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I am mentally blocked on Monday’s these days. Racing is quiet. It’s crunch time with schedules and plans for 2018. It’s a time to remember our fallen heroes that helped pave the way for us to live our privileged existence and before you know it; Santa is here and a new year is upon us. It’s funny to think from say March till about the end of September or beginning of October you want it to go slow so you can really take it all in. At least that’s the motocross mentality and this time of year you want to go fast so racing can come quicker. It’s been that way so long for me that anything different seems just odd. The family aspect has changed things big-time but I still have an itch to get ready for racing even though that is really a non-existent reality anymore. The mentality a true racer never leaves you no matter what’s added or taken away in your life. It’s quite the feeling that most will never get, would you agree?
I spent a lot of time in 2017 working with the up and coming generation here in Ontario in Motocross. I have well over 20 years of teaching experience and my race craft is pretty legit when I was in my prime. I find today’s racer, the biggest problem with them all is simple organization. I think that has changed so much over the years simply because of how much more hands-on parents are. That’s not a negative at all but sometimes it’s better if little Johnny does his own goggle prep or gets his gear in his changing are or even fills the bike with gas so he knows it’s all ready. Now, I’m not saying your 5-year-old kid or even your 10-year-old kid needs this but rather maybe just nudges in these simple directions to understand the respect this sport needs over top of just knowing where the gas is and how to start the bike. I watched a crap tin of these kids this year and just getting them to the lesson or moto on time was a huge struggle. On race day you don’t have the luxury of a slack schedule. Especially at the big events that are like clockwork. Being organized and ready makes the mind easy and allows it to be free to focus on what really matters: kicking the ass of the competition!! You wouldn’t believe how these little things can change the course of s race day for the better or worse. I had a hero when I was younger that raced and showed me certain things that really helped (that person has turned into a complete douche over the years but that’s another story) on race day or even prior too. It was the simple little tidbits away from the track that allowed me to focus and stay on track making the hard stuff on track easier. If you let the things off track get in the way then on the track you will not be 100% focused when obviously you need to be. Just riding alone is tough. Then, let’s add in 39 other racers, huge obstacles, rain, a gate, remembering the flags and rules, and then trying to race fats and beat these guys so you are not the worst on the track. There is not 1 thing that is simple about motocross. I truly believe that is why it takes everything from us in good and bad ways. It makes the body and mind do incredible things if you allow it, accept it, and work hard at it. When I saw all these young hotshots learning from me this year and transferring what I said into their craft it moved me. It made me feel like I did good things as a racer as well made me feel I did the right things most of the time. There is no better feeling than seeing someone understand what you say and then use it to make them do better. Sometimes it comes across as tough love but there was never a point where I was just saying something to get words out of my mouth. I can honestly say I cared about them all. I cared how they did at races after the fact. I’m planning on doing a lot more this coming year with MPA again in Florida and here at home. What I saw this year was another turning point in my “at the track” career. There are teachers all over the world trying to make a buck off parents that don’t know dilly about sports and the majority is likely in it for the right reasons. Your money is in good hands 90% of the time for sure. It’s the student that needs to see what’s right for them. They need to acknowledge and accept the challenge of wanting what the teacher is delivering. High fives and hugs don’t win. Making the kid feel good is part of it but making them know the reason they have that good feeling is that what they are learning is much more attractive and productive. I thought Motocross was the best feeling in the world. The freeness of riding and beating others to become a champion is something I thought could never be matched. Well, 2017 opened my eyes up to another great feeling. Seeing others do well because you gave them knowledge and they applied it: that’s a great feeling. I believe in 2018 I will want more of this and deliver to those that want to learn. Knowledge is a great asset in Motocross. Applying it is how champions are made!