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Prospective Control of Action

This is a re-post from the Point1 Facebook page; because frankly Facebook is a horrible medium for longer, dribbling narrative! Enjoy.



So, to carry on from Friday’s yip-yap on Posture and Technique…

One of the relationships (some were trade-offs) listed was


The first term above being a misnomer – deliberate at the time. The correct term in fact would be, I think,

Prospective. Prospective control.

And as is becoming very clear in my own development as a coach, the relationship of qualities, traits and sub-systems within the athlete (rider) is of utmost importance, this must be respected & understood.

Relational thinking TRUMPS categorical thinking….always. When we speak about performance improvement at least.

“Prospective control refers to the means by which actors (read: rider in our case) adapt behaviour in advance to the constraints and behavioral opportunities afforded in/by the environment” ~ Fajen, Riley, Turvey; 2009

Prospective control is thus ESSENTIAL for the emergence of skilled actions. Without it all you would do is react to what the trail/race-track is giving you. But as we all know, reaction is after the fact, it is, no matter how “fast” too late. Too late for you the rider to successfully navigate each distinct section of trail in such a way as too link up distinct sections into fast, flowing, effective riding.

So when you see your favourite, rider, athlete or celebrity carry out some reactive “eye-hand” co-ordination drill in the gym, remember that reaction is too slow; and regardless most of the “reactions” we make, when riding an MTB well, are somatic reflexes, not reactions…and once that gym “drill” is learned then it would be the prospective control of posture, position that would allow for faster “reaction” to emerge. So again, full circle, relational thinking; reaction to a stimulus is much faster with better prospective control!

Greg Williamson performs at the UCI DH World Tour in Leogang on June 12, 2016

So in the immediate term what does this mean for you if the whole notion of prospective control is new too you?

– Posture = Prizes; the whole reason the “attack-position” bares so many hallmarks and similarities (attractors if you know Dynamical Systems) among good riders is. That that position/posture allows for joint angles, muscle length~tension relationships, peripheral nervous system function, afferent control & force production to operate within an optimal bandwidth to deliver the required technique on trail in the fastest way possible. Prospective control of posture given the trail affordances means “skill” emerges to perfectly match speed. This in essence is “trail efficiency”!

So what can we do to improve our potential to always display usable posture regardless of the trail demands? A shortlist only below….

1. Cultivate & Maintain adequate control, mobility, proprioception, strength and stability through all joints and movement patterns.

2. Develop adequate and ever evolving strength of your “hip hinge”; both eccentric and concentric muscle action, with a stable spine achieved through excellent function of all torso musculature from hip to shoulder (and likely more)!

3. Identify “rate-limiters” to postural maintenance and re-setting. These could be anything from foundational physiological qualities like aerobic metabolism to very specific characteristic qualities like your interaction with a particular size bike, with a certain tyre pressure on certain gradient of terrain!

4. Given the minute detail of the last point above it becomes clear that developing, year on year, season on season, a large physical/physiological buffer of foundational qualities that support good posture on trail will reduce the likely hood of poor mechanics or characteristic rate limiters cropping up under duress/fatigue or emotionally demanding situations.

5. True sport form and improvement in Prime Postures can only be viewed, refined, quantified and understood if enough training takes place in the environments you race that means shredding your bike like fuck in the mountains, up the mountains, down the mountains etc… sounds like fun!

To wrap up a quite abstract post; prospective posture allows for prospective position on trail and that allows for fast, smooth, efficient technique application on trail; which will look to the observer like skill. This is basically all we want as a rider – as skillful navigation of long sections of trail reward us with a sensory and neuro-endocrine response that trumps many experiences in life.

Do this often enough and you get that “flow” feeling…and that leads to intrinsic motivation to shred, removing the space for strange extrinsic motivators like health, weight-loss or victory and in there you find endless drive to improve and a near total lack of anxiety.

So as I said above – relationships of qualities; not categories of qualities please!

