If you're familiar with JYT, it won't take long to realize that one of my niche clientele is Motocross and Offroad Racers. Since the beginning days of JYT, meaning my very first ever client being a Motocross Racer, I have worked with a lot Professional Racers and also very highly dedicated Amateur Racers as well. In this Lifestyle Blog, I'm going to share a few insights that I have gained throughout coaching these Professional Racers over the past 10 years. These pro's have been both Factory Riders as well as Privateer Riders. I spend more hours a week with these racers than you probably do with your best friend. And these same racers, I have worked with them for months to years on end. So I truly believe I get to have key insights to their careers. If you're a competitive racer, whether a beginner or someone not quite at that pro level yet, my goal is to give you some key insights on things that I've learned the pro's do, that maybe you can take away some value that you can imply into your very own racing program!
1.) They're Not Playing Any Games
Elite racers only care about making progress to achieving their goals. Just like when you watch them race, they're full go and they bring that mentality to their preparation. Whether it's on their bike or for themselves, they are willing to make whatever changes necessary to see the results they want. The only X-Factor is, they have to believe in it first. Once they believe that something will help give them an advantage (whether it's right or wrong) they will fully be locked in on it.
2.) They Do Not Accept Unorganized Preparation
One thing I've learned about Professional Racers, is when everything is a huge cluster heading into a race, they tend to stress out easily over these details. They expect themselves, their bike, and everyone else involved in their program to be ready to go well before they get to the race track. When things get pushed till last minute, you start to see anxiety levels rise in them, and you can see the frustration building when they feel like things are unorganized or being delayed. Some may take this is as them being dramatic (or whatever adjective people could use), but I see it as being a perfectionist and keeping expectations high.
3.) They Outsource What They Don't Know
This one stems from #1, racers aren't afraid to ask for help when they know they need it. Whether it's hiring a Trainer, a Riding Coach, or seeking help to improve their bike, they're open for help and opinions to better their career. Most of the time, they're not worried about their pride and they are more concerned with their results. They know they do not have all the answers but are willing to find those who do.
4.) They Practice As Much As Possible
Pro Racers practice a lot. And a lot depends on who you're talking about if you're expecting me to throw out numbers right now. But most will practice at least a couple times a week for a couple hours at least. More if they are not in competition season. But you may think, as amateurs, practice would never hurt since this group of racers are not the ones who are experts on the bike. Yet a lot of amateur racers, only practice a handful times out the year and just focus on the racing part of it. But the guys at the top, practice way more than they compete. Look I get what you're thinking right now, you work, you have only one bike, and you're trying to get it ready just get to the races each weekend. But I'm just giving you the realization of how much emphasis they put into riding during the week and how much the pro's actually value the time of practice.
5.) They Will Die For Racing
When it comes to priorities, you better believe that racing is Top 2 in their life, 3 at the most. For the racers that are in the meat of their career, there is no other option of not racing, no immediate back up plans, it's racing over everything. This is what they were born for and they're trying to fulfill their destiny. They know they can get hurt, and that they eventually will, but that's deep in the back of their mind. It's do or die mode for them all of the time and they're willing to risk everything for the glory of winning.
I realize that majority of you reading this, are not a professional racers. And I'm not telling you to do what they do and live how they live. They are playing in a different ballpark than the rest of us riding our bikes for enjoyment. What's on the line for them, isn't the same as everyone else. But, if you're looking to improve at your riding/racing, maybe their are some small lessons we can take away from what the best in the world do. If they take these areas seriously, it probably wouldn't hurt to take these same areas a little more serious too if you're trying to improve your very own racing career.
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Physical Prep Coach & Owner of Joel Younkins Training.