How do you explain the grateful and joyful smile of thanks from a young person? It is mostly in their eyes, a heartfelt expression of appreciation from helping them achieve something that they really enjoy. On my last tour of Wanganui and Hawkes Bay I was blessed to get this response from multiple riders.
It was no coincidence that Annabelle’s confidence had dropped since they had got her a neck brace. It was obvious that she wasn’t enjoying herself, finding the jumps difficult to ride over because she was being forced into a very stiff standing position. It was a lack of movement combined with having moved up to a SX50 recently. Her father was happy for us to try her without the neck brace, and I added the extra of putting her on the little CRF110F that we take with us.
It was incredible to see the change. She was now in control of the bike rather than the bike being in control of her. With bent arms and strong legs she could show her potential, and her smile from then on out was further proof that they had made the right choice. She was happy and confident even when it was time for her to hop back on the 50.
Seth was a different story as he came into our session with a happy attitude right from the start. He had been doing a lot of winning since our last session in Taupo, which might have helped, although I think he is just a nice kid. The thing about those wins is that he hadn’t been standing much, so I went to work helping him get the style that would help him do it on every kind of track.
His dad was blown away with how he was willing to try whatever I asked of Seth. I was amazed at how quickly he could translate my words into action. It didn’t hurt that we were using the Supercross track at Mere Road with its big berms and rolling jumps. Pretty soon we had Seth soaking up all the jumps and landings with his whole body. Being over the front of the bike was the key.
Seth’s reward was a play on the 110. We’d had a laugh watching his dad riding it and now Seth got to have his turn. The low center of gravity combined with a friendly power delivery make for a really fun bike- a bike that Seth proved was capable of a lot of speed. A summer of coaching with these bikes is going to be a treat for me too.