"Had a good ride today crashed a couple of times but the guy who was coaching me said "if you ain’t bleeding you ain’t mountain biking" now that last tree gate I didn’t clear is going to hurt a couple of days. "
If you are still at it, I can relate to your experience as I just started riding last year. One of the things that I’ve found to be true, very true actually, is that vision is critical. Not having great eye sight, but looking ahead and riding where you want to go, and not looking at where you are. If you are watching the trees as you approach them, you’re very likely to be watching them when you hit them. Instead work on looking ahead of them, to whats coming next. You will quickly learn that by doing this, you will have already lined yourself up properly to clear those tight areas, because you were looking ahead and getting ready for it all ready. Hope you’re still hanging in there dude!
It may not be the most efficient, or effective way to learn, but I’m currently using the trial and error method and riding every chance I get. I’m getting pretty good at telling people that I’m fine when I’m gasping for breath at the top of the hills. Watching a few youtube videos and falling over a few times. I still suck, but I’m getting better each time I go.