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Quick Fire 5 – Scotty Laughland

Our second round of quick fire 5 questions is with another Scot, Scotty Laughland. One of the newest athletes on the Point1 roster of weapons; he’s just come off his best ever EWS result (33rd) at Tweedlove.
Mature in word,  fresh in the face, downhiller turned Enduro shredder Scotty Laughland has, at 25 years young, bags of experience on a push bike, an undergraduate degree in Engineering and some serious coconut sugar based baking skills!
© – Claus Wachsmann
1) Favourite meal after a tough day of training gainzzz
Quick and easy soy sauce stir-fry with chicken or beef, rice and veg
2) The training sessions you are most and least happy to see on the weekly plan?
Most: 4 hour epic enduro session
Least: none – It’all about the gainzzz and process
3) Favourite race track/s? 
Finale. Nevados de Chilean and Peebles
© – Claus Wachsmann
4) Number 1 interest away from the world of bike riding and racing?
Travel and exploration
5) Happiest when…….?
Sat at the top of a rad, loamy 1000m + descent, froth fest!!!
© – Scotty himself!
News Recipes

Point1 – Veggie Burger Deluxe

Varying your source of protein is a pretty good habit for sticking to a successful, tasty, performance enhancing diet! Variety, colour and texture are all pretty key parts of keeping yourself eating like a champ day in, day out!

It  seems to me that males in particular often go two ways – polarised opposites – either all out vegan or all out dead cow! Both approaches are the different sides of the same coin. Riders frequently think that depriving themselves of certain things will =equal success, like total sacrifice is needed to achieve your nutritional goals or similarly the total #NFG approach of I’ll eat what I want and just bury myself into the bars/pedals/weights twice as hard! Well neither approach is going to be optimal.

So that’s where tasty alternatives to the same old meals come in handy. Step in the Point1 Veggie Deluxe! A protein, nutrient and taste pack wee patty of awesome.

Once again, simple to make, cook and above all else performance enhancing tastiness. Each patty has decent amounts of protein, a moist but crispy texture and can form part of a variety of main meals or snacks.




500g of canned Chickpeas – drained, washed, re-washed and then soaked in some water and apple cider vinegar for at least 4 hrs!

Small Handful of grated Cheese, old, matured, raw milk awesomeness – aim for good stuff not plastic

35g Rolled Oats

35g Quinoa (about a quarter cup)- Red, black or white

1 Egg – Beaten

1-2 Tsp Wholegrain Mustard

1-2 Tsp Paprika

Pinch of Chilli Flakes

2 Tsp Cumin

1-2 Tsp Curry Powder

1 Tbs Herbs of choice

Sea-Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper – ‘cos that’s how we roll in the Point1 Kitchen!


How to:

Mix Mustard and Egg together in a cup, combine all other ingredients in a large salad bowl. Mash bowl ingredients with a potato masher! Add in the Egg and Mustard mix, continue to combine/mash as you see fit until you obtain a nice mixture. If things seem a little moist then you can add in a little buckwheat flour to soak it up!

Make Patties in any thickness, shape or size you see fit. But round, plam sized ones about 2cm thick cook the best!

You can “cook” the burgers on a pan with some olive oil or walnut oil, on the BBQ or like I prefer under the grill. Cook until nice and golden on both sides, but not so long as to dry out all the ingredients!

Enjoy as you see fit, but hopefully for your health and performance you won’t be eating them in a filthy, industrial, nutritionally void white burger bun, but instead with a huge side salad, sweet potato fries and hummus!

Feel free to add in other beans/pulses instead of the 500g of chickpeas (as-long as they are well washed/soaked and prepped), I’ve used the same recipe with kidney beans, white haricots, lentils, extra cheese, no cheese, tons of Quinoa and split peas just to name a few!




Plated Up!



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Point1 PowerJacks

Like a flapjack but designed to maintain or maybe, who knows, even improve performance during your training rides or sessions! Between DH runs, on the lift when partaking in Broduro laps or trail side on a trail ride, these PowerJacks are simple to make, quick to cook, tasty, moist and portable! Get on the program my friends.





