Jo and Ian's learning experience
Jo tells us what she and Ian learned from Lynne's recent afternoon coaching sessions.
The first session, at Glen Gynack, was the opportunity to focus on contours and distance and see the terrain through the eyes of an experienced orienteer. The second, on Creag Dhubh, enabled me to see where the Long Start will be for October's event. And, more importantly, to help Ian to address his nemesis, when the mountain and the bracken were too overwhelming and he managed to find just 2 controls at the Scottish 6 Day.
Starting from an obvious feature we divided the route to the first control into sections, ensuring we kept in close touch with the map as we covered each one. A key learning point was to avoid getting distracted by a far away visible feature we erroneously thought would be our end point. As well as more contour work we looked at how to choose terrain that was easier to cross than areas like thick myrtle bog and marshes.
I put the learning into practice at SOL3, managing to go more or less straight to each control; sometimes stopping to look at the contours in the route ahead and thinking "thank you Lynne". I reverted to my old headless chicken mode at Dunachtonmore on the second control with a faff on the wrong ditch when the contours were a much clearer indication of the location.
I find the benefit of the coaching is the opportunity to see the map through expert eyes and to work on what would make the most difference to my orienteering. Ian says "it's fun, it's focused and always results in important learning". Thank you, Lynne, for giving up your afternoons for us.