There are so many difficult things about getting coached that I am always thankful that people still put their hand up for our lessons. It shows the forward thinking of these people as they are willing to put up with a good deal of difficulty in order to get improvement.
First of all you have to put yourself at the mercy of your coach who is going to judge your riding and pick on your weakest points. Then you have to change those things you are either comfortable with, or find just plain hard to fix. Well it had been a while but now it was my turn to go through the ringer for a day!
Josh Hansen is the American rider who came to our shores in the Australian Super X series this year and showed everyone how to win races. He smoked everyone at both Auckland and Dunedin and made it look very cool and easy at the same time.
His trainer and coach is Donnie Hansen, a former legend of a rider himself with the credit to his name of winning both the AMA MX and SX crowns in the premier class before helping America claim its first ever MX of Nations title back in the eighties- and all this in one year. So when our friend Dave Crabb told us he was coming and keen to coach us, up went my hand as well.
Easy does it
Often I have a way of hyping things up sometimes to my own detriment. My lovely wife was my calming influence in this case, meaning we emailed out to many of you readers some facts about his coming without putting as much of a spin on it as I would have liked, just to be safe.
Well the day came with Campbell King, Kurt Langford and myself ready for our lesson. Donnie had stayed with us the night before and you could see where his son gets his coolness from. It turns out he had coached top riders such as Dungey, Villopoto and Josh Hill when they were young tackers, helping form the foundation of their riding as he put it.
What did we learn?
Of course he started with my least favourite corner on my whole track. But that is what I needed. In this case I trying so hard to carry speed that my brakes were off too early instead of doing a bit more point and shoot. That was a good lesson and something I wanted to keep in mind for the final two rounds of MX Nats coming up.
The other thing I got out of it is that my teaching of upper body movement is not something that the MX fraternity seems to have thought about much, something kind of cool as I may know something they don’t. But I will wait until I have more proof before I pump that up.
Campbell got the most out of his starts practice, Donnie “Holeshot” Hansen as he used to be known showing us some very good tips on getting out of the gates quick. Lets hope it helps and that Donnie really enjoyed his time here in NZ.