10 Tips for Motocross Parents After the Moto

Improve racing success!This tool is designed to help parents structure a positive feedback experience for their child post moto. The goal is to help the racer assess the moto without emotion and move forward with full confidence. Please note the following procedure:

Start by making two positive comments about your son’s moto. Pick out two simple areas you can complement your son about… For example, “You really were fast off the gate today.” You are more likely to get your son’s attention by starting with a couple positive comments.

Ask what your son what he did well in the moto. “What are two things you did well today?” Discuss these first no matter how well or poorly your son performed.

Ask what your racer thinks he needs to do better tomorrow (or the next moto/race). For example, “What do you think you should focus on or work on to improve the next moto (or for the next event)?

No matter how happy or disgusted you are with your racer’s performance, always show the same reaction after the moto including comments and body language. Try to remain unemotional or even keel as we say. Do not show too much excitement about a good moto and do not show disgust or frustration after a poor one. This includes body language such as facial expressions and turning away with head down for example.

Be mindful of the subtle rewards or punishment you may unknowingly or knowingly give your racer after the moto/race. For example, showing excitement and enthusiasm (for good performance) is a reward for your child. Withdrawing attention or being silent (after a bad moto) is a form of punishment for your child.

Finally, offer any constructive comments (based on observation or stats) you may have about your racer’s moto that will help your son learn, grow, or improve. Preface any comments with a positive comment. Example: “You made several great passes today, but I noticed your speed in the turns was not as fast as in practice. What did it feel like to you?”

Avoid dwelling on numbers (lap times) or position in the moto. Discuss statistics if necessary to make a point and improve future performance.

Leave the racing on the racetrack! Avoid discussing the race at home or that night and help child shift gears into other roles in life. Do not go over the moto turn for turn unless your child asks. Also, focus on developing balance in life rather than being 24-7 racing.

Avoid prolonged discussions about racing technique before or after motos unless you are also the racing coach. I prefer racers to not make changes in the middle of an event or focus too much on improving technique while racing. Race time is “test” time and all the “studying” is complete, until after the race when you can go back to training.

Reinforce the idea that performance in racing (success, lack of success) is separate from the person. I never want my students to attach their achievement in racing to how they feel about themselves as a person. Separate the person from the racer in other words.

Comments

  1. I’m new to the racing world and found this information very interesting. I like the suggestion to ask the question “what are two things you did well today?” Focusing on the good helps me to enjoy an experience and then I feel confident making the needed changes to get better, and this applies to all aspects of life. Thanks for this great article!

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