t's common knowledge now a days that it takes a lot of seat time in order to get good and really enjoy riding motocross. Most riders don't get to practice as often as they would like. Unless you have a practice track at your house and don't have to work a regular job this is the case, right? Okay, so let's say this is your case. When you do get a chance to ride you're all gung ho on going out onto the track and having fun, right and that is normal. But, here's the thing, you expect to much from yourself. Most riders expect that they should be able to go out there and go fast, do most all the jumps and not make a ton of mistakes. This is impossible unless you have already logged many, many hours of practice.
Through my 42 years of racing, practicing and coaching motocross it is becoming more and more clear to me that riders of all skill levels can have a great time practicing motocross. The primary key is to know how to practice for your current skill level. I mean think about how many riders enter races before they have at least one year of quality practice? Talk about expecting too much out of one's self? Not to mention that they are more likely to be injured.
A good analogy is with golf and tennis. If a person is taking up golf they don't entry a contest after a few months of swinging the clubs. Or entry a tennis competition after a few months of practicing tennis. That wouldn't be much fun. In fact it would be more frustrating than fun. But at least there's not much chance of becoming seriously injured. Would you think a newbie golf or tennis player would be practical in thinking they should be able to go out there and start killing it? Well, why are most beginner motocross riders getting frustrated and not having a blast riding their bike? Could they be expecting too much? I have found that most riders do.
I want to help you to enjoy the sport more by taking a different approach. By changing the way you look at riding. By understanding your skill level and practicing the most effective, fun way in order to, not only avoid injury but to make the most improvements as well. As I mentioned it's in the way you look at it. One of the best things about riding motocross is getting your mind off everything else and just into the present moment of riding. But instead of getting into that addicting zone most beginners are scattering their thoughts on other things, like judging themselves, analyzing themselves compared to other riders on the practice track, thinking about trying not to crash and sometimes even thinking about how bad they suck. Talk about distractions, how can one get into the zone when their present moment thoughts are scattered? That's not having fun doing what you are suppose to love doing.
The world's best coaches in any sport have mastered the secret of improving the athlete's skills by supplying them with split second information on exactly how to attain new skills just out of their current ability's reach. In motocross for example, one scenario could be a rider is close to being able to double through the whoops but can't quite get it down. A coach's job would be to explain exacting what he needs to do differently in order to double through. That is currently a stretch but doable. What would be too far of a stretch is tripling, wheel tapping or pinning them. Since you can't always have a good riding coach with you at all times you have to become your own coach. You have to recognize your skill level and dangle the carrot in front of you on what is reachable and out of reach. So the next time you go to the practice track try staying at your skill level, find what you can improve on and keep your concentration on what you're doing and nothing else. Get into the zone and feel what is happening in each present second as it happens. Train your automatic reflex reactions to feel and react in a way that maintains total control, that's the magic, that's the addiction and that's when you will love it.
Ride to live and live to ride!
Professional Motocross Trainer
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