Improve your mtb balance.
The Trackstand is basically a method of remaining stationary on the bike without having to put a foot down.
Learning how to trackstand will improve your balance no end allowing more control of the bike when riding slowly (for example when riding along a thin section of north shore).
It is also an essential technique that allows you extra time to compose yourself and work out your line through technical sections without putting your feet down. It is essential when riding highly technical slow speed ‘trials’ type trails.
To practice a trackstand it may help to be facing up a slight hill. Selecting the middle chainring on the front and around a 20t sprocket or middle gear on the rear will give a nice responsive feel to your pedals without them being to hard to push.
If you start to fall uphill, then apply pressure on your forward foot to move the bike forward, because the front wheel is pointing uphill this will bring the bike back under you.
If you start to fall downhill take your weight off the front pedal and allow the bike to roll back (this is why it is easier on a slope) under you.
Try not to move too far forward or backwards whilst staying balanced. The aim is to stay in the same place.
It’s just a matter of allowing the bike to move under you so as to correct your balance. When you start you will need to move the bike and your body quite a bit to stay in control. As you progress the movements will become much smaller until they are almost invisable.
Once comfortable turning the front wheel in this natural direction, approach the hill from the other side so that you still face uphill but with the front wheel turned the other way. Also practice in both directions with your natural foot to the rear using your opposite foot to apply pressure to the pedals. This will give you many more options on the trails and will also help you swap pedals over when turning corners.
With practise, the trackstand in will become second nature and become a key technique in your skill arsenal giving you far more options on severe trails.