150g rolled oats – (soaked overnight in a small amount of yogurt/water/milk if you wish – adjust wet ingredients accordingly)

2 scoops (abut 120g) of your favourite “Recovery Mix” – I used Kinetica’s Complete (Chocolate Flavour) this time but have used similar products from High 5 and Optimum Nutrition.

Sunflower seeds and hazelnuts (or similar) to taste

1tsp of cinnamon



1 ripe banana

150ml of Milk of choice (Cow’s, almond, hazelnut, rice etc… – not Soya, soya milk is filth!)

1 tsp of Vanilla extract

35-50 g of honey or maple syrup (Optional)

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How To

Pre-Heat a fan-oven to 180c. Mix all wet ingredients together until well combined; add to dry until a nice consistent mixture is obtained. Spoon mixture out into a rectangle about 1.5cm thick on a parchment paper lined oven tray. Top with Sunflower seeds for added texture and awesomeness!

Cook for 12-15mins in the oven, just enough so its slightly browned, to long and you’ll have some dry Jacks!

Remove from oven and immediately, but gently, cut into “bars” – this mixture will make 12-15 small bars. Let cool and BOOM you’ve got yourself some PowerJacks!


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Make sure to eat with water/fluids and reap the benefits! Finished product below. Store them in some Tupperware for up to 3 days!



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Point1 Pro-Bar™

Energy bar, “power-bar” (that’s a Nestlé careful now), “cereal bar” (certainly not, cereal is  mainly for horses), pro-bar, a serious slab of home-made awesome! Call it what you will these bars are made with a basic “corner-stone” recipe that can be modified as needed to up any particular macro nutrient content you want, cover on or off the bike micro-nutrient worries or just simply to taste awesome and cover your energy needs out on a big old ride!

Other than in a prolonged flat out race like XCO, a time-trial or similar I’m a big fan of covering your energy needs via small, frequent intake of solid food and an electrolyte or “light” energy based drink.

These bars cover all of the needed bases, taste, texture, energy, micro-nutrients, simplicity, portability!

Pretty easy to make, simple to adjust, hold together well, have plenty of carbohydrate from multi-transportable sources and don’t stick to tin foil making an uneatable mess in your pocket.

So here goes! Choc-Nut-Protein-Fruit-Energy-#Point1-Pro-Bar – Surely there is a catchier name than that?



1 cup of Medjool Dates or other re-hydrated or moist fruit

1 scoop of Chocolate or Vanilla Protein Powder

1 teaspoon of Cocoa powder (if desired, depends how “dark chocolate” you want them to taste)

Half cup of Rolled Oats

Half to 3/4 cup of Apple Sauce

1 cup of frozen Raspberries

Half cup  of dried, unsweetened Coconut

5-6 tablespoons of honey

Handful of nuts of choice – I used hazelnuts only in this recipe

Texture of batter should be thick, smooth and slow running – you can add a small amount of liquid or dry ingredients to the above to achieve this texture – It all depends on your fruit “dryness” I think – But choose extra ingredients carefully – Think of Macro content!

How to:

Mix/Blitz the medjool dates with a teaspoon or two of water in a large bowl with a handheld blender – This may take a while (the dates will need to be pitted and chopped before you start)


Add all of the wet ingredients to the Dates and mix until you get a nice runny consistency – The honey may have to be heated slightly to stop it sticking. Add in your frozen Raspberries or other frozen fruit and mix well.


In another bowl thoroughly mix all of your dry ingredients – Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry until a nice smooth batter is achieved!

Poor this into a baking paper lined dish and place in a pre-heated oven at 170c – (I used a fab oven so adjust temperature accordingly)


Cook until a little crispy but not black on top – a small knife should come out clean – To get a nice texture for storage and use on the bike it’s important to use a try big enough so that the batter pours out to an even 1cm – 1.5cm  while wet in the dish. After cooking this should rise to almost 2cm and be perfect to cut into consistent but moist bars.


The above recipe makes from 10-14 bars depending on how you cut them.


Please feel-free to comment on how you’ve modified the recipe or even if you like the taste or have any thoughts, tips or tricks!