Getting ready for another junior nationals can be nerve wracking enough as it is, but add
significant doubles to the track and those feelings of trepidation will be multiplied. So what better way to combat those difficulties than a couple of days of coaching at some enviable locations.
The Franklin Farm is all about progression, from the foam pit to the speed and style track where Jeremy and I spent most of our time. The fact that other riders were doing backflips did nothing to minimise the intensity of what we were out to achieve.
Staying true to the “Franklin Farm” spirit, we spent the next few hours building skills and confidence, to the point where he was jumping and landing both of the bigger jumps that had been holding him back.
Having Levi Sherwood doing his thing in the background probably didn’t hurt, but the main key to his eventual success was in taking away the irrational fear of coming up short on these doubles, seeing as they are step up jumps. It was a good first step but we still had some work to do.
Day two was spent at the MX track in Tokoroa where long tabletops were the safe version of what will be found in the Hawkes Bay these school holidays. Turning the throttle to its stop and powering hard all the way off the ramp was key to clearing the main jump beside the start straight.
Staying forward on the bike through the air greatly helped his control, and we set up for his best possible run at the biggest tabletop by setting himself very wide before getting the turn down quickly. That meant he was powering hard in a straight line well before he had been, a skill that will no doubt come in handy if the run ups are a bit short or rough.
From there my advice for those jumps at Nationals is to be more comfortable with the thought of over jumping, rather than risk coming up short. It should be all he needs to achieve his potential and have a great weekend. Our kids were very sad to see him go.