When it comes to paying for coaching, it still concerns me that some people may initially think that personal tuition is an unnecessary expense. Whether it be to improve racing, track day, or simply road riding skills, if they paid to tutor themselves, to assess and improve their riding, then this ‘personal performance tuning’ would lasts them a lifetime.
The world of motorcycle racing is getting more competitive, and top riders know that success takes more than natural talent and a great bike. If you’re not getting better, you’re falling behind.
To elevate your game, get yourself a coach as getting round particular obstacles, mental or physical – on your own can be very time consuming, difficult and expensive. Coaching can provide you with an advantage over the rest of the field; it can help you fast track through to a skill level that you could take all season to achieve on your own.
On track coaching is essential, it allows real time assessment. Observed riding is invaluable, when building a strategy; where the coach can provide the fresh viewpoint of an experienced outsider.
With a little effort now through coaching, you will build a solid base of knowledge, giving you purpose and goals that will pay off in race results for the rest of your career. If you use your mind as much as you use your body and there is no telling how far you will go.
Coaches are not for the meek though, they’re for riders who value unambiguous feedback. All sport coaches have one thing in common; it’s that they are excited by results. Coaching is not therapy. Coaching is product development, with you the rider as the product.
Motorcycle racing is one of the most complex and exacting of motorsports; yet it has no tradition of rider instruction or coaching. Footballers, golfers, swimmers and athletes all have personal coaches who play a large part in their success, but motorcycle racers are generally assumed – often wrongly – to have an inbuilt talent which needs no nurturing. Consequently, many riders are unable to make full use of their natural ability, and their supporting teams struggle inadvertently to come to terms with the rider’s “personal style”
Some teams and riders find it difficult to allocate finance for coaching, and yet spending thousands on bike modifications. Unlike so many other approaches – engine tuning, chassis alterations or bolt on accessories – coaching is a unique, ongoing, one to one, life skill improvement. Mechanical mods are fine and good, but any advantage tends to be lost over a race season.
With coaching, you work to improve and build on your own skills over a period of time, to ensure that the learning is relevant, and you actually learn it. You’ll notice the changes in your riding immediately; and the improvement will stay with you for as long as you continue to apply suggestions.
The relationship with your coach is different from relationships you have with your mechanic, team manager, family or friends. Those relationships follow a more conventional structure, whereas a coach is usually closer to your level, he knows first hand what you are experiencing, on track he works equally with you toward a common goal. You will feel more comfortable discussing problems and issues with your coach.
In almost all cases, my race coaching will focus on two main areas – the line chosen round a corner, and the technique required to allow the rider to take that line as smoothly and quickly as possible. These aspects are very closely related, as it is of no help to know the best line round a corner if the wrong riding techniques are then used. Attention is also paid to correct braking technique; this can greatly improve lap times and is also most useful for ‘psyching -out’ your opposition!
Errors in any of these aspects can prove to be expensive in terms of lap time, lapping consistency and tyre wear.
Fortunately, I can spot these scenarios easily, and then with a down to earth explanations, I can help you to work round them.