My advice is taken from a couple of people in my club and brought together here.
On some reasonable flat ground set out a figure 8. Use some cones, rocks, whatever you have. Make it nice and large so you can ride around it without needing to use your clutch. Once you are balancing and moving well, make your figure 8 smaller and smaller as you become more comfortable. You will eventually need to use the clutch and brake, along with body positioning to control the bike.
Once you have this down pat, time to add another element. Find an area that is off camber or sloping and repeat the process. Then some sand, rocky, loose dirt, etc.
Then add an obstacle like a log. Find a log you are comfortable hoping over, something say 30cm or 1 foot diameter. Set you markers wide of the log, say 2 bike lengths wide and parallel to it. Ride over the log and turn before your marker, hope over the log and repeat from one end of the log to the other. Move your markers closer to the log and repeat.
I look for obstacles close to what I am likely to come across in a section. The best advice I can pass on, (I forget where I found it) is to practice what you don't like to ride.
Why do all this? Simple. Have you ever gone to a trial and were asked what type of terrain would you like us to set the sections on? Have you ever gone ridden in a section that was perfectly flat and grassy, with no logs or rocks?
No me either.
If you ride the type of terrain you like and enjoy riding, you will get very good at it. You will still be at your current level on the terrain you dislike, and you will still find that in sections at the trials you go to. Ride what you like to ride, but include what you dislike or even hate if you can.
You may still hate to ride wet, rocky, etc sections. But you will improve your skills to negotiate them, reducing your 3's and hopefully not getting any 5's!
Someone commented on no stop trials a little earlier in this forum. I sincerely hope that non-stop trials never makes it to the state comps, I saw some footage of the 2014 World series held in Victoria. I found it a little less interesting. Where is the skill of setting your bike before tackling that rock, log, etc?
The sport has already lost the skill of being able to roll backwards without footing, will we lose the skill of balancing whilst stationary too?
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