Two out of the three riders that I coached at Taupo last month went on to great things at the club day. What was it that worked so well?
First was the fact that they turned up. We’d already postponed it once due to the snow storm that swept the country, and despite it not looking much better for this one, we went for it anyway with only a few light sprinkles of rain. Considering the flooding that Carter and crew drove through on their way here, we were again very blessed. Here are the highlights.
Hunter has many things on his side, the most potent being his love for the sport; something that you probably share. We didn’t have to show him how to scrub his little 50 over the big single. He did that all himself.
What we worked on mostly was his aggression under brakes. We did this using;
- Drills on the start line where he could gain confidence in his front brake by keeping straight
- Using the “Big stick” idea to help him stand low to the bike while braking so that his weight was back and arms still bent
- Really getting stuck in to some sprints
using the stop watch
He went on to post 1, 3, 2 results that weekend. We are excited about keeping the momentum going with plenty more sessions to come.
Deakan proved that hard work pays off. Despite being very new to the racing scene, and this being only his second session with me, he desperately wanted to conquer the double on the mini track. I obliged, by working on everything but that jump. Let me share how;
- First I got him confident with his clutch. How would this help his jumping? He sussed this out quickly, which gave him heaps more confidence to power hard
- I got to spend more time focusing on standing properly. He also picked this up extremely well. Soon he was powering hard and braking hard while standing
This is what led him not only conquering the double that weekend, it also helped him shave a massive 20 seconds off his previous best laptime.
Carters dad didn’t like how Carter often jumped with his front wheel high, ever since his last big crash. We headed to the Speedcross track to try some things.
It was a shock to discover that despite his jumping experience, Carter was not yet in the habit of using his rear brake in the air. We needed to fix that!
- First I got him to practice pulling in the clutch while in the air. Easily done for a rider like him
- The next step of adding the rear brake was complicated from how he stands with the ball of his foot on the peg. Fortunately I picked this up fairly quickly so that the arch of his foot was now on the peg
- From there I could go to the extreme of purposely lifting his front higher than he needed to off an upramp so that he could get more lift off one jump that was hard to clear. This is something he can keep working on.
This translated to a much nicer jumping style. It also meant that he soon started clearing the container jump that had been bugging him for some time. I know that his dad was pleased.
All of this from a day that didn’t look possible, proof that good old-fashioned toughness and a little bit of faith will achieve great things.