Power of Confidence When Learning to Ride
The power of confidence when learning to ride a motorcycle for new riders is an essential ingredient for learners. Having doubt and questioning your own ability plays havoc with your brain and will create anxiety.
Riding a motorcycle requires a combination of technical skill, knowledge of methodical process and above all, confidence!
Without it, your learning journey may be a struggle and you won’t progress very quickly. This will result in you placing fictitious barriers in the way that become stumbling blocks as you learn.
The Power of Confidence – How It Can Make or Break a New Rider
For new riders, confidence can be both a double-edged sword and a powerful tool for success. A lack of confidence will make things much harder, whereas the right amount of confidence will give you the drive to try new skills. In turn this raises your ability.
In this article, we will explore the positive and negative effects of confidence on new riders and how to harness it to become a safer and more skilled rider.
Confidence is essential to learning and mastering the art of riding a motorcycle. It allows riders to take risks (calculated), push their limits (a little bit), and develop a sense of control and mastery over their machine.
But as a learner rider you have to set the foundations and cement good riding techniques. The basics must be learned and mastered first before you can push any boundaries.
Confidence or overconfidence!
A confident rider is less likely to be intimidated by learning to ride. They will relish new challenges and learn brand new skills in order to develop.
You should not be afraid of the prospect of new experiences, like traffic or challenging road conditions. With confidence new riders are more likely to make quicker and decisive decisions or manoeuvres to avoid incidents.
However, overconfidence can also be a major source of risk for new riders. When riders become too confident too quickly, they may overestimate their abilities, take unnecessary risks and fail to recognise the limitations of their own skills and knowledge.
This can lead to higher risk and being drawn into dangerous situations. Riding blindly will place new riders in situations they find difficult to control, such as speeding, reckless lane changes or failing to properly navigate a corner or turn.
Perceived ability versus actual ability
New riders must quickly learn and understand that their perceived ability rarely matches their actual ability.
To harness the power of confidence in a positive way, new riders should focus on building their skills and knowledge gradually and methodically. This is achieved over a period of time with proper development and time between training sessions to analyse progress and new riding skills.
This may include taking more professional training courses, practising on your own bike in between training lessons. New riders should practise the basic foundation skills in a safe and controlled environment, where there are no other vehicles and seek guidance and feedback from professional instructors.
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It’s only a state of mind
It is important to recognise that confidence is not a fixed trait and can grow over time. It is only a state of mind for that moment in time and can be cultivated and improved over time through practice, learning, and experience.
Ultimately, the key to balancing confidence and risk as a new rider is to remain humble, so that you do not become cocky. Always be aware of your ability and never become over confident and be respectful of the challenges that lie ahead and risks that come from riding a motorcycle.
By staying focused, practising regularly and seeking guidance or support from professional trainers, new riders can develop confidence. This is necessary to become safe, skilled and successful, for years to come.
Fear is natural
Fear is a natural response to the risks and uncertainties of riding a motorcycle. This is particularly true for new riders who may not yet have developed the skills and experience necessary to feel completely comfortable on the road.
This fear often stays with a rider for some time after passing their test and can follow them throughout their progress. Especially when they start to experience new challenges, like riding abroad for the first time.
However, allowing fear to dominate can lead to hesitation, indecision and even unwanted incidents. One of the most effective ways to build confidence as a new rider is through practice and repetition.
By regularly riding in a safe and controlled environment, such as an empty car park or riding on quiet roads to build confidence. Riders can enhance skills and gradually become more comfortable with the basic skills of riding. This enables you to set the skills until it becomes muscle memory and easier day by day.
As riders become more confident in their abilities, they can gradually progress to more challenging road conditions, such as higher speeds, heavier traffic, or more complex road layouts.
Build confidence with knowledge
Another key to building confidence is by having more knowledge. New riders should take the time to familiarise themselves with the highway code, as well as common mistakes and dealing with hazards on the road. This will result in less risk and gaining confidence more quickly.
In addition, seeking out guidance and support from experienced riders can be invaluable for building confidence and overcoming fear. This includes taking professional training courses on a regular basis, even after passing the basic foundational steps like CBT and motorcycle tests.
By focusing on building skills, knowledge, and support, new riders can gradually build the confidence they need to become safe and successful riders for years to come. It is important to recognise that fear is a natural and normal response to the risks of riding a motorcycle, overcoming it is a process that takes time and effort.