Chuck, I may, what are you building?
Tim, that's a very good point that I think a lot of experienced riders forget, loosen up. Spending lots of time on a pump track will build your muscle memory in many different body positions on the bike and what they do to your ride. Then when on the trail it will just instinctively do it without you thinking about it. ANd you will be used to it so it will be relaxed. Crashes hurt less then too. Bruce Lee said, the softest thing cannot be broken.
Confidence and the mental part is most of it. If you believe you will make it and you just go for it, you usually will. That's why it's so helpful to follow someone.
I forgot about the beat up shins in the discussion, Damn yeah, I have a bunch of scars on my legs. My adidas work fine with my grippy pedals. Tim, if you learn to ride flats you would know how to ride jumps right and you wouldn't come out, the reason you came out isn't cause they weren't tight enough
Also, that's one of my favorite, the xc bunnyhop, if your stuck to it and jump it's by default not a bunnyhop guys!
I'm just teasing, to each his own and do what works for you. Just don't limit yourself if you can help it.