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MOTO TIPS

Answer Racing Moto Tip | Coaching Your Kid

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Presented by Answer Racing

Welcome to the new Answer Racing Moto Tips feature! Answer Racing has been producing the highest-quality motocross and off-road gear since 1976, and this month launched its new line of 2020 apparel. With riders like Alex Martin, Kyle Peters, Ryan Villopoto, Nick Wey, and Mike Sleeter flying the Answer flag, there is a wealth of knowledge and know-how when it comes to riding a dirt bike efficiently and effectively in the Answer camp. Each week, Answer will bring you some riding tip to help you become better at the sport you love! Have a specific skill you’d like to improve? Comment below and we will cover it in a future post!

Did you pass on a love of riding to your children? One of the best parts of having events like the Swapmoto Race Series and Mini Major (November 7th – 10th at State Fair Motocross) is seeing the way families bond at the track together, like our friend Nick Wey does with his sons Vincent and Donovan. NYK is known for a picture-perfect riding style, so it should come as no surprise that the same traits have been passed down to the boys as they progress in the mini-cycle ranks. We respect the way that Wey communicates the proper way to ride to his groms, how he never seems to pressure them into doing something risky, and that results are just a bonus for a day spent at the track. With this, we asked him to share thoughts on how to keep riding fun while still advancing a kid’s skillset. 

Vincent is 10 now and Donovan is seven. We are doing our best to teach them to ride properly and get some race experience because it’s what they want to do. We want to keep it in perspective and have a good time.

We ride one to three times a week, so we don’t ride “a lot” compared to people that live at a training facility. After living the motocross lifestyle for so long, it’s not always my first choice to spend more free time at the track, but it’s something that Vincent and Donovan love to do and it’s something we like to do together. 

As a parent, I know that riding comes with a risk so my goal is for him to know the fundamentals. You want to work on that stuff over and over so that it becomes second nature.

He certainly has some more work to do and loves to ride, so if I don’t have the time to coach him when we’re at the track, he defaults back to whatever feels comfortable or what he sees the pro guys do, which doesn’t really work with his small wheels.

When I notice that he has a bad habit, I will work with him on the sections and instill the proper body position or technique that we are working on so it becomes second nature. With kids, sometimes it’s hard to explain to them what they are doing wrong because you want them to have a good time and enjoy riding and practicing at their own pace. 

Most kids that are around his age don’t have a lot of race experience, so they get into a big hurry at a race and emotions get heightened because they want to do good, so what they’ve been working on and the fundamentals go out the window. If you have a kid that has an interest in racing, getting them the right race experience is very valuable.

The biggest thing I see as a parent is that he doesn’t have the race experience in the conditions like Loretta’s. Here in California, it’s not the same type of terrain and people don’t want the tracks to be prepped with ruts everywhere. So it’s hard to obtain a practice situation where he can gain experience. I think a lot of the mistakes he makes come from him not having the same experience as the other kids he’s racing.

Reminding Vincent that he did his best is kind of my “MO.” I try to keep it as positive as possible and I have the perspective that it’s not really that big of a deal. He could win every race until he is 15 years old and it’s really not going to change his lifestyle. I want him to have a good time and to learn from the mistakes he makes, so I’m very honest with him. 

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Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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