The Theory of Commitment and Ability

I’ve had this idea in my mind for a while now and thought that I’d finally put it into words.

Throughout my time unicycling I have come to discover the two components that are absolutely necessary in order to complete any unicycle trick or skill; commitment and ability.

Both are important and yet one is useless without the other. Having the ability will not allow you to do the trick without commitment. Likewise committing will not allow you to do the trick without having the ability.

The ability must be acquired first. For example; if you want to land a 540 unispin, you must first be able to jump off of the unicycle and spin it 540 degrees before landing on the ground. If you cannot do this, but commit anyway, there is no possibility of landing. If you can jump off of the unicycle and spin it 540 degrees before landing on the ground, but don’t commit, you can’t land. Therefore one is useless without the other but the ability must
be acquired first.

While ability can usually be taught and learned, commitment cannot. Only you can teach yourself to commit. There are, however, ways to help make you commit. Strategies involving encouragement from others, methods of making yourself feel safer and be safer, as well as other approaches can be very effective. One can save great amounts of time by understanding commitment and ability before setting out to learn a trick. This theory not only applies to unicycling but to other sports as well.

Hopefully this can help people avoid spending hours attempting tricks without committing and also save people from potentially painful attempts at committing to tricks that they don’t have the ability to do.

I was once told “in order to learn something you have to almost know it already”. This wasn’t in relation to unicycling but it still seems to hold true. I learn best when shown the progressive steps to a final result. For instance: to learn how to ride backwards, first learn how to ride forward, stop, take one pedal backwards, then continue forwards. Then, take two pedals backward, etc…

This step-wise process builds confidence and muscle memory, which reduces the risk of commitment. The tantra of “just commit” introduces tremendous risk before building the required set of skills to attempt your final goal. Usually scares the hell out of me! :astonished:

Ability + commitment = focus

Focus x 10 = success