After my few hours on WoWs I got a hankering for a little Tank action. So last night I put a few hours into earning a little more money, I’ve got 9 free garage slots to fill!! I was mainly playing my Cromwell Knight and Centurion 7/1, the knight is my goto for grinding silver. My first 30 minutes was appalling both my playing and my luck, nothing would actually work out. I nearly gave up and (ahem) rage quit. But I wanted to play, Then as if by a flick of a switch, racing my Knight up a flank with ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ ringing in my head (No music was actually played just adding my own sound track to my life) I found my carrying pants and just started to destroy the opposition.
Playing music in my head to give me a sound track is a valid coaching technique, no honest. Modern coaching often states that a person can absorb 3 ideas plus or minus 2. So that gives a range of 1 to 5, a person who is non-stressed should be able to absorb 5 bits of information on average. A person under some kind of stress gets this number reduced to one as the stress increases. It can also be reduced to 0 if the person has been pushed beyond the stress zone and it to the panic zone. As I’ve often coached people in a stressful environment generally white water either Canoeing, Kayaking or Whitewater rafting. Yes, even gnarly Raft guides know fear. After raft guides had done a 4 month season if they returned next year, I got to ramp up the training. Taking these guides to do the top-level of rapids that are commercially rafted. I had one guide I was training fall out the back of the raft, he had messed up his line real bad, I’d called all the crew to get down and was digging my guide stick down deep and leaning on it to stop the raft flipping. We bounced off a rock in the middle of a grade V rapid (out of a max of 6) which flung the trainee guide off the back of the raft like scuba diver. Now I wanted to rescue him but it couldn’t happen on the rapid. I needed to get the raft down the dangerous section of river, needed to make sure I didn’t pin the swimming guide between the raft and a rock and kill him. To make matters more interesting I was guiding left-handed cause that’s the side I was sat and nicely jammed into. In a split second I’d decided my course of action. The crew where staying down, I was off course and I knew I was going to be bouncing down a horrible boulder garden. I wanted the crew to be able to grab the guide as he went past. What i didn’t expect was the guide that went over the back of the raft to reappear in mid-air as he hauled himself so quickly that he landed feet first into the raft, with a look on his face that I’d just tried to kill him! At the bottom of the rapid I gave him chance to calm down and relax and we discussed what had happened, what went wrong and how to avoid it again. This guide had always been really indecisive but the section we rafted daily was just a follow my lead with one long grade III rapid and a short but fun grade III (IV to rafts.) and numerous grade II’s along a 16 km section. The trainees first run through the Grade IV he had gone sideways under no power, which the usual outcome would be about a 5 second surf of the wave and a power flip sending 8 clients and one guide into glacial meltwater in May. Brrr. I was lucky/unlucky enough to be following him down I could see what was happening. He was doing nothing he was in a bit of a panic. He got his crew down to soon and drifted into the rapid, there was enough room to go sideways but not enough room for me to go around. As I was whipping my crew up into a frenzy to paddle really hard (“Do you apes really want to live for ever!”) I decided the only way out for both of us was ramming speed. I made my crew paddle to the the last possible second picking up as much speed and hit the sideways on raft just as it started to slide back down the wave towards me. My hit nudged the other raft through the wave, but it completely removed any forward momentum I had and I was sat in the bottom of the trough spinning sideways and about to flip. Even if my crew was able to paddle, they couldn’t supply enough power to overcome 100 metres cubed of water a second pouring through about a 3.5 metre gap. The only thing that could get me out of my predicament was that 100 cumecs of water. So I leant out of the raft with my feet jammed under the thwart I even clenched my buttocks for extra grip and plunged my paddle down deep, past all the frothy white water, down into the undisturbed flow of water plunging down the drop. The force nearly yanked me out of my raft, every muscle all the way down my body tensed to transfer the power of the water to the raft and drag the raft back through the collapsing wave downstream that otherwise wouldn’t let me escape. So it looks like I’m bragging about my ‘mad skillz’ in a raft, when my adrenaline is racing I can still process numerous bits of information, my friend the trainee couldn’t even in his second year as a guide. So in his second year he was working towards been able to lead on the river so he needed to be able to make decisions that could save lives. After long chats eventually drawing the information out that he was too excited. There was no point me telling him, he needed to come to the revelation himself. After that we worked through how to calm himself down, by singing or humming internally to a calming tune. This helped occupy part of his brain and there reduced the amount of stress he could pick up from the environment. The reverse is true music can pick you up and fire you up, eye of the tiger anyone? I often use the technique when im kayaking, I hate been upside down trapped in a kayak. H8 h8 h8 h8 it! So when im going down rapids and I want to keep my cool I have my little sound track playing. What do I sing? I’m singing James ‘Laid’, reminds me of a beautiful ex-gf and always makes me happy.
Music and WoT.
So I’ve gone on about coaching and music and I waffled for a bit at the start about my WoT tribulations and does it all really link up. For me Wagners’ Ride of the Valkyries is a motivating song up lifting and epic. Epic is over used word but I feel the tune is more than just a classic. I head it first in my Dad’s music collection way before the famous helicopter scene in Apocalypse Now. But it motivates me, so singing it in my head helped boost my mental state allowing to fully unleash my ‘Carry Pants of Dooom!’ If your going to try it not all songs work, it’s got to have a relationship with you. Different songs for different jobs, Valkyries to fire me up, Laid to reduce stress and many John Denver songs to calm me down. For songs to fire you up id try the more rock type songs maybe a bit of Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, RATM or maybe The Troggs. You know Wildthing… If you get to stressed in battle something soothing maybe a little Otis Redding would work. You could just put your MP3 player onto play but its a lot easier to turn the music on and off in your head without fumbling for a player mid-way through a match.
Thanks for reading I hope you might like to experiment with this to try and improve your gaming.
See you on the other side…