The Eyes Have It!
by Robin Conners
Motion Sports have always been my passion. Alpine skiing, cross country and Telemark skiing, road biking, mountain biking, dirt biking, hang gliding, kayaking, running, hiking and now surfing and paddle boarding all create the sensations of flow, energy, excitement and just plain fun. If you have always wanted to try one, join us on one of our adventures.
As I added more and more sports through the years, I started thinking not only about why I loved them but what allowed me to succeed. There are commonalities with all of them but the one thing that allows me to keep the flow are my eyes.
If you are challenged with balance when speeding around a corner on your peddle bike, skis or dirt bike or tend to fall off your paddle board or trip while running for no reason, start tuning into where you were looking. Your body will always follow your head and your eyes. Where was your head at the time of the bobble or fall? More often than not your eyes were stuck on that corner you were hoping to successfully negotiate. I am sure you have been told many times to “look ahead!” Has anyone ever told you how to do it? Use these three tips on your next outing.
Scan the Path –
Start by scanning as you move. Look down, up, left and right constantly. I am sure your mother always told you “Don’t Stare!”, so don’t! Keep your eyes moving and don’t let your eyes land in any one area for more than a second or two, especially down. You will need to trust your eyes; don’t stare at the corner, mogul or rock in front of you that you need to negotiate around, through or over. If you don’t, you avoid that initial obstacle but the next one that you were not ready for will surely get you. Focus on scanning the path ahead of you so you will be ready for the first obstacle and the next one too and all the ones down the path.
Crank Your Head –
In all sports hairpin turns can be challenging so turn your head into the direction you intend to go. As you move forward, keep scanning the area and then intentionally twist your head in the direction you want to go. Do this as you set up for the turn and way before you need to turn. You will go where your head is headed and where your eyes are looking –like magic. Really crank it around, don’t just move your head a little bit. Every part of your body spontaneously adjusts and follows the direction of your head. Set your intention and commit completely and you will successfully maneuver around the corner smoothly and easily… Trust me, it works!
Look at the Open Spaces, the Path of Least Resistance –
Did anyone ever tell you “Don’t look at that tree if you don’t want to hit it?” Just like don’t look into the oncoming car headlights. But do you know where you should look? Instead of just looking away, concentrate hard on where you want to go. A good football athlete told me when he is carrying the ball he looks where the other players aren’t. In other words, he looks at the open spaces, the path he wants to take. He keeps the long-range goal in view. When mountain biking, don’t focus on the rocks or when skiing don’t look at the moguls; instead find the spaces where you can ride or ski through, the places where water might flow. You will see the smooth path you can take instead of a jumble of obstacles.
Let your eyes do their job. Let them help you find your flow and lead you through all your activities. Scan, twist and turn, and take the open path. Your eyes will lead you. The Eyes Have It!
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