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Target Fixation Concerns


256rotax
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I just registered to be allowed to post on the forum. Hello to everyone. I am 58 years old and have been street riding for about 10 years total off and on. I have read Keith's books and like his mental approach to solving problems, but I have one bad habit that has got me almost spooked. Just when I think I am riding pretty good this problem can rear its' ugly head and scare the ###### out of me. I am talking about target fixating in a tight situation. Using Keith's $10 analogy, it can take $8 of mine when this happens. Anyone know of any mental excercises to help manage this common problem?

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I just registered to be allowed to post on the forum. Hello to everyone. I am 58 years old and have been street riding for about 10 years total off and on. I have read Keith's books and like his mental approach to solving problems, but I have one bad habit that has got me almost spooked. Just when I think I am riding pretty good this problem can rear its' ugly head and scare the ###### out of me. I am talking about target fixating in a tight situation. Using Keith's $10 analogy, it can take $8 of mine when this happens. Anyone know of any mental excercises to help manage this common problem?

 

I know that when I did level 2 it really sorted me out on this!

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I just registered to be allowed to post on the forum. Hello to everyone. I am 58 years old and have been street riding for about 10 years total off and on. I have read Keith's books and like his mental approach to solving problems, but I have one bad habit that has got me almost spooked. Just when I think I am riding pretty good this problem can rear its' ugly head and scare the ###### out of me. I am talking about target fixating in a tight situation. Using Keith's $10 analogy, it can take $8 of mine when this happens. Anyone know of any mental excercises to help manage this common problem?

 

I know that when I did level 2 it really sorted me out on this!

 

Hi Chuck,

 

There are a few pieces to this target fixation problem. We start tackling it in level 1, then after some really key fundamentals are in place we can get the rest of it addressed in level 2. My point isn't just do a school, but to acknowledge that this is a big issue, and riders of ALL skill levels have to work on this to master it.

 

There is some info in Keith's books, but the current seminars in Level 1 (and mostly Level 2) really go into this in detail.

 

Really, I'm not trying to shamelessly plug the school, it is simply the only place I know this material is covered.

 

Best,

Cobie

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I just registered to be allowed to post on the forum. Hello to everyone. I am 58 years old and have been street riding for about 10 years total off and on. I have read Keith's books and like his mental approach to solving problems, but I have one bad habit that has got me almost spooked. Just when I think I am riding pretty good this problem can rear its' ugly head and scare the ###### out of me. I am talking about target fixating in a tight situation. Using Keith's $10 analogy, it can take $8 of mine when this happens. Anyone know of any mental excercises to help manage this common problem?

 

Like lwarner said, Level 2 sorted me out on this, too.

I'm curious, what particular sights or situations seem to make you target fix? Someone about to turn left in front of you, or change lanes into you? Holes in the pavement, or slick spots, or curbs? Or does it happen when you are trying to go fast? Do you notice it happens more when you are tired? A little more detail on when it occurs might help us give you more input on this.

 

The best way I know of to manage this is to make sure you are not tired, and not riding over your head. Target fixing is the FIRST thing that happens to me when I am tired, overheated or dehydrated, and often happens when I am 'trying too hard' to go fast, or ride a certain way.

 

As far as exercises... if there are particular things that make you worried, like pavement snakes or the edge of the road, it might help you to intentionally (and slowly and safely) ride over or close to them to take the mystery and fear out of them. Acknowledge that it's there, you know what it is and how it would affect the bike. Then the worry about what "could happen" usually goes away. Same goes for hard braking; try it, safely, a few times and then when you really need it you won't have to stare at the pavement in front of you, as we all tend to want to do. :)

 

The Twist of the Wrist II DVD might help with this, too, lots of info on survival reactions. Of course it's all in the book, too, but it becomes really, REALLY clear when you see it on film, especially with the on-board camera view.

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You've got a scary problem there, buddy. I'm not sure how to brake the habit, but the army saying is "redundance is the best trainer." Most of my answers when fixing a problem starts with "find a big parking lot....."

 

Sunday mornings offer great times to practice, and I'd suggest cones and small sticks. If my wife had this problem, I'd set up some cones and have her practice looking to the inside or outside of the cone, but not AT the cone. If you have someone who could go with you, have them get a stick (something you can ride over) and chuck it in front of you randomly so you can work on looking where you want to go, not what's flying around in front of you. When we're doing trackday stuff in the parking lot, when I have a safe spot in case she over-runs (which she hasn't), I gun it really close to her and pass going into a corner so she can work on where she's looking. I also get going really fast, and once I've passed, I smack on the brake, skid the rear some, sometimes put my feet on the ground, and shutter the bike. She has learned to just look into the corner and putt on by. I stand in front of her, have her ride up to me, and (with room to spare) throw an arm out where she needs to go. I've trained her "head, bike," and as soon as my arm goes up, she gets her eyes off of my and in the direction she wants to go.

 

I've really worked with her on this aspect because when she does a trackday, she can just ride around the track if she wants, but just knowing how to ride around a track isn't going to keep her from getting spooked at least once or twice a day, and that's all it takes to ruin your day. She knows that even if some thing rattles her, she's just going to turn her head into the corner and get by the problem.

 

I'd recommend you go in with the intent to focus specifically on this for a while, because it's pretty critical to you staying upright, be it an on the track or off problem.

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