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Mind games

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Mind games

Postby Pyro » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:28 pm

Okay, so this one's a scenario and a question of two halves - everyone is very welcome to contribute!

The scenario

You're out kayaking, having a good day on a river you know pretty well. The weather's pretty good, the level's nice, the group's having a giggle and all paddling well.

You come to one of the harder bits. Most of the group breeze through it (with maybe a big brace or two) but one person takes a swim. There's no immediate hassle, all their kit's been recovered, the swimmer is back in their boat fairly quickly, they're not cold, they're not hurt, and they're still smiling.

A little further on it becomes really obvious that their swim has given them a big knock psychologically. They've swum in that place before, and were worrying about it a lot before you got to it. They've now got that confirmation bias - 'I always swim on this bit', which has now extended to 'I always swim on this river'. They've tenses up, they're nervous on anything more technical, which leads to a couple more swims on stuff you'd normally expect them to cruise through. They're looking around for chicken lines or places to portage or walk out. For everyone else it's been fine and fairly easy, but that one person has ended up having a really bad day of it.

This is a situation that's fairly familiar on club trips, especially late in the first term and early in the second as people progress at different rates and push up from Beginner to Inter trips. It's fairly common on the Lakes trip, with people having had an extended break from boating as well.

So, from that basis I'd like to pose two questions, or two halves of the same question:

For the people who river lead, or are wanting to develop into river leaders in the coming year:
This person is part of your group on the river. How do you deal with this? If it's happened to you already, how did you manage it? If it hasn't, how do you think you would?

For everyone:
Imagine that person is you. How do you deal with it yourself, and how would you like/expect your group leader to deal with it?

Paddling whitewater is part physical, part psychological, and everyone deals with this kind of stuff differently. It'd be interesting to see how other people would respond or manage things. There's no right or wrong answers.
"Sometimes you dig your own."
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Pyro
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