Peer pressure can be a good thing. While there is a place for one on one coaching, having two or more riders at a similar skill level multiplies the potential of any training session, especially when you have a sweet track to do it on.
A classic example of this was Kane and Vinnie at the Taupo MX track last month. Both of these riders are near the pointy end of their age groups at a National level, and have been under my coaching numerous times which meant we could encourage the competitiveness in them without as much risk of them forgetting the correct techniques.
If I pulled up Kane on a skill, it was a silent warning to Vinnie to be keep focusing on what he needs to be doing. Should Kane be faster on a certain section, Vinnie can play copy cat; or vice versa.
Raising the Bar
Fanning the flame even more, I also broke out the lap timers. Having unbiased proof of the inside rut being faster than the easier berm was a relatively small part of the benefit.
If you want more speed there is nothing more effective than trying to beat a race-mates best laptime, around a short circuit. It encourages a higher sprint speed than anything you may have done before, which means that your 90% speed also increases.
It Works for Adults Too
Peer pressure also helped with my favourite group of adults from the Taupo area, who were next on my schedule that day. When one rider has a certain technique down, the others see that what I am asking is possible, along with getting a visual example of what they should be doing.
Take Jayne’s standing style or Gerard’s aggression in turns for example. They were good enough to inspire me in my riding technique as I begin my riding comeback.
Away With the Birds
Best of all was the free time at the end where the three ladies rode the main MX track lap after lap as a group, pushing each other along. Any scary moments or flashes of brilliance make for a good laugh afterwards, along with a silent but mutual determination to be better for the next time they will go at it.
One on one is good, but having a little extra motivation is even better.