct position, identified the tree west of the control, identified the open terrain but couldn’t see the control. After an extra 5 minutes of running up and down, attacking from south and north, from the tree and from the bushes to the east, I spotted the control hiding behind a small rock (just before the terrace). This post isn't about the unfairness of hiding controls (especially, when the control description is terrace and not "between rock and terrace") so I will move on to the worst part of my day. My comeback.
In every sport, the hardest thing is to refocus after a fall. In orienteering this is so important, since we are constantly trying to analyze the map and our tactics regarding it, which makes it so easy to start dwelling in our mistakes. Two days earlier I spoke to a sports psychologist who told me that the best method to recover is giving one’s self positive feedback. Choose a short distanced challenge and applaud yourself. That's exactly what I did. I ran to the passage between the fields as fast as I could, and told myself that I was running well and that now it’s a completely new story. But the psychologist forgot to mention that after the pep talk ends I should go back to orienteering. I continued my run and flew off the radar to the east. I couldn't figure out my whereabouts. Another 4.5 minutes went by and I regrouped for controls 5 and 6 and then had the same story as control 3 at control 7. I was back on my run, knew every detail, saw the boulder of control 7, but couldn't see the control. 3 minutes later, after searching everywhere, I went back to the same spot as before and found the control. Now the pep talk wasn't working anymore- control 8, 9, 11, walking to control 12, control 16, 17, wrong route choice to control 19, slow run to control 20, controls 22 and 23, slow run to the last control.I just lost it.
I'm really clueless on this, how do you return? What is the best method for a good comeback? What training can you do to forget everything and just focus on the present during a race? The tip I got from the psychologist is a good tip, it needs working on, and it doesn't replace solid orienteering. My next post will be on the second day of the championships, which I think should have been the way to come back (to be continued...)
In conclusion: Everyone makes mistakes, but the trick is to move on, forget the mistakes and regroup.