I received some information via an anonymous person of a Facebook post that has caused some waves in regards to validity of a certain coach. Drama is for teenage girls trying to get into a beauty pageant so I am not even going to go there, however it did make me think about what exactly makes a BMX Racing coach and what are their qualifications?
The UCI has some fancy qualification that covers both BMX and MTB at the same time. How they think the two different disciplines are even remotely the same is a mystery probably even to the UCI themselves. Granted there are some fundamentals such as recovery and nutrition that can be embraced in any sport, but a 40 second sprint over jumps on a little bike is not quite the same as a timed run down a hill with gravity assisting you. Still, its another great way the UCI can make money and that’s what they are: a business. I can read a manual on how to fly a helicopter and could operate the machine to the letter, however there will be a flight where life happens and an event occurs that is not in the book. A student from the University Of Life Experience is equipped for this scenario.
I have seen some personal coaches who have the fitness thing on lock yet do not offer their riders the mental support they need. Granted it was a MTB race, but you do not have to stretch the imagination too far to apply it to BMX: lady rider tries her best during an important national, perhaps over thought the whole race and under performed. Her coaches reaction was to shake his head, berate her and walk away ignoring her for the next few days. As a racer losing is punishment enough in my books.
At one stage I had enough money to afford a proper fitness coach. He came from a MTB/Triathlon background and trains a lot of Motocross racers, this is how I met him. His program was rock solid, I put in the work and although I did not achieve great results I was always the fittest guy in my class. He was a great mental coach and covered pre-race scenarios and how your mind falters somewhat looking for an out. In my head I was good to go and my fitness was the best it had ever been however I still could not manual properly and my gates sucked. This was not his fault whatsoever. In this case I needed a riding coach as well. Someone who has raced.
What about coaches that have tested positive for banned substances? I know of some current coaches who run their respective countries BMX program who have tested positive for banned substances. Your Google works just as well as mine so look it up for yourself if you are curious. This is Nextlevel BMX, not Next TMZ. So after being caught red handed in public how do these people still maintain their creditability? I spoke candidly with a now retired professional Motocross racer about him testing positive after a standard urine test after a race. He was cleared of all charges but yet had to shell out 50k of his own money in an effort to effectively save face. What team would want to hire him or coach want to train him without being tarred with the same brush. The stigma attached of a saucer was too heavy a burden to bear for a professional athlete. In cycling it almost seems mandatory and is then overlooked during the hiring process.
Who is the best BMX coach? Who is the worst BMX coach? Who coaches the coaches?