The more visual we can make our coaching, the more effective it will be. At our Wairoa camp I stumbled across something that helped a few of the riders a lot, something I intend to use at many more camps in the future.
I love riding the CRF125FB at coaching camps because it is small yet very capable, with electric start and a side stand. It is practically indestructible, and in this case, very useful because it got me down to the level of the riders. Just for fun I decided to get some chasing footage of one rider, using the GoPro Session that I set up under my helmet peak.
Staying right alongside him all the way through some jumps and following him through some turns showed us a bunch of things as I sat down to watch the footage. A small crowd of campers gathered behind me, beginning an impromptu coaching session.
“See how much wider I am before the corners? I end up in the same line by halfway through the corner but don’t have to turn as sharp.” There were many nods of understanding and the room already seemed a little brighter as some light bulbs went off in their heads. Later in the camp I spent some time behind each rider and then showed where they were at with this skill. It was fun for them and I think it helped a lot.
The other main thing we noticed was thanks to the slow motion that GoPro can produce. My riders throttle hand was cocked right back all the way up to a jump, but as we went through frame by frame you could suddenly see him throw his wrist forward just as the front wheel was leaving the ground. Suddenly chopping the throttle off had sent his bike into a massive nose dive and now we had proof as to why.
At the same time we discussed how you can rev again in the air to stop the front dropping as quickly, and how to get our weight back. But the main thing was helping them all to understand how it is safer to keep the power on off an upramp and jump a little bigger even if panicking, than it is to back off at the last minute and risk the front dropping.
Camps are proving to be so incredibly valuable, and it is the time to be able to do things like this that we really notice.