Finally, instead of flying past with a wistful look at their awesome MX track, this month I returned to Balcutha for some club coaching. It is one of my favourite venues, even better now that it has a fresh club president keener than ever to help the local talent. We used a formula that once again proved to be incredibly successful.
The first crucial element to our formula is having a great track, and there is nothing more helpful than good soil like this. The track at Balclutha is built from river silt, making it sandy enough to soak away water yet firm enough for things like ruts and jump faces to hold together. It has been a wet winter for them but fine weather for our coaching meant we only had to deal with puddles. Soil that wasn’t under water was perfect, and even having ruts up some of the upramps was a good thing as it really showed how much standing low to the bike can help their control.
Secondly our groups were small. With a max of seven riders I could give them the attention they deserved without wearing myself out. Riders really respond as they know they can’t hide. Perhaps it helped with their attitude as well because I only needed to dish out one set of push ups the whole time.
Thirdly, we had the same riders back for day two. This is a big one as it has so many benefits. I can pace their learning without trying to cram too much into the first day, knowing that we need time to process these things. I was hearing good things the next morning about how much many of them enjoyed it, in no uncertain terms making it clear that they wanted to be back for round two.
Having had a good nights sleep they were fresh for another try, having had time to process it all overnight. Before long they have the first days worth of skills mastered and I can keep plodding along until we really have them pumping.
The cool thing is that doing it over two days in groups like that meant they can continue to help each other remember what to do.
The prize for biggest improver probably went to Lucas as his attitude and confidence took a massive leap at the start of day two. I expect Nate to really excel after this session as he clicked with some really important skills. Connor was a real joy to watch as the lessons we had done with him prior to this one meant he was getting it all down to a
A huge thanks to Adam for all his work. Also a big help was Regan Turner, getting stuck in with helping out everywhere he could. Our next goal is to do a jumping clinic that really works on bike control, so if you are down that way make sure you stay tuned.