As a coach, you want to help people improve, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than having three or four consecutive days dedicated to working on the skills of less than ten riders. There is much more to our Bootcamps than just the training though.
Companionship and competition is a big part of these camps. For our October camp we had five lads whose ages were no more than 6 years apart from each other, and two girls, which made for a great mix; provided they didn’t get too excited that is.
Channeling that energy in the right direction was the key that I learned at this camp. While on the bike, there are many times when their focus needed to be on what they alone were doing, however it was crucial that they learned to think less of themselves and more on the others when off the bike. Pairing them up to help motivate each other worked extremely well and we will aim to incorporate this into all of our future camps.
While riding takes up a solid five hours, there is still plenty of time in which to rest and play. Many people that come to these camps do not have a farm in their backyard, which makes the open spaces of the Pirinis farm that much more attractive.
Most of them had never seen glow worms before, so an excursion was executed. Spotlight was played on both nights. We got out the marshmallows, met the animals, honed our passing and kicking. Still being a bit too early in the year for us to take them to the lake to cool down, the Mount hotpools was our warming destination with a treat afterwards.
There were no lecture times for this Boot Camp, nor was there the “Easy” day of our Academy trainings during which we run through specific stretching, sponsorship and off the bike fitness programs tailored to each riders needs. They might have been too young to really appreciate those things anyway although they would have enjoyed our traditional Wednesday trip to the Broxy track. Instead, our riders for this Boot Camp had three straight days at the Pirinis track which is not all bad!
A final lesson for me was in managing the weather. Unfortunately I timed the riding all wrong during a shower infested Friday where we didn’t pull into shelter early enough and then make the most of the sun afterwards. Saturday was a different story though as I kept a constant eye on the rain radar, making an equally squally day into a pain free experience for all of us. Better late than never, right?
I always enjoy the sprint time on our last day, and this was no exception. Ethan and Jack battled hard, only to have their best time end in a dead heat in one particular section. Zane and Coleman were not far behind, neither was Zara, while Harry pedalled his little bike to a very respectable time with Amy taking up the rear. Which is pretty understandable considering she only had her first ride less than a month before this camp! I am looking forward to following their progress, but even better would be to spend more time with this crew and many others over the summer months. It is only going to get even more epic.