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Play to your strengths?

On track- Richard plays to his strengths

On track- Richard plays to his strengths
Credit: Jim P

Last edited: Fri 24 Mar 2017

What works for you? Should you be sticking to that? Or looking to cure your weaknesses? Richard advises...

Orienteering is full of variety. Unlike the monotony of a running race, the terrain is variable and every control presents a different challenge, and requires different skills. Inevitably each of us has slightly different abilities and we will be better at some things than others.

For me, my best ability is that I can run fast on tracks. Despite writing all these articles I'm not actually that good at navigating, and I'm also instinctively cautious (i.e. slow) running over rough ground.

But on tracks I'm not too bad. So if I want to do well in a race my best tactic is to select a route choice that uses paths even if this is longer than a more direct direction.

So my tip for you is to think about what your strengths are and make your route choices accordingly. Or, let’s twist that around. Think about what your weaknesses are. What about working on these, to improve your ability? Rather than racing every time, use some courses as training exercises.

So, why not deliberately make route choices that don't suit you, and coach yourself to be a better orienteer. If it works you may find it more rewarding.

As someone said to me, the best training for orienteering .... is to go orienteering!

Richard Sansbury

  • Skilling Up #22 from QuOnicle 161, May 2015