Teach your kid to ride!
Posted October 16, 2002 - 03:30 AM
Posted October 17, 2002 - 07:09 AM
Posted October 17, 2002 - 08:25 AM
My buddy has a nice mile-long practice track. Every time he builds bigger, badder jumps, the boys get together and GO FOR IT! Won't attempt it on their own, but in the presence of peers MUST be the conquering hero... Of course, WE have all outgrown that, haven't we?
Each fall for the past 4 years, my oldest suddenly "cranks it up" several notches all at once. The downside is that Loretta's is already history, but it still feels good. He struggled in a tight battle the first dozen races of the year, but has come on strong to win the last 15 hands down.
He is very different to coach than lil' bro. Sky needs his lessons bitter and UN-sugarcoated. Hard crashes and defeats motivate him and prompt him to listen to the old man; not accolades and trophies. Little brother gets a little gun-shy after a hard crash and he needs positive encouragement as opposed to honest criticism. The biggest hurdle is convincing a young rider that "TOO slow" makes mud, sand, ruts, hills and jumps far HARDER to do. Armor the heck out of 'em, and let them crash a few times in some soft stuff if possible. Make them hop right back on rather than give them time to cry about it. They soon realize "Hey, that didn't even hurt!" MAKE SURE MOM IS NOT PRESENT TO BABY THEM!!!
Give them small challenges: I used to put my hat beyond a jump in our yard and challenge Skyman to clear it: "Better not leave knobby tracks on my favorite hat!". This took his mind off the fear of the jump and would soon have him giggling in mid-air as he proceeded to trash my ever-farther chrome-dome cover! He, of course, aimed for it!
By the end of session, he couldn't believe how far he was jumping. Hadn't noticed. Little victories...
Keep up the good work with the kids!
Posted October 17, 2002 - 09:05 AM
Having started racing before he entered kindegarten, my oldest was pretty small. You couldn't really tell if he was standing on the pegs or sitting...
As I mentioned, we worked hard on jumping. After our first session, he was very proud of his progress, but had to confess in a whisper that it "really hurt his penis when he landed..."
I had bought him everything I could think of in the way of protection already, and he very proudly told his classmates as he demonstrated it all during show-and-tell that his Kevlar gear made him "Bullet-proof like cops and Superman".
But I had forgotten the family jewels!! For shame, Dad!
I stopped at the sporting goods store the next day and was amazed to actually find little tiny padded jock straps. I got home and my wife was entertaining guests, so I took him upstairs to show him how to put it on. "COOL, Dad!" I returned to living room leaving him to put his clothes back on.
A couple minutes later, he appears in living room wearing nothing but that little jock. "I am TOTALLY bulletproof now, Mom. Go ahead, hit me right here, hard as you can! It won't hurt a bit! C'mon, Mom! Do it! I wanna show ya!" he pleads.
Now Mom is usually a really good sport about humoring her childrens' requests, but "drew the line at slugging him in the...the...well, YOU know!"
Of course, a very disappointed Sky couldn't figure out why all these women (and Dad) were cracking up so bad as Mom retreated, red-faced, to the kitchen.
Posted October 17, 2002 - 10:11 AM